I’m often asked where I work and what I do – probably because I have a slightly unconventional set-up that’s maybe a bit intriguing. I’ve spoken about my job – freelance copywriter, community manager and general digital type – here, but since I wrote that post things have changed, so I thought it was about time for an update.
I’m still a freelance copywriter, community manager and general digital type, but these days I enjoy much nicer surroundings than the desk in my spare bedroom. In February 2012, I moved into Duke Studios – a shared creative workspace in central Leeds. Back then it was still in development, but now its almost finished and its looking rather beautiful.
Duke is a multi-purpose kinda place – there are cardboard studios housing small digital, design and creative agencies, there’s a co-working space where people sit on big picnic benches with laptops, and there’s the desk area – or Freelance Family Corner, as its affectionately known.
I rent a desk space and sit in Family Corner with five (we were once six – miss you, Lauren!) amazing freelancers who’ve become close friends. It’s a more permanent set-up for the single freelancer who doesn’t need a whole office, just some space to spread out.
As well as our desks and a secure storage area, we have a lovely little kitchen with an AMAZING instant hot/cold water device, a private meeting room (the Not Bored Room) where we can take clients and access to a whole host of wonderful creative resources, like an almost-finished photography studio, workshop and laser cutter.
There’s even a cosy little room (aptly named ‘The Snug’) for private calls and Skype conversations.
Duke is a truly wonderful place – after almost a year of working from home, on my own, every day I was starting to consider a full-time job again, just to experience some human interaction. But then I joined Duke, and quickly slotted into a routine. When you work from home, your job and your spare time can become blurry – it’s really hard to escape the office when it happens to be at the end of your bed.
Going out to work and coming home every night is a great way to separate those two parts of life. And an office doesn’t always mean carpet tiles and water coolers – working in such a creative environment is hugely inspiring and I honestly think I work harder when I’m at my desk!
Books in The Snug | Glimpse of Alan’s desk
So – this is where I spend my days, Monday-Friday from about 9.30am ’til 6pm. With a long lunch in The Wardrobe (which is just around the corner) on Friday afternoon. If you’re a freelancer and fancy joining our super-cool crew, check out Duke Studios here.