After a few weeks, the magic of working from home as a new freelancer tends to fade. In fact, up to 40% of self-employed people say they’ve felt lonely at some point, and the effect that feeling isolated can have on your health and wellbeing isn’t something to ignore.
While working from home is the cheapest way to start your business, long term, it’s much better to get out the apartment and work around other people. Even if you don’t spend much time talking to them, working in different environments with different people can provide inspiration and stimulate your creativity.
Let’s look at 7 free or cheap places freelancers can work outside the home.
It’s the cliché image of a freelancer – from New York to London to Tel Aviv – working in a trendy café in a hip neighborhood sipping on a flat white and using the free Wi-Fi. True, you’ll feel obliged to buy more than one coffee if you’re working there all day, and bringing your own lunch is a big no-no. All the same, cafes are easy to find and so long as there are enough power sockets for your laptop, cafes remain a firm favorite for freelancers.
2. Hotel Lobbies
Hotel lobbies are quiet, spacious, the internet is usually free and the seats are comfy. Unlike cafes, you’re unlikely to be surrounded by noisy groups or have to listen to bad music. Hotel lobbies also make awesome locations to meet (and impress) new clients. Just make sure you introduce yourself to the receptionists – and maybe order a coffee or two.
3. University Campuses
If you live in a college town, campus provides an ideal spot for freelancers to work for free. Most college libraries will provide guest passes to visitors who just want to use the space, and there are also normally bars, cafes and other spaces designed for quiet working dotted around campus.
4. Your local public library
Often overlooked by freelancers, local libraries offer an awesome spot for quiet work. They’re always free and they’re usually in the city center – so you can easily nip out for lunch or to meet your customers at their offices.
Where better to write that article, design that brochure or build that website than in a local bookstore. More often than not there’s coffee on tap, people are usually quiet, and you can flick through the Dummies guide book section if you’re struggling at all…
6. Co-working space
OK, so this one isn’t free, but it’s a lot cheaper than hiring out a full office. There’s ever more co-working spaces popping up in larger cities around the world, and the competition is driving prices down.
Many museums have some form of learning or study center which are either free to use, or which can be hired at a low cost. The Wi-Fi’s normally good, and what better inspiration is there than being surrounded by the works of the great and the good?