Since the U.S. economy loses an estimated $7.4 billion per day (about 50 million hours) due to improperly filled out timesheets, companies are searching for new ways to account for all that lost time. Companies in all kinds of industries are starting to implement working from home policies and productivity is skyrocketing as a result.
Freelancers, on the other hand, have been working at home for a while. Although some freelance writers, artists, and other professionals have found perfect routines for working from home, the majority of freelancers and newfound remote workers are searching for tips and tricks on improving their productivity while not at the office.
Finding the perfect workplace balance for freelancers and employees who primarily work from home can be tricky.
“The home office is the worst of both worlds,” said Lisa Zaslow, a productivity and organization expert. “You’re not at home just watching TV, and you don’t have the really good office resources and environment of being in the office.”
For freelance writers and other working professionals, these tips can greatly improve their home offices and productivity levels:
Dress like you’re going to the office
It will be extremely difficult to get into any rhythm of productivity if you’re wearing pajamas throughout the day. Even comfortable clothing like gym shorts and sweat shirts might seem harmless, but will make you far less productive throughout the day. You don’t need a strict dress code as you work from home and you can even cheat a few times a month, but wearing professional work clothes will help you feel much more productive.
Find a comfortable home workspace
Another issue freelancers make while working from home is setting up their workspace in a non-dedicated area. You can’t expect to be productive working from the couch or the bed or even the kitchen table. You need to ensure that you have a nice desk in a quiet room and a high quality ergonomic chair so it at least feels like you’re doing work. Additionally, you need to focus on the lighting of your home office space.
“The presence of computer monitors can make office spaces tricky to light. Light needs to be diffused and the fixtures positioned to avoid creating screen glare, which can lead to eyestrain,” said Anne Colby, a Houzz senior editor. “Lighting designers say a home office should have layers of light rather than a single light source.”
Limit distractions as much as possible
No matter what job you have, you’re not going to be able to successfully multitask while working. You need to focus on your work — whatever that task may be — and not on your cell phone, social media, or other distractions. When you sit down at home to do your freelance work, make sure you’re phone is out of reach.
Though it’s important for freelancers to find a routine, it’s just as important to keep switching up that routine and find what works best for you. Good luck!