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The Jason Bourne way to manage freelance office space

Freelancer Office Space

Sometimes I think I fancy myself Jason Bourne as a freelancer. I mean, I am on my own now, right?

Bourne became a freelancer. He broke away from the “program” and lived on his own. His attempt to be an independent person was met with resistance from the CIA.

As Bourne told Alexander Conklin, “I’m on my own side now.”

Freedom. The sweet taste of freedom. We, freelancers, enjoy our freedom. It is one of the things we like about what we do. We are free to work from wherever we like and nothing else quite compares.

Recently, Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, decided to close their offices in San Francisco. It seems that few of their employees actually showed up. Matt Mullenweg told Joel Spolsky of the Stack Overflow podcast,

“Yeah, in fact, we’re looking at shutting down our San Francisco office,” Mullenweg said. “We got an office there about six or seven years ago, pretty good lease, but nobody goes in it. Five people go in it and it’s 15,000 square feet. There are as many gaming tables as there are people.”

The office served more as a coworking space and host for WordCamps than an actual office. Automattic still maintains offices in South Africa and Maine.

WordPress is almost entirely remote, and several companies already are including StudioPress, the makers of Genesis Framework.

Remote companies are definitely a thing. You can find a number of lists of companies who have remote workers including the one by Zapier. On that list, you will notice WordPress powerhouse 10Up.

Some of the places freelancers work include home, coffee shops, co-work spaces, a traditional office space, or from the road.

Working from home office space

Home office spaces seem to be the most popular among freelancers. Even if we freelancers work elsewhere, we have to have a home base so it makes sense.

Having a home office space brings up various issues of productivity. There are several suggestions to make the most of your time.

One of those suggestions is to have a dedicated workspace. This seems to be number one on most lists, and it makes sense. We tend to be more productive when working in a space that is supposed to be a work space. The dedicated space along with some ground rules also help in managing your work and in home relationships. It helps you set boundaries.

The best thing that one can do with a home workspace is to find out what environment makes him or her more productive and seek to implement that in your workspace.

How to Design the Ideal Home Office

10 Quick Tips To Create A Home Office You’ll Actually Want To Work In

Tips for Setting Up Your First Home Office

Working from Coffee Shops

Working from coffee shops
Working from coffee shops

In addition to working from home, coffee shops are a favorite place to work for me. There is something about the regular access to coffee, a little buffer noise, the ability to look up and engage with a neighbor or barista, and other amenities that seem to help me be productive.

Not every coffee shop has an ideal setting for working, so, it can be a little bit of a trial and error finding the right place. Also, while some can work at a coffee shop all day, I am usually done after a few hours.

Writer Emily Irish gives some good tips about working in a coffee shop on the Zapier blog. To be sure, there is a certain amount of etiquette to follow.

Looking for a place to work remotely

Working from co-work spaces

Co-work spaces is often a hybrid between a fantastic coffee shop and shared office space. Co-work spaces are designed for freelancers, self-employed as well as small start-up teams.

There are lots of benefits from using a co-work space. First, it is less expensive than having your own office space. It is a shared expense setup.

Second, most co-work spaces will offer various amenities such as printers, fax machines, internet, and other office needs.

One of the biggest benefits of working in a co-work space is the ability to work next to other freelancers and creatives. It makes networking more efficient and allows partnerships to flourish into productive means.

Looking for a cowork space?  Check out these resources.

Working from the road – Digital Nomads

According to the Digital Nomad subreddit,

Digital Nomads are individuals that leverage technology in order to work remotely and live an independent and nomadic lifestyle.

Digital Nomads are remote workers that are on the go, they are mobile living like a nomad. I like to think of digital nomads a the Jason Bourne freelancers. These professionals travel from city to city learning and exploring a new culture while maintaining their workload. Some just choose to travel and work. Recently, a married couple in my state decided to do just that. They purchased a mobile home and set out to explore the United States while working.

A couple of examples

Scott Carter

Barrel Roll

“I work from home and have been since I founded my first company 16 years ago. For a while, I had a virtual office in a creative workspace environment for meeting clients, but over time I used it less and less, eventually dropping it altogether.”

“My experience has usually been that the larger a company is, the less nimble and aware of emerging technologies they tend to be. Having a traditional office environment has benefits, but it adds a significant amount of overhead that gets passed along to the client.”

Scott's Workspace
Scott’s Workspace

 

Ashley Longmire

Ashley Longmire

Ashely is a freelance website designer and works with her husband Jay’s company as well. The family is embarking on a few trips this year and has a camper they use.

“I don’t have a workspace really though, it’s basically the bed or table or picnic table or my lap (if it’s not the office or home kitchen table). I love it. We have a portable wifi device and everything, it feels like freedom.”

Ashley's RV Camper
Ashley’s RV Camper

 

Ashley's mobile workspace
Ashley’s mobile workspace

Conclusion

There is, no doubt, a certain amount of freedom with being self-employed, and setting up your freelance office space is one of those joys.For some of us, it may take a hybrid of working from home, working from a coffee shop and working from a co-work space. Others simply go mobile and work from where we want.

In my experience, if you have the budget and space, home can be one of the best places to set up your office how you would like it to be.  You can optimize your work setting better from home.

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Todd Jones
Along with being the resident writer for MainWP and content hacker at Copyflight, I specialize in writing about startups, entrepreneurs, social media, WordPress and inbound marketing topics.
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