Working from home could be a dream come true for some, or taking life as it comes for others. Whichever way it goes for you, it is pertinent to realize that working from home turns out to be as fulfilling and stress-free as you want it to be.
This post is aimed at stepping up your freelancing life a notch higher. I have highlighted the interesting benefits you’d enjoy when freelancing from home, the important working tools that will come in handy for you, and the don’ts of freelancing from home.
It’s worth the read if you’re already a freelancer or about starting your freelancing career. Do enjoy!
5 Benefits of Working as a Freelancer.
Many benefits can be accrued from being a freelancer. Below are the top 5 benefits:
1. Working at Your own Pace:
As a freelancer, you get to choose the number of tasks you want to work on daily. There are days when you’ll be in high spirits, and you can decide to handle more tasks. There are other days when you might not be as pumped up as you ought to, and that means you can only work a few jobs.
Freelancing accommodates all of these, and it helps you be in tune with your body as you don’t have to keep working against your wish. You mostly decide when your deadlines should be and how long a project may take, unlike a conventional job where you don’t have a say in these things.
2. Multiple Clients, Multiple Stream of Income
As a freelancer, you are entitled to have as many clients as you want. And of course, the more the number of clients, the more money you make. There’s no limit to how much you can earn just from your workspace at home.
3. Freelancing Encourages Multitasking
Freelancing is like a push to opening up yourself and be engulfed in all of the beautiful possibilities that are embedded inside of you. Sometimes, you’d have to work multiple jobs at the same time, and this helps you become fully functional all-round.
It also helps to awaken your senses to perfection as you would have to satisfy your different clients each time they need a job done.
4. You Earn a Living by Doing What You Love
Quite a number of people are frustrated from working their jobs, but the fear of not having a fallback plan keeps them glued to it, and worse is that it wears them out daily. As a freelancer working from the comfort of your home, you are daily doing a thing that you love and this makes you more productive.
5. You Choose The Task To Work on; You’re Your Boss
Freelancers get the opportunity to many offers. Some of these offers come from clients who are nearly impossible to work with. A freelancer is at liberty to reject job offers at any point they deem fit.
You own your job description and can decide to tweak it as you wish; that is the boss life. As your own boss, if you’d be working from home, you need the following in your personal workstation.
7 Things a Freelancer Should have When Working from Home
Every workstation must have specific tools and equipment to make for efficient productivity at all times. So here’s a comparative must-have list for every freelancer’s workspace.
1. Personal Computer
Having your computer as a freelancer is non-negotiable. But more than just owning a computer is the need for the computer to meet up to a certain standard. For optimum productivity, you will need to find the right machine for your craft.
Your ultimate target for your computer need should be getting a PC from a remarkable brand, so you don’t spend a lot of time worrying about its efficiency. The decision to go for a desktop or a laptop should be dependent on how often you have to go on a trip; because as a freelancer, you retain the opportunity to work even on a family vacation.
A laptop comes in handy in case of power interruptions. Also, It is lightweight and it’s easy to carry about when the need arises.
Depending on what freelancing niche you’re in, you would need a minimum specification of hardware for optimal functionality.
Working with multiple monitors also turns out well and makes your workstation even more fun to work in. But more than this and according to research, it builds up your productivity level up to 40% which is remarkably impressive.
If you decide to go for a laptop, an external keyboard and a mouse should be given a thought as they also help to increase your productivity.
2. High-speed Internet Connection
As a freelancer, you need as much speed as you can get. More than those who work regular jobs in offices, every minute is money to you.
Getting done with a job on time allows for concentration on other tasks. But all these won’t be possible without a fast internet connection that helps you get the needed information online, helps you with video calls when it is time to clarify certain things with your clients or when it is time to download large files.
A slow connection can even get you frustrated, thereby limiting your productivity for that day. Your day to day efficiency is therefore hinged on a reliable, high-speed connection. So by all means, settle for a fast connection. To make it easier, high-speed internet access should always be a top priority in your budget at all times.
3. Adjustable Standing Desk
Having talked about the technical side of your freelancing career, it is essential to talk about another critical aspect; your accessories.
The kind of desk you opt for also affects how productive each work day would be for you. Comparative analysis has proven adjustable desks to be better for optimal performance for freelancers.
They give you options to choose how you’ll use your desk and at what position you should be, the best part is that you can sit, stand or even switch between both positions, and you’ll still be doing just fine working.
The kind of adjustable desk you settle for also has a huge role to play as some are more reliable than others. Adjustable desks from Autonomous is a nice place to start. Take it from someone who has tried out many.
4. Ergonomic Chair/Stool
The kind of chair that is in your workstation mostly decides the way you’ll be sitting.
To sit right, therefore, you’ll be needing an ergonomic chair that helps you retain balance while keeping you comfortable and helping you to sit up straight. Because they are suited for working conditions, they help you stay away from the backache that usually comes with sitting for too long, and the body ache and neck pain problems that arise from sitting and working.
You also do have to reduce pressure on parts of your body while working, This is where ergonomic chairs helps you to take the right posture at all times.
5. Mobile device/Phone
A freelancer is always on the go to keep up with the demands of the business so, you’ll be needing a mobile device that could either be your cell phone or an iPad/tablet.
Clients may want to communicate with you as regards the project you’re working on at any time, also given that you get the bulk, if not all your clients via the internet, you should always stay connected. Emails may come in at anytime
In addition to the above mentioned, you’d also be needing your mobile device to help you with time tracking because as a freelancer, time is money.
There are also some handy apps that make freelancing easier on your mobile as they allow for sharing files on the go. Apps like Google Doc and Dropbox enables you to access files from different devices, edit files and even effect corrections on the go. Also, apps like Skype and Viber helps you stay in touch always with your clients.
6. Microphone and Headphone
For freelance transcribers, a microphone and a headphone are at the forefront. To transcribe podcasts and the likes effectively, you’ll be needing an excellent headset.
Even if you’re not a Transcriptionist, noise cancelling headsets are useful for freelancers especially when you live along the highway. Working against the odds and staying focused to write means you have to be away from the noise of children or the sound of the bustling street that you live in.
You’ll also be needing a microphone for your laptop for communicating with clients as you work especially when the need arises for video calls. You don’t want to be caught unawares by the demands of a client. So be prepared with your tools at all times.
7. A printer & Scanner
There are tons of documents to scan, contracts to sign, papers to print and all that, and you cannot be doing all these without a printer and a scanner.
I would advise a multifunctional machine that comes with a copier, a printer and a scanner. Make sure to go for a reliable product, so you’re not left stranded with malfunctions when you need to use it.
So, here you have all the essentials… Working from home can be unpleasant if these 5 commandments aren’t adhered to.
5 Things You Should Avoid when Working from Home as a Freelancer
This could easily pass as the 5 DON’TS of freelancing. They are:
1. Sitting for too long at a Stretch
It is easy to get in tune with the task at hand and forget that you’ve been sitting for hours unending. While this is an excellent way to stay fired up and productive, it’s long-term effect is disastrous.
Medical research has shown that sitting for too long at a stretch can lead to overweight/obesity, some variations of cancer, diabetes in its type 2 form and even early death.
Surprised? I was surprised as well. No one wants to be ill, but our habits have a huge role to play. For safety, therefore, avoid sitting for too long without taking a break.
Another easy way out is the use of adjustable desks. It helps you easily switch between a sitting and standing position which is good for blood circulation.
So, while staying healthy, why not increase productivity with an adjustable desk? Take it from me; it is a necessity you shouldn’t do without.
2. Not Sitting Right
The sitting position some freelancers adopt while working is worrying. Little wonder their constant complaint of aches and back pain.
As Esther Gokhale succinctly puts it “It’s not the act of sitting for long periods that causes us pain, it’s the way we position ourselves.” The easiest and most efficient way to sitting upright is by getting an ergonomic Chair.
3. Working from the Bed
There are times when you’ll be in bed, and you would remember a piece of information to write down quickly.
Laying on the bed isn’t wrong. However, the issue comes in when you stay in bed to work; It is so wrong. Not only does it limit your performance, it is also not healthy in its entirety. Wondered why you’re always tired after working a little?
Stop working from the bed for two weeks and you’ll see obvious changes.
4. Working on the Sofa
Working from home is not abstract. This means you need a clearly defined work area to be fully effective. Sitting on the sofa with your laptop while popping Netflix on the one hand and scooping chocolate by the side is a No!
Sit on a chair and work on a desk when it’s time to work and pay full attention to all that is to be done.
5. Picking up Unhealthy Habits
That you’re a freelancer working from home is no justification for having to stay the whole day without a bath and with your pyjamas on.
Don’t get too comfortable; you’re a worker regardless of not having to go out daily. The first thing to do before going to your workstation each day is to freshen up and be at your best. Not only does it spell professionalism, but it also awakens you a particular consciousness that is good for you.
In conclusion, every freelancer working from home battles the enemy of distraction… these tips works great in conquering it.
How to Handle Distractions When Working from Home as a Freelancer
Working from home as a freelancer comes with different kind of distraction; if you let it get the better part of you, you’ll end up as a procrastinator who never gets things done on time.
So here are some useful tips.
- Make Rules: if you’re not staying alone, your folks should know how important it is for you to be focused when you’re working. Give yourself deadlines for different tasks and by all means, strive to stay true to it.
- Prioritize: know the right time to do everything, your working routine should not be left to chance. Plan what comes first and if you have to do this daily in case of some other household commitments, then why not?
- Develop a Good Working Ethic: It is to easy to forget that you’re in your workstation sometimes and that is a fast means of getting carried away. This is why it is crucial that you come up with some practical ethics in your workstation.
Staying away from social media while on the go is one great way to start. To make this easily achievable, turn off your social media notifications whenever you’re ready to start working.
- Know what Works for You: The use of headphones to listen to music could be a great way to help some freelancers work, but it is a whole lot of distraction for others. So knowing what works for you is key to staying away from distractions.
In all you do, don’t forget that while working to earn, staying healthy is paramount. So, take it seriously by getting the useful tools.
So there you go, freelancer, work effectively!