According to the UK Department for Business Innovation and Skills, there were 4,077,590 businesses with one employee in the UK in 2015. Behind each of those businesses is an entrepreneur or self employed person.
The number of self employed people in the UK has risen by more than 70% since 2000, and it is still increasing. We are working independently or remotely, toiling away in isolated home offices, sitting in coffee shops with our laptops, and doing paperwork in our cars.
We are freealancers, artists, entrepreneurs, off-site employees, tradespeople, professionals in private practice and more. From electricians to solicitors, from architects to admins, from coders to marketers and from artists to editors, we now make up 15% of the UK’s working population.
Self-Employment, Freedom and Creativity
Working independently is an exciting opportunity – a way to take control of our lives and our work. It can increase engagement, encourage innovation and open up opportunities for income and personal growth.
Micro-businesses are a hotbed of creativity regardless of the goods or services they produce. Each one springs out of an individual’s vision: a unique understanding of a market segment and an application of their experience, training and interests.
A painter is a creative person who is passionate about their work. So is a marketer with a new take on social media, a coder working on an innovative app, or even a driving instructor who specialises in helping non-EU immigrants navigate the British licensing system. Being an entrepreneur or independent worker always means creating something new and uniquely your own.
Self-Employment, Isolation and Insecurity
Self-employment and entrepreneurship are exciting and creative; however, they are also challenging.
Working at home, on the move, or in an office-for-one can be lonely and frustrating. There’s no technical or administrative support and nobody to chat with at the water cooler. Spontaneous discussions and debates are rare, and there’s often little day-to-day accountability. For people who work online or with short-term clients, the kind of chance personal encounters that help build professional networks can be hard to come by.
A study published in the Journal of Work and Occupations entitled “Health Risks of Self-Employment,” states:
the self-employed are frequently burdened by uncertainty, market fluctuations, and the threat of loss of assets.
Isolation and insecurity can sap motivation and cut off inspiration. They are the bane of entrepreneurs and independent workers. Choosing self employment or entrepreneurship can help free the creative potential in people of every background, in every field, but it can also be a difficult and risky path.
Creative Spaces for New Ways of Working
Coworking spaces fill a need, and that’s why they have continued to grow and become more popular over the past ten years. More and more people are finding that working independently doesn’t have to mean working without supportive peers and without separation between home and work.
Many independent professionals start by searching for a desk or an office to rent, but that’s an expensive solution that lacks many of the advantages of hotdesk-based coworking. In a shared work environment, there’s more interaction, more interpersonal support… it provides the social aspect of work that many people miss when they strike out on their own. It can also mean that help is available when needed: solving problems, finding new clients, and even putting together new collaborative projects and workgroups.
Coworking is more than just hotdesking. It’s opening yourself up to the new connections and experiences that can make a real difference to your business and your future. If you’re feeling isolated and struggling with focus and motivation, then coworking may be exactly what you need to kick-start your income. If you’re feeling good and doing well working from home, then coworking can open up exciting new opportunities.
Many coworking spaces have one of two issues keeping them from reaching their potential:
- They’re too social, it’s hard to concentrate, and there’s no place for private communication, or
- They’re not social enough, there’s too little peer support, and it’s hard to connect with new people.
MinorOak has two work areas, one quiet and one collaborative, as well as a private meeting room and private A/V pods that are free for members’ use. That allows coworkers to structure their work productively throughout the course of each day, switching between collaboration with concentration.
MinorOak is also centrally located, with a door directly onto Gedling Street, and day passes are available. That means there’s a steady stream of visitors and newcomers, so there are almost always new people to connect with.
Minor Oak brings together an inspiring, well designed space and a supportive community of independent workers who are forming valuable business relationships, finding innovative solutions and building momentum. If you’re a self employed consultant, freelancer or entrepreneur in Nottingham, don’t always work alone. Find coworkers at MinorOak.
Find out how to access MinorOak on our Rates page.