Coworking spaces are popping up everywhere these days, especially in cities like London, but despite the free trial days and tours on offer, these gorgeous workspaces usually have one thing in common: they’re expensive. Some are really expensive, and as a freelancer lacking a fixed income every month it can feel wrong to spend money on something that isn’t strictly necessary.
Luckily, last month Desk Life Project were invited along to a new pop-up coworking space that has recently appeared in Covent Garden, set up by the folks at Epson to encourage freelancers and remote workers to come along for chilled out working, great workshops and networking events, and unlimited printing (an excellent place to make use of those Desk Life printables, don’t you know!)
And the best part? It’s totally FREE to visit, and is open for September and October.
The coworking space is part of Epson’s campaign to encourage self-employed people or those who work alone to meet others who work in the same field, and provide a place where they can feel part of a community again (without breaking the bank, of course).
Though we at Desk Life Project would agree that being freelance is one of the best moves we’ve ever made in our career, there are negatives to every situation, and some of those negative effects include losing friends, feeling isolated and lonely each day with a lack of human contact, losing skills, feeling a lack of career progression, no team to bounce ideas off of during the day and no one to empathise with your struggles.
It can be a lonely business, being a freelancer, or owning your own business that requires you to work on your own most of the time, so taking steps to make sure you feel supported and part of a community again can have a hugely positive effect on your mental health. With October being Mental Health Month, this pop-up coworking space couldn’t have come at a better time.
If you are feeling a sense of isolation since starting your solopreneur business, here are some things you can do that may help:
- Create a routine at home that allows you to socialise with your family or housemates when they are home with you, and concentrate on work when they are not.
- If you must work from home, add in outside trips throughout the day to get you outside and around other people, even if all you do is smile at them. This could be taking a letter to the post office, going for a walk midday, buying your lunch from your local supermarket, and so on.
- If you know of other freelancers or home working friends that are in the same position, buddy up with them and start a weekly Skype call to check in with each other. You could talk about your business goals, or just catch up on last night’s TV over a coffee. Either will have you feeling more connected to the outside world in no time.
- If you can afford to join up to a coworking space, they usually have wonderful events that allow you to network with others in your position, and give you that office feeling that you may have been missing. If you can’t afford it, watch out for similar events that are put on by the same coworking spaces, as often these are free to attend.
- Work from your local coffee shop a couple of times per week. It may not be as community-driven as a coworking space, but you will be around other people, and more often than not you will see other people working remotely on their laptops, so it doesn’t hurt to say hello!
- Start your own pop-up coworking space! Find a cafe that you can build a good relationship with and invite other freelancers along for a casual networking event. There’s no pressure to entertain anyone as people will start mingling among themselves, and suddenly you will have a network of fellow freelancers to call upon whenever you are feeling lonely.
And of course, don’t forget to check out the Epson pop-up coworking space at 21 Long Acre, Covent Garden in London (WC2E 9LD) for all the free coworking you need this month. There are a bunch of great events planned, so check out the calendar here and register for the ones you are interested in. If you do go, let us know how you liked the experience!
“Co-working spaces are thriving in London, becoming a hot spot not just for start-ups, entrepreneurs and freelancers, but also for giant corporations.
Throughout the two months, we will be providing a free co-working space for anyone who needs to check emails, print documents or work remotely in-between meetings. Through offering complimentary desk space, WiFi, printing, snacks and drinks, you can join a collaborative and creative community without the price tag.”