Freeway to freelancing

Self-employment has rewards and risks. Managing your time is one crucial element. Having the right environment to work efficiently will lead to profitability and sustainability.

As noted in a previous article published by Michigan State University Extension, “Rise of the contingent worker” self-employment is a viable option if performed properly. Environmental surrounding are paramount. To help overcome this potential pitfall, co-working has evolved, and is a shared, collaborating workspace that provides a community along with desk space. Miguel McKelvey of WeWork interviewed on PBS states, “If outsourcing is inexorable, at least (they should) have a cool and convenient place to set up shop.” Currently some twenty-five hundred co-working spaces are available around the globe, reports Jennifer Schlesinger of CNBC.  

Mobile technology is shifting the demands of office space and working at home may sound like a good idea, but one should avoid the burn out in pajamas syndrome. CNBC further reports that having a “real business” space can help cure this affliction.

Having conference rooms, human interactions, along with no security deposits or leases (mostly just month to month) can help contingent workers scale up or down as needed. You may be even inspired by others around you. It also helps you to collaborate on projects. Almost like a soft, cloud based office for freelancers.

This approach helps meet need of the rise of the freelance economy PBS reports. Material producing companies are able to do back end work away from production facility. This ability to unite and excite with others also offers a legal address, instant network, and possibly health care group coverage.

Just like an intentional community, mutual benefits along with mutual responsibilities are possible. Additionally, meeting new people, reaching out to bigger prospects and partnering up for collaboration are benefits of “co-working”, writes Karen Martinez of Paydirt.

Questions about the transformation of the workplace still remain. In the PBS Newshour report, “Selling office space and happy hour to a rising economy of freelancers”, Richard Greenwald questions if putting larger corporations into a power position to drive down prices and not hire, train, and invest in full-time employees when it can simply outsource work.

With the trend toward continued growth in “freelancing” and the desire to have an office space to seem (and act) “real”, co-working offers significant advantages. Every business needs to make a product or provide a service, successfully market and manage the operation. Having a healthy, inspiring space to perform those essential back office tasks is vital today and will continue to be in the future.

Michigan State University Extension educators working with the MSU Product Center help to guide beginning and existing businesses in making decisions that will lead to a successful venture.

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