A NEW community for freelancers will provide an “office for people who don’t have offices”.

Self-employed copywriter Emma Page has launched the Urban Coffee Collective to provide a space for self-employed people to get out of the house while getting work done.

“The Urban Coffee Collective is all about working alongside each other, working in company, for people who don’t have an office,” she said.

“There’s no glad-handing, no business card swaps, no elevator pitches, and no awkward small talk. Everyone brings their laptop, diary and so on and spends the morning working.”

The free events – under the slogan “Freelance in company” – take place every Wednesday, 9am-12noon, at Beaufort Community Centre in Southbourne.

Emma is launching a second, fortnightly event at the Cliff House Hotel in Southbourne, on Monday, February 4, 9am-12noon.

She said she chose venues with excellent Wi-Fi and coffee, comfortable sofas and free parking.

Emma said: “The idea behind the collective was utterly selfish. Back in December 2018 I was feeling a little sorry for myself. Being a business of one meant no Christmas do while my employed husband got to enjoy two.

“I was feeling trapped and a little isolated at home. I decided I needed a place I could work from that would get me off my sofa and help me get to know other local home workers while still getting stuff done on. I realised I probably wasn’t the only freelancer in this boat.

“While I belong to a number of online communities, December showed me I really needed something face-to-face and not just in the evenings. The problem with other local events is that they don’t fit my needs. The daytime networking events I tried in 2017 were often expensive and didn’t build real contacts or fill this social gap in my work life. Evening events might be more sociable, but I can’t often attend an event in the evenings.

“A work hub seemed to be the solution. A daytime space where homeworkers and freelancers can work alongside each other in company on a regular basis. It seems to have hit a nerve judging by the positive response on social media in the three weeks since I started up.”

Anyone interested can find @urbancoffeecol1 on Facebook and Twitter or call 07941 041 017 from 9am-3pm.