Working from home can sometimes seem like both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you can work in your pajamas and breeze through the day on your own schedule — with no boss breathing down your neck. However, it’s also easy to get distracted and interrupted.
However, if you’re working with the right gear, you can cut down on the number of distractions to become a pro at working from home.
Consider this your guide to working from home. We will discuss everything from helpful productivity tips to work from home tech you need for freelancing.
Gear You’ll Need to Work From Home
A Desktop Computer
While a laptop is fine for small tasks here and there, you will need a larger desktop if you’re putting in long hours into your computer. The screen is larger and thus easier on your eyes and back. Make sure to place your desktop on an elevated surface. This piece of work from home tech can reduce the amount of strain usually placed on the eyes, wrists, neck, and back.
A tablet can also help you with small tasks while you’re using your computer. Let’s say you have to design a quick graphic for your website or social media. You can easily sketch one out using a painter’s app on your device.
An Elevated Keyboard or Pad
Typing and moving a mouse around may not seem like a strenuous task. But the reality is that this small but repetitive movement can take a giant toll on the joints in your wrists.
Therefore, if you want to eliminate the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, invest in a pad to prop your hand up while you work. This work from home tech is crucial for freelancers of all ages. This condition of the joints can pop up even when you’re in your twenties.
Blue Light Glasses
Staring at a monitor all day may also take a toll on your eyes. The blue light emitted from most devices can be harmful over time, so invest in something that will shield your eyes from this issue. Blue light glasses make it easy to work while also keeping your eyes protected from bright screens.
A Laptop For on the Go
If you’re passionate about collecting the best work from home tech, you’ll soon realize that one computer is not enough.
While working on a desktop is certainly more comfortable over time, you will also need a laptop when working as a digital nomad. For example, if you’re a photographer, you may need to take your work with you on the go. If the energy in your apartment is feeling stale, a laptop allows you to move somewhere more inspiring — the local coffee shop, for example.
Invest in a Nicer Chair
Your kitchen chair isn’t going to cut it. If you’re planning on working throughout most of the day, invest in something that will support your spine for hours. Select an office chair with enough padding and lumbar support too.
A Grammarly Checking Plugin or Software
Whether you’re typing up emails or drafting web copy for a client, you want to make sure that there are no typos in your work. Simple spelling mistakes can tarnish your reputation as a professional. If you want to go the extra mile, purchase the premium service to improve your writing skills drastically.
If you’re editing videos, buying a larger trackpad will allow you to complete your tasks in a faster fashion when compared to a mouse.
This is one piece of work from home tech you need if your wrists get sore easily.
The Right Software For Your Projects
No matter what type of work you’re doing online, you’ll need software to expedite the process.
- If you edit videos, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premier Pro are two popular programs.
- If you’re a writer, Google Docs and Microsoft Word are fantastic for creating and editing articles and blog posts.
This piece of work from home tech is usually free. However, it’s crucial if you want to knock out any distractions. A content blocker helps block all those time-wasting social media sites so you can stick to all of your deadlines.
A Web Camera
if your computer does not have a webcam built-in, go out and buy one. You never know when a client will want to meet face-to-face.
Software to Record Your Screen
Some clients may ask you to record your screen while you work. Make sure you have access to something like this so that your clients can feel more trusting of you.
They say two things in life are unavoidable — death and taxes. The same is true when you’re freelancing. While this is not a form of work from home tech, having an accountant is crucial even if you’re working from home.
Workplace injuries are still possible in the home. Therefore, find insurance so that you’re covered, even if you’re not working in a traditional office.
A High Quality DSLR and Lenses
Next, put this piece of work from home tech on your list.
You need high quality photos, whether you’re running a blog or marketing your services on Instagram. A modern camera can help you produce stunning content without even trying.
A Speedy Internet Connection
It’s impossible to work as a freelancer if you don’t have a strong internet connection. For best results, invest in work from home tech — like a new router.
If you like to play video games in your downtime, invest in a Minecraft dedicated server too!
Sure having a fast internet connection is crucial to getting your work done in time — however, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy streaming games and movies in HD when you’re off the clock.
A Standing Desk
If you find that working from home is making you a less active person, consider buying a standing desk.
It’s no secret that working from the comfort of your own home can turn you into a couch potato! After all, you no longer have to walk to your office. And your breakroom is only a few steps away from your main office. So how can you increase your activity level without a gym membership? Opt for a standing desk! Standing up burns more calories than sitting does.
Sitting down all day can also be detrimental to your mental health.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
If you live in a busy household, surrounded by friends, family, and pets, you’ll need something to take your mind off the noise they make. Noise-canceling headphones, for instance, are perfect for setting the scene.
If you’re writing or coding, experts suggest classical music to keep you focused. Listening to white noise is another great way to block out the sound traveling around your home.
Other Essential Tips for Freelancers
While work from home tech is valuable, you need more than physical tools to succeed. You need to shift your mindset and work ethic. For help doing so, make sure to also implement these tips after finding and setting up your gear.
Creative burnout is real! If you’re not taking enough breaks throughout the day, you’ll risk crashing and burning — which will leave you void of ideas — which is a creative’s worst nightmare. Especially if they are doing this as your single stream of income.
Ensure you’re taking care of yourself both mentally and physically. Many freelancers swear by the Pomodoro Productivity Clock to give their brains a nice reset.
The Pomodoro method works by making you work in intervals of 25 minutes. After this session, you are allowed a five-minute break before you have to complete your next task within the 25-minute interval again.
When you’re not timing yourself, your work can truly feel endless, which will make you feel like quitting often. However, this productivity tip will encourage you to keep working by rewarding you with these tiny breaks in between bursts of productivity.
Work With Others
Yes, the idea of freelancing is to work independently. While you may not have co-workers looming over your shoulder, it’s important to note that you should still be networking with other freelancers as well.
You should also recognize when your skills aren’t enough. This isn’t meant to discourage you. If you wish to design your own website, learn the trade, and create a stunning online portfolio on your own.
There are other talented people out there who can help build you up. You don’t have to be an expert in every field. Let’s say you want to get noticed more, to bring in more traffic to your blog and increase your online course sales. Hire a brand strategist to improve your image and following online.
Find or Create a Space That Keeps Your Creativity Flowing
Where you work can genuinely influence your workflow. If you find that your current space is making you feel bogged down and uninspired, look for new places once your lease is up. Make sure there are several amenities. For example, a clubhouse at the complex can give you the perfect work station. Ensure that there is ample lighting, speedy wifi, and a comfy lounging area for you to work.
Learn When You’re the Most Productive
Some people function their best at night, while others are early risers. Figure out when you are feeling your most productive, and schedule your hours around this block of time.
Learn More About Parkinson’s Law
This last tip is crucial for freelancers. It’s so easy to take advantage of the fact that you don’t have a set schedule. You may find that one simple task can take up your entire day. But why is this? In reality, it should have only taken an hour — but you may have procrastinated the day away without even realizing it. It’s time to bring in Parkinson’s Law. This law states that a task will take up the set amount of time allotted for whatever you’re working on. Let’s say that you have given yourself an entire day to polish up your resume. It may take up to eight hours to complete this simple task.
One way you can shrink this total time down, and increase your productivity is to reward yourself for finishing your work by a certain time that day.
Give yourself set hours, for example, 10 am to 6 pm, and reward yourself by calling or video chatting a friend. You can also reward yourself with a tasty and healthy meal.
Never be Complacent
One of the best parts about freelancing is that you don’t have to place a cap on your income. You can grow your business astronomically high — remember, you are your own boss.
Therefore, never stop evolving. If you’re a food photographer and your images are getting stale, book a kitchen studio rental so that you may take more glamorous photos for your portfolio. If you’re a writer and wish to market your latest e-book, take a marketing class. As a freelancer, you now have the time and the resources to pour everything you have into your business.
If you’re thinking about working from home, ensure you’re taking the proper precautions before leaving your office for good. A lot goes into transforming your home environment into an office. Thankfully, purchasing the right work from home tech can set you up for success. However, you should also have the right mindset too. Implement these tips for a successful online or freelancing business!