We’re all vastly familiar with the overused adage—“I’m still stuck at work.” It can be used for anything pertaining to family and friends—dinners, parties, meetups, your 7-a-side midweek footy team where everyone in the Whatsapp group starts dropping like flies the closer it gets to kickoff...where you have a sneaking suspicion it’s all BS because they have decided they can’t simply be arsed playing in torrential rain.
It’s been said that you can find a coffee shop on every single corner in New York City. While I may not have been there myself to know if this really is true, it seems undeniable that communal caffeine intake is a huge part of the city’s culture. However, no matter how many cafés you may come across, it can be difficult for freelancers to find one with the right amount of space and plug sockets, that doesn’t want you to leave the second you’ve collected your drink, let alone one that is happy for you to plop down your laptop for a few hours!
Do you struggle to motivate yourself when you work from home? Do you hate working long hours alone in your living room for days on end? Though co-working spaces were designed as a solution to these very problems, they can often get very expensive to use on a regular basis. If you’re trying to save a few pennies and can’t take the isolation of remote working anymore, working from a coffee shop can provide you with a similar experience on a budget - along with the added benefits of endless coffee and comfier seating!
Before I begin, let me tell you that I do not intend to intimidate or cause panic, nor do I use the word “entrepreneur” in a literal way. That is to say that us freelancers need to be tech geniuses who can pinpoint a hole in the market, launch a startup, develop an app, attract tonnes of users, then secure some lucrative Series A Funding and very soon see our names in a Forbes Rich List. No, I don’t mean entrepreneurialism like this. I’m quite content still being a copywriter for hire.
Over the past few weeks, the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 has increased dramatically. For freelancers, the necessary self-isolation that comes with a positive test means up to a week of no income and potentially losing their clients, even without any symptoms. So what can you do to stay productive during your enforced alone time?
It’s a strange one. If I felt like doing “the most spontaneous thing I’ve ever done”—which is always a tactical and shamelessly self promoting anecdote to embellish your dating app profile (we won’t get into this now)—and leaving London to go take a punt in the Big Apple with your freelance skillz that pay the billz, it would be just that…a punt. A swing of the bat. A shot in the dark. A drop in the ocean. I cannot actually weigh up the pros and cons.
As COVID-19 cases begin to rise again, freelancers who provide face-to-face services are being left in the lurch once more. Even with minor to no symptoms, the precautionary self-isolation that comes with a positive test renders freelancers unable to work on sets, in offices, at events or shoots of any kind. Make no mistake, there is more than just the direct one-off financial loss on the line. Our client relationships, social lives and mental health are also at risk. Once again, freelancers are being forced to choose between their health and financial stability.
I must say it feels a little cruel to be writing this piece straight after my last one. There I was, trying to get our Freelancer Club family all pumped up with ways of finding your rhythm when getting back to work, or should I say, figuring out how to let the rhythm find you. I really can’t explain that feeling of empowerment, self-worth, and purpose that pulsates through you when you have that lightbulb moment as a freelancer. You feel indomitable.