The Minimalistic Office
Although working freelance means freedom from that vile cubicle, a proper workspace is still a necessity. But finding such a place can be a challenge, especially for someone starting out with limited funds.
In my case, I share a small apartment with two other people, which makes space even more scarce. I can’t afford to rent office space (though on some days, the nearby public library works well) so what is a freelancer to do?
The solution for me: commandeer the coffee table! It’s the most minimalistic, yet functional solution I could find.
Everything in it’s Right Place
My laptop sits on the far left side and acts as the nexus for this whole setup. In a horizontal row next to it are my key chain (with a 2 gigabyte USB drive hanging from it), cellphone and my transit pass holder, which doubles as a place to store business cards.
One nifty feature added to the coffee table office is a lazy-susan, which holds a small box of index cards for filing away little notes. Around it are other pieces of stationary that I can grab quickly by spinning.
For filing larger documents, there’s an accordion file on the floor. My notepads, writing utensils and camera are all in a nearby shoulder bag, since they’re also items I usually need when I’m working on-site.
Finally, to avoid clutter, there’s a nearby wastebasket to ensure scraps of paper and cans of caffeinated beverage don’t pile up.
Of course, this isn’t perfect. There’s no room for a printer or scanner, so I need to set up up a home network to access a shared all-in-one unit. Plus, my large filing cabinet is on the other side of the room, which sometimes makes me lazy to sort some of my documents properly.
Though, there are some distinct advantages to this minimal setup. Now that I’m used to working with it, I can tear down and pack it up in minutes and easily move elsewhere, like a Wi-Fi equipped coffee shop. There’s also less room for clutter to build up in the first place, unlike a larger desk which is easy to busy with papers and other junk.
But the biggest advantage is that my “office chair” is also my couch, which makes taking a siesta break that much easier. Gotta love the freelance lifestyle.
Obviously your mileage and needs will vary, but I’m finding that slimming down is helping keep the productivity levels up and my slacker tendencies down…until I decide it’s time for a nap.