For many, sticking to the 9-5 is still very much the preferred option. It offers stability and routine. However, for a growing number of people, there are many aspects of working freelance and from home which are extremely attractive.
Working from home offers a great sense of flexibility, allowing you to be your own boss and work around a schedule of your choosing. On top of this, you are fully accountable for your own successes (and failures), which is a liberating feeling for some.
As a freelancer working from home, you soon begin to notice that every one of those positives can also double up as negatives at one point or another. We’re not in any way trying to put you off, but simply prepare you for the potential pitfalls you’ll almost certainly come across.
Yes, working with a flexible schedule provides an amazing sense of freedom, but it also requires you to be incredibly disciplined and be able to nail goal setting. At some point in your freelancing career, you will miss having that accountability of working in an office. Of course, you’ll have to meet client deadlines, but it’s the extra on top of that which becomes harder when there’s no boss breathing down your neck.
As well as the lack of accountability, the lack of social interaction can drive even the most introverted of people insane. It’s great to get some breathing room but working with other people allows you to bounce ideas around the room and keep your sanity when the work gets too much. Often, your fellow workers will also become your close social circle. Working from home doesn’t give you such an opportunity.
To work from home effectively and efficiently, you really need to get your head in the game. You should aim to find out how you work best. Is it when you’re listening to music? Maybe it’s setting time limits for working, then taking a break. Working in cycles like this can help to add in the routine that you once had when you were in an office.
One aspect of working from home which is generally overlooked is ‘tool gathering’. Being employed, you take it for granted that you’re handed all the tools to complete the job; desk, chair, software and any other equipment like pens and pencils. Not only is this a cost you need to factor in when choosing to work from home, but you should also consider gathering tools which will boost your productivity. You can download productivity apps to keep you on track as well as picking comfortable office chairs to improve posture and focus.
The truth is, until you start, nobody can tell you whether working from home is for you or not. There will be times it is insanely challenging and other times it will feel like the best idea you’ve had. The infographic below from My Kind of Monday, gives practical and actionable advice for you to be able to survive working from home.