Adapt your home for your freelance business
Whether you decide to become a freelancer because of your specific skills, or whether it is because you want to work for yourself, one of the best bits – but also most challenging, is the fact that you don’t have to go into an office every day.
Whilst it certainly means that you can have a degree of control and flexibility over when and where you work, working from home also comes with a ton load of challenges. How to not be distracted by the TV, the lack of a ‘white noise’ working atmosphere, staying productive and how to deal with family and friends who happen to ‘pop round’ for a few hours, to name but a few.
One of the best ways to deal with these challenges is to properly adapt your home (or some of your home) to be more business-like – making you just as productive as you would have been in an office while preserving the benefits. Here, Emma Evans highlights how to adapt your home for your freelance business in collaboration with SJonesContainers.
Create an ‘Office Space’
Although you might have visions of sitting on your sofa or bed and doing your work, the reality is that your head will more than likely be in a ‘better place’ for work if you create an office space. If you don’t have a spare room or study in your house, you could dedicate a corner or maybe think about purchasing a shipping container to adapt in your garden. This not only gives you a place to have your ‘work head-on’ but also allows you to subconsciously shut your work out at the end of the day or weekends.
It is also important to make your office space somewhere that you’d like to spend time with. Decorate it nicely in a way that you feel comfortable, with heating, some plants, sofas, motivational posters, and a kettle – whatever is needed for you to be happy spending time in there.
Set the boundaries
If you have housemates or family members around who are prone to interrupt you, try to set some boundaries with them. Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean that you have to drop everything at any time. Some people like to give signs about whether they can be interrupted, such as having a red or green light on the door, or if they are wearing headphones or not to show when they can be interrupted and when not.
Just because you aren’t based in a specific office doesn’t mean that you have to stay in your home. Cafés, libraries or co-working spaces are also an option, especially if you work better with other people around you. Sometimes the hustle and bustle of other busy people can be motivating and co-working spaces are an excellent way to network and meet other people who work for themselves.
Just because you work for yourself also doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be allowed to see other people. It can be lonely sitting in your home for days on end, so it is, in fact, a good idea to charge up your laptop and get out to some other places every once in a while.
Invest in technology
One of the benefits of working for someone else, in their office, is that you don’t have to worry about having the right technology – whether it is software on your computer, telephone lines or broadband. Make sure that your home office is just as well equipped with everything that you need to be able to work properly and effectively.
Embrace the perks
It might be the lack of commute, or it might be that you can pick and choose your working hours. There are plenty of perks of working from home and so make sure that you embrace them. Just because there are perks doesn’t mean that you can’t be unprofessional and productive. Try to plan them into your day.
So, if you’re someone who works better in the evening, plan your day around this, or maybe you have to pick the children up from school. This can also be planned. Maybe your favourite TV program is on in the middle of the day – why not plan your lunchbreak around this? You know have the flexibility to embrace the perks of working for yourself, at home, so make sure that you do.
The flexibility of working from home as a freelancer can change your life. You are no longer bound to office hours, with the frustration of working for someone else and all of the hassle that it provides. However, it can come with some challenges, especially around productivity. Remember, you are not alone, and by adapting your home you can boost your productivity and make sure that you get your work done in the most effective way possible.