Working from home can be challenging in many ways. Just by networking with other freelancers, I have heard a plethora of common issues. Feeling lonely and unmotivated. Struggling to find a routine. Not having someone to tell you the best way of doing something. There are lots that people might struggle with. As someone who is really happy working from home, I thought I’d share some top tips and things that I have learned along the way.
Set a routine
Lots of people enjoy the freedom that comes from working from home. You can set your own hours and work when you believe you are most productive. I, however, don’t always agree with this common opinion. For me, I find that it’s best to work office hours, since that’s when clients are in their office jobs. They expect to be able to reach you, and they expect you to be in communication and working. Avoid being undermined and be available for more business by setting a routine and let people know when it is best to reach you.
Count your hours
Being freelance can be confusing. Wages can change often and is given in a few lump sums throughout the month. Since we have to keep track of our taxes, we all keep track of our finances. But are they equating to your hours worked? With lines blurred and time schedules somewhat erratic, you can over or under work yourself, meaning you’re exhausted or missing opportunities. Set yourself regular hours, breaks and mark your holiday to avoid over exerting yourself.
Dress the part
Whilst I know plenty of successful businesswomen who call into a conference in their pyjamas, I also know lots of people who feel unnmotivated. Sometimes you just have to look the part to feel the part! Once I realised that I was much more productive on days where I had meetings, I realised it was because I was dressed like a boss. Now, I always shower and get dressed before I sit at my desk. Make yourself an employee of your office rather than at home!
Have a designated workspace
Though you can work from the sofa, I recommend a desk! Keep your papers and work in one place and separate it from your home life. Work stays in that spot and that spot only, so that you aren’t ‘bringing work home with you’ so to speak. I associate my desk with productivity, and my sofa with good TV and naps, and that’s how I like it to stay! Make your office and try to stick to it— and leave it at a normal time!
At first, I experienced the loneliness that comes with being a freelancer. Now, however, I have a much healthier balance of things. Every couple of hours, I take my dog on a short walk anyway and speak to many others in the area who also work from home, including yoga instructors, personal trainers, other social media managers and bloggers. I also try to make an effort with friends and family, planning regular visits throughout the week. In addition to this, there is plenty of support online, helping freelancers connect and network.
If you’re also a freelance / work from home, share your experiences, thoughts and tips in the comments!