- Frank West
Recently I have been making a lot of big decisions, with my transition to a self-employed life I want everything to be just right. One of the biggest decisions I had to make was where to rent a desk.
Bristol is full of desk space, when I first started looking I was surprised by just how many options there were. I quickly started to realise it was no longer about finding something but finding the right thing.
What is the right thing?
The right desk space provides the greatest chance of success, it offers you the right atmosphere, a good location and tools to work as effectively as possible. The requirements for desk space will be different for everyone but I will detail a few of the thoughts I had in a hope to give you a slightly better chance of success.
Who do you want around you?
You may not be able to choose the people you sit with but you certainly have the ability to choose the type of people you want around you. I found there were 4 options when it came to people.
- Freelancers doing similar things to you.
- Freelancers doing something different.
- Employees of a company.
- Entrepreneurs and startups.
Working around other freelancers can be great opportunity to trade skills and team up on projects, whether you choose similar or different professions primarily just alters what skills you might trade.
Renting a desk from a local company provides reliability in people being around from 9 - 5 but may limit opportunities to interact.
Entrepreneurs and startups are likely to be very busy but enthusiastic about what they are doing. Generating a buzz and motivational atmosphere for anyone doing the same type of thing, after all they are all going to be the next big thing!
What tools do you need?
Understanding what you need is another important question, is a desk, a chair and the internet enough or do you need something more? I am a big fan of using whiteboards and having space to work away from my computer so put together a list of things to check.
- The internet
- Meeting rooms
- A postal address I can use
- Room to draw, plan and create away from my desk
- Security, can I leave my possessions here over night?
- Kitchen facilities, can I use a fridge?
Rules and limitations
During my research I found many places had their own variations on what you actually get, some limited the time of day you had access whilst others had a no visitors rule. Having a checklist of limitations turned out to be really important as I didn't want to end up in a place where I was restricted in how or when I worked.
- 24/7 access or just 9 to 5
- Flexible day contracts or do I have to commit to a full month
- Can I have visitors
- Is the office noisy or quiet, do they have a music policy?
The final decision
Once I finished working out what the right thing was I only had two more things to consider, the location and cost.
The daily commute is often the biggest waste of time in the day, I wanted to avoid traffic heavy areas but still have some travelling time. I learned in a previous job that living and working on the same street is not always a good thing. It is also vital to consider the journey of any potential visitors, if I'm in a hard to access location then I'm potentially going to make future meetings more challenging for clients.
It turns out that cost was the least important item on my list, whilst it can vary by £200/month it is nothing when you think of all the other variables. If you're in a place that makes you unhappy, restricts you or doesn't provide the most efficient environment then you'll easily lose £200 of time every month and much more.
So where did I choose to setup britehire? The Deckchair offices on Park Street, 18 desks shared by freelances and small businesses. It has a games room to relax, 24 hour access and a great team of developers, animators and motivated people who strive for success.