Whether you are a freelancer or an entrepreneur, you have the ability to work pretty much anywhere. In order to network, retain some balance of a regular life, and put forth a professional appearance, one of the best things you can do is rent coworking space.
These spaces offer you the office experience, minus the boss looking over your shoulder. While coworking office spaces allow you to interact with people in many different professions, make contacts, and have meetings that do not involve your dog or the local coffee shop, they are not without their problems. However, with a bit of pre-planning, you can overcome the problems and go to work like everyone else.
In any and every office setting there are going to be issues. This is true when you rent space in an executive suite, as well. First and foremost, there is going to be noise. While the din of other people working around you may be what prompted you to look for a place to work that is not your home, it is recommended that you scout out the location first so that you know what the typical noise level is and what the rules about noise are for that space. It is also a good idea to ask about conference rooms, dividers, and other quiet spots you may be able to use. Additionally, it is also recommended that you purchase a good pair of headphones for when you really have to concentrate and cannot be bothered.
Another issue that you may face is workplace dynamics. They will be different than that of the typical office. While you might get used to having certain people around, even if you do not socialize with them, do not get too attached, as these places are flexible for a reason. Before you know it, someone else is working in that space. Also, be sure to ask or observe how socialization and networking are done. You do not want to bother people while they are working, but the whole idea was not to be a hermit, either. It will not be long before you learn the flow and expectations.
You worked out of Starbucks for months because they offered free WIFI and that was great. However, the problem is that there was no password needed to get onto the network. This means that your stuff could have been taken by anyone. When you rent office space, be sure to find out if the network is protected and what the password is so you can get on and work. Another good question to ask is if they have a backup system. WIFI goes down often, find out if they have a way to work around issues so your work is not affected.
Finally, be sure that the office is available when you are. Some places are open all day, every day, while others only during traditional office hours. If this does not work for you, it is best to find out before you sign anything.