More and more people are ditching office life in favour of freelance work. Working as a freelancer can offer plenty of advantages including greater freedom over your work schedule, no commuting costs, and a better work-life balance. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to be your own boss and reap the full financial benefits of your hard work.
By IMOGEN CLARKE
That being said, working freelance does have its challenges and many people find it difficult to adjust to remote work in the beginning. The good news is that there are dozens of ways to make the transition easier and, for most freelancers, the benefits far outweigh the potential challenges. If you’re considering taking the leap into the exciting world of freelancing, then here are some tips to help you stay sane while working remotely.
Stick with a work schedule
One of the major benefits of working as a freelancer is that you have the ability to work when and where you want. This means you can complete work tasks at a time and place that is convenient for you. However, you shouldn’t use this as an excuse to sleep in and get distracted during the day. Studies have found that freelancers are far more productive when they maintain a consistent freelance work schedule. This should involve starting and finishing work at roughly the same time each day. Following a schedule will help you plan your workload effectively and ensure that you meet deadlines without becoming stressed.
Create a separate workspace
Many freelancers choose to complete their work tasks from home. Working from home has its benefits, i.e., no time or money spent commuting, but it can also cause some difficulties. In particular, many freelancers struggle to engage in their work tasks or become distracted during the day. Working and living in the same place can also make it difficult to maintain a work-life balance. One of the easiest ways to keep your work and home life separate is by creating a distinct workspace. If you have a spare room, then transform this into an office where you can go each day to complete your work activities. If you aren’t fortunate enough to have a spare room, then convert another area of your home into a dedicated workspace. There are plenty of articles and blogs offering tips on how to create a productive home office.
Learn good financial habits
Managing your finances is often more challenging when you’re a freelancer, as you’re unlikely to have a stable income. In most cases, freelancers are paid a different amount each month based on how many hours they work, what projects they complete, and so on. You must learn good financial habits when it comes to budgeting and spending. You should open a business account and keep your personal finances separate. This will make it far easier when it comes to doing your tax returns at the end of the financial year. According to small business experts Informi, you should look for a business bank account that offers “a good app, 24-hour support, financial borrowing options, and business insurance.”
Use technology to stay connected
Working as a freelancer can be lonely at times, especially if you’re used to working in a busy office environment. Avoid feelings of isolation by connecting with people online. There is a fantastic variety of technology that can connect you with loved ones and colleagues. This includes apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. You might also want to consider working from a co-working space once or twice a week to get out of the house and enjoy a change of scenery. This will give you the chance to socialise and meet other freelancers in your local area.
Make time to relax
When you work for yourself, it can be easy to get into the habit of working long hours and never turning down jobs. However, working too much can cause stress which may harm your health and lead to burnout. For that reason, you must plan enough downtime into your schedule and give yourself time to relax and unwind. Use your free time to exercise, spend time outdoors, socialise with family and friends, or enjoy hobbies and activities.
Working as a freelancer can bring about a wealth of benefits such as greater freedom over your work schedule and higher earning potential. Technology has opened up huge opportunities in remote work and made it possible for anyone to start earning money online. However, working as a freelancer is not always easy and you should be aware of the potential challenges of remote work. If you’re currently working as a freelancer or are looking to make the switch, then use the above ideas to help you stay sane, healthy and productive.
Read further: Sources for the story
- ‘How to Schedule Your Day as a Freelancer’, Invoicely, https://blog.invoicely.com/freelance-schedule
- ‘10 Quick Tips To Create A Home Office You’ll Actually Want To Work In’, Fast Company, https://www.fastcompany.com/3023303/10-quick-tips-to-bring-your-home-office-to-another-level
- ‘The best free business bank accounts’, Informi, https://informi.co.uk/business-administration/the-best-free-business-bank-accounts
- ‘Coworking spaces across the UK’, Maddyness, https://www.maddyness.com/uk/2020/01/30/co-working-spaces-across-the-uk/
- ‘Freelance Burnout: The Signs and Symptoms’, Whatever Your Dose, https://whateveryourdose.com/freelancer-burnout-the-signs-and-symptoms/
Imogen Clarke is a freelance writer, dog lover and coffee addict.