Poll: Every freelancer needs their own office.
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:35
Apr 13

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Every freelancer needs their own office.".

View the poll results »


Teresa Borges
Local time: 14:35
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other: aren't we all different? Apr 13

Freelancers come in all “sizes and shapes”: some like working in a coffee shop and others need their own space, some prefer a co-working space while others would much rather work from their couch, some hear music while they work and others need complete silence, some work in their pajamas and others hate that, some keep office hours and others don’t...


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:35
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Other Apr 13

It depends on who you share it with...

Actually I like having my own 'cage' where I can lurk and sulk if I feel like it, and shut out the rest of the world.

However, there are advantages in sharing, and in practice I very rarely shut the door. I used to like having colleagues when there were five of us in a large area with nooks and a joint coffee area. We were all quiet and took care not to disturb each other - except at cake time on Friday afternoons. icon_biggrin.gif

We did have a little social life, shared dictionaries and resources, and helped out when we could.


Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:35
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
I do Apr 13

I need an office that is separate from my living room and bedroom.
That said, when I was away for 6 weeks or so, combining holiday travel with working, I did work on my laptop in the living room of the apartment where I was staying, overlooking Ipanema and the Atlantic and I was not at all bothered by not having a separate office.

I have tried working in public spaces (coffee shops, spaces for self-employed people, library) but I can't really focus and prefer having my books and other reference stuff nearby. But I don't mind sharing the office at all, as long as the other person is working too. Most Fridays, my partner works from home and we go "to the office" (i.e., upstairs) together, have our coffee and lunch breaks together and the rest of the time don't say much at all. Love it!


Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:35
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Apr 13

I do not "nned" it. I do have one, but sometimes I work on the dining room table or when the weather is pleasant then I enjoy working on the balcony and smoking a good old cigar - multitasking☺


José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:35
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends on what the freelancer does Apr 13

Translators can have an office, however it seems that they could work anywhere if they didn't have one. Possibly this could include a LAN house, a cybercafé, a library, and not always the same. Considering the number of translators who use notebooks (which sounds to me like a professional homebuilding carpenter using a 1/4" power drill), they are clearly not attached to a particular desk or place.

Interpreters don't need an office at all. Most likely they'll be working at the venue, or on a smartphone, if that's the case.

Other professions have variable needs for an office.

In the several years I doubled as a translator and HRD/OD consultant, I worked mostly on the client's premises. If I had an office, I could host a representative from the prospect in the first meeting there. However if I were successful, the next meeting with a bunch of their executives would be at their offices; no sensible reason to displace so many people to my office for a meeting. A constant client had me leading countless training sessions all over the country.

Modern times have also changed the size of an individual office. Several years ago, an appeals court judge proudly showed the contents of his briefcase: a stack of five early-generation Kindles. And he explained: "Do you know that huge wall-to-wall library most successful lawyers have? I have mine all in here!" Nowadays he could have it all online, accessible via a smartphone, and updated in real time!


Gordana Sujdovic  Identity Verified
Member (2010)
English to Serbian
+ ...
Other Apr 13

In my case, maybe specific, it is more important to have good Internet connection, at all places, as I move around. Flat in one town, family house in other, then weekend house on mountain, a day or two, somewhat bad connection, I have to climb on specific point on the hill if I have to download or upload something, then Mi-Fi works, on balcony there, no. I have introduced going to open swimming pool with warm water whole year, 100 km away to keep myself fit, once a week, there is no Wi-Fi, and again, Mi-Fi with a lot of GBs is with me.

I find cafes helpful when I get urgent tiny project for steady client when travelling. We just stop at the first one on the road. In addition, I got my biggest project ever while sitting at a cafe. Maybe TA would have waited for me to respond later, and maybe not.

Additional funny note about cafes or spas as temporary office. Sometimes phone is not enough to check up potential project, either on platform, or if some package is to be opened; therefore I carry my lightweight laptop with me, if staying longer out. And I overhear sometimes young guys...look at that elederly lady (slang word), showing off (again, but worse slang word), while in the meantime I am accepting project. Sometimes tiny, and sometimes really big. If tiny and easy, I deliver it right away. For serious work, however, one needs concentration, meaning silent place.

[Edited at 2018-04-13 15:47 GMT]


Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:35
Member (2008)
English to Italian
it depends on ... Apr 13

your needs
who you share your space with
what you like
what you want

I have my own office here in my house, ut my little boy studies here in the afternoon for example...


Jasa Pipan
Local time: 15:35
French to Slovenian
+ ...
True Apr 13

...but the definition of "office" depends on individuals, I guess. I don't have one per se, but I do have a desk that nobody else in the house is allowed to touch, mainly because if you do, papers fly everywhere and I never find anything again, and this is enough for me.


Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Local time: 15:35
Member (2016)
English to German
An office makes no sense. Apr 13

As a translator, I don't work regular hours like nine to five. I am available when I am needed. My clients reside in time zones between UTC-9 and UTC+8. I am a late riser and often do some hours of work late in the night. It would make absolutely no sense for me to leave home for work. If necessary, I can take my laptop and work from anywhere with an internet connection, but I have no need to separate work from the rest of my life.


ventnai  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:35
German to English
+ ...
I do Apr 14

I do but I don't think everyone does.


Isa Anzaldo
Local time: 08:35
English to Spanish
+ ...

Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile

Depends on how you define office. Apr 14

I believe it /is/ necessary to have a space to call an office, but the kind of office a person needs, depends entirely on their lifestyle.

We need a space to work, but this place doesn't necessarily have to be a traditional and static office, it can be wherever we feel comfortable enough: any place at home, a cafe, a park, a library... Any space that provides the things we need to do our job, which, in my case, are only a table, a chair, my laptop and an internet connection.


Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:35
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Most do, but is it the best option? Apr 17

Most of us have a little "corner" in the house we call our office. But I always wonder if it wouldn't be healthier to share the office with other people, to have people to talk to during the breaks, etc. I'm not planning to try it, but it could be a good option.


Local time: 20:05
Hindi to English
+ ...
All are not same! Apr 18

Freelancers come in various "sizes and shapes": Some like working in a coffeehouse and others require their own particular space, some favor a cooperating space while others would much rather work from their lounge chair, some hear music while they work and others require finish hush, some work in their nightgown and others loathe that, some keep available time and others don't...


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: Every freelancer needs their own office.

Advanced search

CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »

  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search