Before I took a job at Webfluential I spent a few months playing the “funemployed” game. I was working on various projects and with various clients but I no longer had an office base. While working in your PJ’s has its perks, inviting clients to meet in your bedroom doesn’t really go down well.
The problem is, when you’re possibly a one man (or even two or three man) show renting prime real estate in the business district will cripple your bottom line (and you likely won’t be able to eat).
Recently a few desk sharing spots and coworking offices have popped up around SA. Most of them require you to sign up for at least a month and you don’t get an option to test them out first but they rather just do a quick viewing.
On your hunt for the perfect workspace make sure to tick these off and ensure you have ample supply in your new space – the office tech every freelancer needs:
Good Wi-Fi. Even better? GREAT Wi-Fi.
Make sure you find out EXACTLY what sort of internet connection you’re getting when you pay to use the space. You don’t want to end up with a buggy line that dies when too many people are online in the office. You want dedicated uncapped internet and, if you can find a space in a Fibre supplied area, even better!
Turn on the lights.
You walk in to a beautiful industrial space with its face brick walls and funky hipsters. You think you’ve found your dream spot until, a week in, you’re squinting at your screen realising that you spend 90% of your day under fluorescent lights. You want to find a place with lots of natural light. Studies have found that offices with greater natural light tend to increase productivity. Also ensure there are adequate plug points available. While you’re at it, seen as we’re in South Africa, best you ensure your work space has a generator. No one wants to suffer the load shedding wrath!
Add some Science.
Whether it is a hair straightener or smartphone, scientists spend a lot of time researching before a product is developed. Ergonomics is the study of understanding the interactions between humans, objects and other elements of a system. Things like your chairs and desks all benefit from ergonomics. When looking for a working spot find a place that incorporates layout design science and ergonomics into the space. Trust me, if you’re spending cash on a productive work environment these little things make all the difference!
A great coffee machine.
This one is self-explanatory.
If this all seems a little bit overwhelming, deep breath. I’ve found the perfect spot.
Travail is your nomadic office solution
It’s a Nomadic Workspace which means instead of being a “collaborative” hub it is a space for us lonely workers to gather. Travail’s first space has opened in Melrose Arch and they will be rolling out the workspaces to the rest of South Africa soon.
The space was created by a leading interior designer and has all the comforts of natural light, gorgeous design (including foot rests, tables you can adjust according your height and chairs specifically designed to support your neck and back) and great coffee. Instead of being a typical “workspace”, Travail is more like a hotel but for freelancers or entrepreneurs. It also only costs R60/hour to use the space and includes complimentary access to their uncapped 50MB per second fibre line and a cup of Illy Italian Coffee. You can also take advantage of the complimentary stress balls on a bad day. There are membership packages available for those wanting to take out a short, medium or long term contract.
Travail is the ideal spot for the nomadic girl on the go (click here to find out how you can customise a unique package with them). They also offer business coaching, breakfast and lunch and back and neck massages on request.
While it isn’t tech, it’s totally worth it!
I'd love to chat to you some more.
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