Self-employment and contract work has its own positives and negatives, pros and cons, but for women in business, there can be even more hurdles to overcome because of professional stereotypes and other cultural pressures and stigmas that exist. And specifically within that self-employment realm is the idea of buying, designing, and maintaining the appropriate workspace.
So, if you’re a woman who has decided that contract work is a good fit, and now you need to get your environment set, think about the details for things like buying a home, renting office space, dealing with gender inequality in negotiations, looking into professional workspace design, and getting community support to help overcome obstacles.
Buying a Home
Sometimes the best environment for self-employment is a home base purchased with the idea of having a workspace in it. That adds a little bit of stress into your decision to buy a home, as there’s the extra consideration of where the work rooms will be, and if you ever plan to have any clients come to this space. During purchase planning, you need to know what sort of qualities the overall concept of the home has to include.
Renting Office Space
If you want to separate your work from your home environment though, even if you are self-employed, renting office space is going to be your best option. That way you can have a completely different and controllable area for yourself, your clients, and your business operations. Some people need this split, even if it may seem like a bit of an additional cost at the beginning. Also, if you rent an office in a downtown area, that may attract easier traffic from urban areas, which can be a benefit in terms of physical advertisement.
Dealing With Gender Inequality
Unfortunately, gender inequality is everywhere. There are discrepancies between how much men and women earn, how much they work, the types of meetings they’re invited to, who makes the decisions, and even who the primary point of contact is going to be. By entering into the world of self-employment, you’ll be getting rid of some of these issues, but until society catches up with itself, you should still be aware of the necessary fight for business equality.
Professional Workspace Design
And within your new professional environment, spacial design is another important step. You want your environment to motivate you, to help you focus, and to keep you from getting distracted. Surrounding yourself with the appropriate objects and equipment will help you to do this naturally.
Because women are still considered a minority in the workplace, one way you can counteract the ill effects of that is by joining and being an active participant in women’s professional communities, creative a web of support for all involved.