Freelance PRs and the return to work
Posted by Paul Allen on 20th May 2021 / 0 comments
It feels like the UK is on the verge of a return to the workplace. For freelance PRs such as myself, and indeed freelancers in other disciplines too, it begs the question – will you stick with homeworking or seek a return to an external office or co-working space?
I actually wrote on a similar theme this time last year, looking at the homeworking experience of office workers during the early months of lockdown. My powers of insight were also brought firmly into focus. I wrote that blog post just ahead of the UK taking ‘tentative steps back into the workplace’ – that turned out pretty well.
But I am more confident that this time around, there will be a more concrete return to the office and more traditional working patterns. So, what of the freelancers in the UK and around the world? We are the seasoned homeworkers, the ones that have been doing this for years – have the past 12 months made us more committed to homeworking or highlighted the need for other options?
Freelancing and the future of work
As with most things in life, it’s a little from column a and a little from column b. I used to work from home two or three days each week, with the rest of my time spent at my office at the Portsmouth Guildhall. The last year has been spent working almost exclusively at home, and I am definitely feeling the need to expand my world a little more.
Yet a quick straw poll I conducted on LinkedIn earlier this week and in person with my local freelance network showed that most freelancers will continue working primarily from home. More than half of respondents said this would be their preferred mode of working, the rest said they would work partially from home and partially from the office. No one expressed a preference for a full-time return to the office.
In a sense, it doesn’t matter where people are located when doing their work, if it ever has. The past year has shown beyond any reasonable doubt that people can deliver excellent work, irrespective of location. Whether it’s in the spare bedroom / home office, a co-working space, coffee shop or a freelancer’s own external office, if it suits that individual’s needs and requirements, that’s all that counts.
Homeworking does not mean watching Homes Under the Hammer
Because most people have now experienced homeworking, I think there will be much less of the ‘oh, been watching Homes Under the Hammer, have we?’ type comments to homeworkers. This is because there is a greater and wider understanding of what it entails to work at home. You need to be disciplined, focused and good at managing your time. The same skills, in fact, as you need when you work in an office.
The many benefits of working from home will not be given up easily. They certainly won’t for me. But I’ll also be looking for the right co-working space, giving me the best of both worlds. Here’s to a return to a bit of normality.