During the pandemic, many individuals got their first taste of working from home. Covid-19 made this necessary. Many companies tried the work-from-home model for the first time, allowing their employees to clock in and log hours using various software platforms.
Many of these businesses have a problem on their hands: now that it’s somewhat safer to go back to work, with vaccine access readily available, many of their employees don’t want to do it. They like working from home, and they want things to remain that way.
Each business will have to figure out how to deal with their employees who are in open revolt, but there’s another group of individuals who were already working from home before the pandemic hit. Some work for a single company remotely, such as IT specialists, but others freelance, working for several different companies or clients.
If this notion appeals to you, there are a few things you should know about it if you plan on moving in that direction. We’ll talk about them right now.
You Need a Marketable Skill Set
The New York Times said there have been 29.3 million US Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began. With those sorts of numbers, it makes sense that many individuals who never thought about working from home before want to start doing so now.
If you want to do it, though, you’re not going to get very far unless you meet two critical qualifications. The first is that you need some sort of specific, highly marketable skill set. If you can write excellent blogs and know about SEO, that might be suitable. If you can create websites using WordPress or Wix, that could be what allows you to work from home.
There are tons of additional things that you might be able to do from home, like marketing or providing social media management expertise. The second requirement is that you need to be able to do what you do without ever actually meeting your clients face to face.
This sounds easy enough, but it requires excellent communication skills. You need to complete projects your clients or customers require of you without any actual sit-down meetings. That means you must be able to convey any questions you have concerning your assignments either during a Skype session, through a phone call, or by using other means.
Technology is Your Friend
On a related note, you’re probably not going to succeed as a work-from-home freelancer unless you can utilize technology at least reasonably well. At a minimum, you’ll need a Wi-Fi connection and work device, such as a tablet, desktop, or laptop. A smartphone is nice because it has internet connectivity, but it’s probably not going to be sufficient for full-time, at-home work.
You’ll need to know how to set up a router or have someone do it for you. You’ll also need to work somewhere there is excellent Wi-Fi connectivity. If you live out in the middle of the country, that’s probably not very likely.
Keep in mind that all the technology you have to buy, such as your laptop or desktop, router, and whatever else you need, are all tax write-offs if you use them for work. That will certainly help you once tax time comes.
You Need to Have Great Negotiation Skills
In addition to the specific skills you have that clients want and for which they are willing to pay you, you also need to have at least decent negotiation skills. As a freelancer who never meets with a client in person, you can be a little bit shy or antisocial. However, you still need to be able to strongly assert what you need from a client in terms of salary, or you’re not going to make enough money to support yourself.
You have to set the price for your skills because there’s no one else to do that for you. You’ll also need to be certain that you understand what a client wants from you. If they’re dissatisfied with what you produce for them, you’ll garner negative feedback on whatever platform you’re using.
You Must Know How to Motivate Yourself
Motivation is one other thing worth mentioning. You need the motivation to get up and drive to work outside the home every morning, but you require even more if you’re going to work from home successfully.
You may need to set your alarm in the morning and force yourself out of bed, even if it’s cold in the house and you’d prefer to sleep in for another couple of hours. It helps to set a rigid schedule and stick with it. If you have the attitude that you can get up whenever you like because you work from home, that’s probably not going to work so well.
Aside from regular business hours, you need to have a workspace, be it a bedroom, guest room, study, office, basement, etc., where your family members know not to bother you. If you have a significant other or a spouse who’s around during the day, they should know not to disturb you when you close your door unless something urgent comes up.
If you have pets that you know will bother you when you’re trying to work, you must keep them out of the room as well. Hopefully, before very long, everyone will understand that when you close your door and go into work mode, it’s just as though you’re out of the house. You’re inaccessible because you’re on the clock.
Working from home as a freelancer might seem ideal, but there’s a lot that goes into it. You need to learn more about technology if you’re not so good in that area. You need to learn how to juggle clients and say no if you feel like someone is trying to take advantage of you.
It’s doable if you have the skills and the drive, though, and some people find it positively rewarding.