Working at home for the first time can bring out a mixed bag of emotions in anyone, finding yourself sitting somewhere between elated and completely daunted.
We can probably all agree that the perks by far outweigh the negatives, especially when you consider that many individuals regularly commute up to 2 hours each day and by cutting this out could save almost 21 days a year! There’s also the increased flexibility, which usually pulls people towards freelancing in the first place. So it’s easy to see why more and more people are turning to freelancing or working remotely.
Yet those new to this way of life will soon realise that it isn’t all lay ins, tea breaks and sunshine (especially not in England). There are certain frustrations that come with the territory, with numerous distractions, isolation and little to no supervision your productivity levels can quickly be left hanging by a thread.
Working from home, reporting to multiple clients, and having to juggle separate ongoing projects at once is the norm, a challenging norm. Knowing this doesn’t make it any easier though, which is why we’ve collated several tips to enhance your experience when working from home.
So whether you’re a freelancer, small business owner or remote employee hopefully these tips can help both your productivity and health.
We understand what it takes to run a business, which is why we want to continue supporting the freelance community. We’re offering a special 12 month offer to all our readers! To find out how to unlock your reward simple scroll to the bottom of the post.
Plan your days ahead.
It’s easy to get distracted without someone there to check up on you – A quick tea break can take cast a small dent into your day. Setting yourself a schedule and specific client deadlines like you would in an office will work wonders. Like any normal office day, there should be flexibility in this but if you tell clients when they’re due a piece of information or work it will not only help you to stay on track and not get distracted by the internet or daytime reruns. It will keep you motivated and shows a certain level of professionalism too.
Arrange a day in a shared office space.
This is a top tip to takeaway, one that is often neglected. We’ve all experienced the benefits of fresh air and interaction, these are often lost when you start working remotely. Booking a meeting in an office space, going for lunch with a business partner or spending a short period of time working from a library or coffee shop, are all great ways to tick both these boxes. The change of scenery can boost your energy levels and creativity.
Use social media.
As a freelancer you have to be aware that you need to actively reach out to people and social media is a great place to start. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world or what time, there is a potential client, partner or project just a few clicks away. While Twitter and Facebook are the obvious ones, looking to forums and groups that house specific disciplines are a great way to build working relationships. Also you can choose to take some of these online interactions and turn them into physical meetings, this will not only benefit your business but it can also boost your general wellbeing.
With no strict ties to a company or schedule, being a freelancer can give you the opportunity to expand your client pool globally. While this is exciting it can be troublesome if you’ve never managed projects like this before. The key is to find a time which is accessible by both of you, there is no point in 3am chats as this will be counter productive for both parties.
Work when you are at work.
Generally the rule is stick to your dedicated working hours whether that’s working in the morning, evening or stopping at 3pm. While being your own boss allows you a lot more flexibility it shouldn’t always be taken advantage of. When you have ‘small’ errands and personal calls to make you won’t always realise how quickly they will eat into your work time. Just like you would if you worked in an office, choose to do these things in your own time to stay productive.
Things won’t always go to plan.
Just like days in the office your workflow will vary, sometime you’ll experience high productivity days and other times it will be a lot slower. Just don’t beat yourself up over the slow days, remember that it’s ok when things don’t go to planned.
There are so many great apps to choose from, many of which do the same thing. Here are a few you could trial to help eliminate those online distractions. From Concentrate to FocusBooster you’ll find something to suit your need.
Most freelancers don’t always see the fantastic opportunity they’ve been given, so make sure you take advantage of your new found flexibility and creative freedom! If you enjoyed the post let us know below and while you’re at it why not share your own tips with our readers by tweeting us at @GetSimplifyd
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