By Jonathan London on 4th July 2014

Contractor Workplace: What’s the best option for you?

Some freelancers exclusively work from home, whereas others are office based and work on the client’s premises. There are also some independent workers who enjoy the best of both worlds, but what’s the most suitable option for you?

Choosing where you work is an important decision that some contractors have to make, here are a number of things you may consider.

Home working

If you decide that you are going to work from home, it’s essential that you have a designated space set up to accommodate for professional activities. This means dedicating one room in your house to an office, studio or workshop and ensuring that this area is a comfortable environment in which you can carry out your work obligations.

Working from home means you’ll save on renting an office as well as cutting commuter costs completely out of your budget. It’s certainly one of the cheapest ways to start up a businesses and it’s likely the amount you can spend on other things will show this.

Not only will you save on commuting costs, but you’ll also reduce your daily commute to a matter of seconds – or however long it takes you to leave your office and join the family at the end of the day! As a home worker you won’t to worry about traffic jams, train delays and packed buses, you just have to make sure you know when to call it a day.

As well as removing the hassles of a commute, you’ll also be closer to your family and, as a result of this, you’ll be able to arrange your work life around your family – not the other way around.

Home working does mean you are a little more isolated, but that’s just a part of freelancing in general so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. It can also mean that you don’t become distracted by the idle chit-chat of gossip obsessed co-workers.

Client’s site

Although some freelancers do work onsite, it’s generally contractors who do this more commonly. Really, it just depends on your relationship with the client and what the best way is to carry out your role.

For example, if you are a freelance writer, carrying out your task for the client from home will not be a problem. However, if you specialise in IT you may be expected to work on site, as your job role could require this.

As well as this, you may need to work closely with the client and other company employees. If face-to-face contact is essential for your role then you should arrange an effective solution with the client before you begin the project.

Renting office space

If you don’t like the idea of either of the above options you could always rent out some designated office space where you can carry out your projects.

This is probably the most financially draining of the three options as you’ll be paying to lease out the space each month, but it could also be necessary.

Your profession could dictate that you actually have to rent out an external space to carry out your job. For example, a freelance photographer may need a studio where they can organise photo shoots. Similarly, an artist or designer may also need an area where they can work.

If you pursue this option, it’s probably wise to find a space that’s close by to your home, then you won’t have to worry too much about a huge commute.

And if you happen to have a generous amount of funds available, you could even have an office or studio space built in your garden. Outside ‘garden rooms’ are becoming increasingly popular with those who want to work from home but still have a space that’s removed from the main home and 100 per cent set up for professional reasons.

Office Co-Working

If you’re new to contracting, then at the outset you may find that you start to miss some of the office banter.  Co-working could be the perfect solution for freelancers who miss the office for one reason or another.

These types of working spaces typically offer a desk, Wi-Fi and kitchen facilities, providing freelancers with the opportunity to mingle, to share ideas and advice and to network.  We’ve covered this topic previously on our blog – and these types of environment are gradually becoming more popular across the UK.

Consider your options

Each system has its pros and cons and the only person who can decide which is the best option is you. Some freelancers won’t have the choice, but if you do – think about the two sides of the coin before making your decision.

Image courtesy of  suphakit73 /

Jonathan London Written by Jonathan London

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