Sharing an office: A Solution for Freelancers

Sharing an office allows freelancers to be independent while enjoying the benefits of a traditional office, including the contact with others.

Office sharing has become popular in the U.S. Now it’s starting to be seen in Poland.

Office sharing gives you proper office equipment, a place to meet clients, phone services and a mailing address. It also fills people’s need to socialize.

Before office sharing swept across America, freelancers who felt isolated would often work in a coffee shop for a time each day. Although this gave them a chance to be around others, the “others” were usually not people with whom they could relate to through work.

Office sharing is more than just using the same workspace. It is also about networking with others who are involved in an independent work existence.

For example, it’s often difficult to become inspired when you’re working alone at home, having little or no contact with the outside world. You can feel almost paralyzed sometimes by the lack of contact and stimulation.

So far, office sharing in Poland is available only in Warsaw, Wroclaw and Poznan.

Kuba Filipowski of Poznan created the first office-sharing facility in the country.

Some time back, the Web page designer decided to give up his full-time job for freelancing. He quickly learned how isolated
he could get working at home.

So he and two colleagues rented an office together. The sharing arrangement has worked so well that they are trying to popularize the idea.

The U.S. has companies that specialize in arranging office-sharing space.

In Poland one can only dream about it. Filikipowski and his colleagues had to do everything on their own. They found the location. They even bought the furniture and equipment.
Office sharing can have its problems, including conflicts among co-workers doing different jobs. For example, at a time when one worker needs quiet to concentrate, another is having to make phone calls.

Filipowski said the answer is to create a set of rules that all office sharers must follow.

“If we organize it well, there should be no problem,” he said.
Filipowski said some jobs that people do as independent agents don’t lend themselves to office sharing. “Some jobs require having to have a quiet representative office ? for example, architect, investment consultant or financial advisor.”
Because of computers and the Internet, however, more and more people are able to work from home.

America’s experience shows that not long after home-based workers shout with joy over not having to spend eight hours in an office, they “start to feel the lack of a community spirit and inspiration,” Filipowski said. And that bodes well for his new business.

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