The world of work is rapidly changing, and more and more of us are now seeking remote work, freelance opportunities or full-on self-employment in their own small businesses. If you’re making the big change, you may sooner or later be struck with an obvious question: where are you going to work?
One of the benefits of going freelance is ditching the commute and forgoing your cubicle or office. However, this also means you’ll have to give some thought to how you’re going to structure your new workspace. Luckily, there are as many creative ways to update your home as there are ways to be a freelancer.
Tip 1: Get clear on your boundaries
Working at home in your pajamas is a novelty that quickly wears off. The truth is that if you want to keep productive, you’ll need to draw clear lines between your private and professional life. This can be hard if your desk is also your kitchen table! Deliberately set aside hours, rooms or spaces that are for work and work only. Let everyone know when not to disturb you under any circumstances – and remember to keep your family life equally free of work interruptions.
Tip 2: Think outside the box
If you’re a professional who needs a lot of equipment or space to do your thing, a small home office might not be enough for you. You may find that it’s worth investing in a new office shed or other outdoor area so you can work in peace. In fact, there’s a growing trend for eco-friendly and cost effective shipping container offices, which, according to SJ Containers, can be customized with safety locks, moisture control, ramps and racking to maximize space.
Tip 3: Declutter and get organized
You’re your own boss now. How are you going to make sure your daily workflow is as efficient and productive as possible? A messy, chaotic desk, outdated software or uncomfortable seats are just some of the little things that can derail your efforts in a big way. Take a little time to set your work station up with the tools and accessories you need to keep ordered and comfortable, like a good filing cabinet or mini coffee machine for those sluggish mornings.
Tip 4: Make it personal
When you create your own work office, you have free reign to design your space however you want it. If you want a beanbag, get one. If you’d feel more comfortable with plenty of flowers and greenery, then make it happen. One of the virtues of working at home is that you can feel more at home. Consider adding quirky artwork, family pictures, or a music system that wouldn’t be appropriate in a more conventional setting.
Tip 5: Keep it bright
Every freelancer who’s had to start out for themselves knows the challenges. Some days can be harder than others, and it then becomes essential that you find ways to manage stress and stay motivated. A surprising way to lighten your mood is… with lights. Especially in the darker UK winter months, it may be worth splashing out on some quality lighting solutions that make your workspace feel open and airy. A quality sunlight lamp can do wonders for your health and wellbeing, directly boosting your work output.
Tip 6: Iron out your schedule
Nothing can disrupt a great workday faster than getting bogged down in nagging housework. The postman, your nosy neighbour, or the barking dog next door can all prove to be infuriating distractions. Get around this by setting your daily schedule in stone. Refuse to allow little domestic chores to interrupt – simply schedule to do them after work, just as you would if you were coming back from the office.
There’s no doubt about it: the decision to go freelance can be a scary one. But if you can take the time to create an optimal workspace for yourself, half the battle is won. Give yourself the chance to be inspired every time you walk into your home office. Working “at home” can take a bit of mental adjustment, but a little careful planning can ensure that you’re giving your work the best chance of success.
Article by Ruby Clarkson firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer, editor, animal lover and coffee enthusiast
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
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