Going it alone as a freelancer has many benefits. From the freedom of (almost) setting your working hours to putting your feet up with a cup of coffee and getting on with your day’s work, there are so many positive impacts it can have on your life. But at the same time, staying at home with the family or the pets may make you a lot less productive than if you were to be in an office. So what can you do to save yourself some stress while working from home?
Here are a few tips to begin with:
Plan Your Workday
After a few months of working from home , the honeymoon period has well and truly worn off. Although it still beats the stress of running in the pouring rain to catch your train, after a while you may find that your working day could stretch over a 12 hour period when it could have taken you 90 minutes! Working in your dressing down is lovely, but if you don’t set yourself a strict time limit to accomplish your duties, you could still be doing it at 1 in the morning, or leaving assignments until the last possible minute. Make sure that you set a workday, and stick to it. Yes, you are at home, but you still need to work!
Set Up A Home Office
If you are working from your home full time, this will really help you get into the mindset of a working day. And if you have a lot of distractions at home, having somewhere that is completely out of bounds for the rest of your family. A lot of people find that recreating the office environment is the only way to keep them motivated. A lot of studies talk about that dress down days in workplace environments saps productivity, and this is likely because of the lack of differentiation between work and home environments. If you still have the faint noise of screaming children in the background, invest in some noise canceling headphones.
Use Other Environments To Your Advantage
Being a freelancer or running a business from home requires putting on a lot of different hats. And running an organization from home, as convenient as it may be, your residential address on outgoing correspondence doesn’t have the same professional look as one with a proper office address. But you can invest in a virtual office mail forwarding service to help with that, or if you need to chair a meeting, virtual offices can provide meeting rooms for you also. Other functions of virtual offices includes phone answering services and call queues, so you can give the impression of your business being on a larger scale than it is.
Take Time to Network
Working on your own and not interacting with a team can be boring at times. One of the best ways to boost your network and get back to the intellectual interaction that you might crave, join meetups and networking groups in your area and make it a point to attend such events at least once a week. Not only it gives you that outlet to interact with more people, it actually is very beneficial in getting the word out on what you. You never know that your best and most well paying client might come through such a network.
Working from home can be a major challenge in one way, and bliss when you look at it from another. The trick to maintaining any sense of sanity if you have a hectic home environment is to try and separate the two, which is very difficult, but it can be achieved. If you are lucky enough to work from home, make sure you put the right working methods in place so you can really enjoy it!