I live in a city with a lot of freelancers who work online. Well, there aren’t a lot of jobs available in this city, in terms of quantity and variety. But the internet offers various job opportunities without having to move to another city, island, or country (which many of the college graduates in this city do in their search for work).
But being an online freelancer has its advantages and disadvantages. You don’t have to take the commute to work; you can work from the comfort of your home. You don’t have to dress up for work; you can just work in your pajamas (unless you have a video call, in which case you’ll have to at least change your shirt). And you get your pay in full. But you can get tired of the comforts of your home. You might even find it challenging to discipline yourself to get down to work since the home just offers so much comfort and distraction. You might miss having real officemates. And, as the need arises which usually comes with getting older, you might wish you could enjoy the benefits that those nasty deductibles offer, deductibles you were once so happy to be rid of (such as social security, health insurance, and the like).
This led us (I, my husband, and friends we’ve discussed this with) to think about offering workspace and services to online freelancers. Presenting “Espasyo atbp.”
Workspace – There’s already something like this in Metro Manila. People who don’t have an office can go there and work while enjoying the amenities of an office (desks, computers, internet, printers, air conditioning, coffee, etc.). Having to get up and go somewhere to work can help with discipline and productivity, and the distractions of home can be left at home. Plus, you have “office mates.” Sure, you’re all working on different projects, but it’s also a networking opportunity. Someone there might need your skills for their project, and vice-versa.
Services – I don’t know if the current workspace providers offer services, and if any, what kind? But we were thinking of offering services to these online freelancers, like consultancy and community events.
* Consultancy – Some freelancers would like to file their taxes, have an SSS account, PAG-IBIG, Philhealth, but don’t know how or find the whole process tedious and intimidating. We could help them work out all the paperwork mumbo jumbo.
* Community Events – We can arrange events where the freelancers can do things together, like watch a movie, sing karaoke, play sports, exercise, or attend a workshop.
Anyway, this is all just an idea which I will leave here for now. Maybe there are online freelancers out there who can give their two cents worth regarding this. Maybe there’s someone out there who’d like to try this out. Maybe we’d get back to this idea in the future. I don’t know. For now, Espasyo atbp. can occupy this space in my blog. 😉