Are you a freelancer or considering freelancing? The number of freelancer workers in the US workforce is expected to outgrow full-time workers by 2020, so the question shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Although part of what it means to be a freelancer is to not be confined by a cubicle, it might not be wise to throwaway the idea of an office space all together. Executives suites are an excellent compromise that doesn’t confine like a cubicle, but maintains the professionalism and productivity necessary in a successful workspace. Here’s why freelancers need an executive suite to succeed and standout in the increasingly competitive DIY economy:
They’re Great for Getting Started
The toughest part about being a freelancer is getting started. You need to find clients that are willing to take a chance on someone new to sites like Elance, even if you have a wealth of experience. You need to find clients on your own, perhaps without the help with referrals and testimonials because you don’t have any clients yet. To make that good first impressions, an executive suite helps because it shows that your serious about your work.
With an executive suite, you have a professional business address that you can add to your email signature or on your business card. An executive suite, with the address, shows that your writing or graphic design work isn’t something that you do on the side as supplementary income. That work is your bread-and-butter, and a potential client can see that they aren’t going to have to compete with a full-time job and will be able to reach you during normal business hours.
Privacy When You Need It
Executives suites have a door, and when you’re a freelancer on the phone with a client or with a source, privacy is incredibly important. Whether or not you’ve signed an NDA agreement, you don’t want to risk jeopardizing the client/source’s trust because they think someone can overhear the conversation. You don’t want to risk misunderstanding the conversation because you couldn’t hear over the background noise.
Being able to shut the door is a huge help, and a perk that isn’t always available in a coworking space or home office (shutting the door doesn’t necessarily drown out the kids in the next room or the street cleaner outside). Coffee shops don’t have this option either. You may not necessarily need the space to meet clients in person, but having the door is a benefit when you want to ensure that the client/source has your utmost attention.
Get Away from Time-Sucking Distractions
Although email and social media will still be at the executive suite, there are distractions at the home office or coffee shop that won’t follow you to the business address. These distractions include snacking, television, and even unproductive people (not everyone at the coffee shop is there to work or to study) can hinder your ability to be productive. With an executive suite, you don’t have food in the refrigerator or pantry tempting you, and you don’t have a television on in the background as you’re working.
Also consider the executive suite as a way to be part of the working world, but on your terms. No more forced schedules, costly commutes, and awkward meetings. You’re still professional because you have that office, but it no longer has to come at a price of being away from the family, or of working early mornings or late nights (unless you want to), or of mandatory meetings and events. Don’t think of an executive suite as anti-freelancing. Think of it as a way to freelance without coming across as someone without direction or without responsibility.
Have you used an executive suite or another virtual office solution for your freelancing career? What would it take for you to move out of the home office or coffee shop? Let us know in the comments!