|Working from home is one of the biggest perks of being a freelancer.
In fact, a recent Stanford University study shows that working from home can boost one’s overall job performance by 13%, and are on average more productive per minute than individuals who work in a traditional office setting. Working from home is also linked to higher job satisfaction, better sleep habits and improved health, according to a January 28 America Herald article.
However, many who work from home face one major hurdle to their productivity: the seemingly countless distractions within the home that can lure people away from their work for hours at a time.
By converting your home’s basement into an office for your freelance work, you can effectively shut out distractions without losing the opportunity to work in a comfortable, productive space. Here are some of the most important steps you should take while finishing your basement and setting up your in-home freelancing office:
Have your basement inspected
Before you get to work on creating the perfect in-home office space, it’s important to have your basement inspected by a professional to make sure any basement leaks or foundation problems are repaired. You’ll likely be advised to have your basement waterproofed, and investing in this procedure is an absolute must. Waterproofing your basement will help keep your work space better insulated and will prevent moisture from leaking in. When mold, a serious health hazard, can grow in just 24 to 48 hours after moisture enters a basement, there’s no reason not to have your new basement work space waterproofed.
Take noise level into consideration
You should plan your new basement layout according to the approximate noise levels of the rooms above. For example, you wouldn’t want to place your desk directly below the kitchen, playroom or laundry room. By planning your work space around the everyday noise within your home, you can work in a quiet, distraction-free space. For added protection from noise, consider adding some sound insulation to your basement’s walls and ceilings.
Install the right amount of lighting
Even if your basement has a window or two, this natural light won’t provide the necessary illumination you need to see your work properly. Invest in overhead lighting installations, like recessed lighting or ceiling fixtures, and use a desk lamp or two in order to see even better.
Get the technology right
For a successful in-home freelance office, you’ll also need to equip your basement with the right technology. A multi-function printer is essential, especially if your work requires you to frequently scan or print documents. Also consider setting up two computer monitors — this will help you spread out your work, with reference material on one monitor, and your actual work on the other. For the inexpensive cost of a second monitor, it’s a huge added convenience. Lastly, you’ll probably want a mobile modem for your basement — without Internet access, there’s not much work you’ll be able to do.
Creating a basement workspace where you can be productive and focused while enjoying the comfort of your own home can be surprisingly easy — and it’s something all freelance workers should consider at some point in their careers.