One of the primary perks of working as a freelancer is being location independent so your workspace may be your bedroom, your backyard, at the park while your kids play or Starbucks. However, most of the time, freelancer work from home and the best way to stay focused and productive is to have a designated workstation.
While there’s no right or wrong way to set it up, there are several things you need to pay attention to when designing your workstation as a serious freelancer.
Choose a spot
It’s quite typical for freelance beginners not to have a specific workplace. Even if there’s a separate home office with a fine desk, you’ll probably find yourself going through stages where you never use it.
The biggest downside of not being settled in one working space is messiness. You might decide to work in your dining room but once you sit down, you may discover you’ve misplaced your calendar or left your phone in the other room. Your designated workstation doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but if you don’t have your one work spot, you’ll find it difficult to stay organised and focused.
Have what you need
Your number one priority when setting up your workstation is making sure that it’s ergonomically correct. If you don’t, your back and neck pain will let you know you have to. It’s important you look straight ahead at the monitor without tilting your head up or down. Also, when you type, your wrists should be straight and your knees and hips in line with each other.
Purchase a high-quality desk chair upholstered with breathable fabric for maintaining optimal body temperature and set its height so that your feet fully touch the floor. Furthermore, desks are typically the centrepiece of an office so getting a solid and spacious one is essential for having enough desktop space to work and plenty of storage for all your business-related material.
Regarding other things you might need at your workstation, you’ll have to stock up on pens and paper, highlighters, a whiteboard and markers, stickers, post-it notes and other. Whatever your style is and whatever stuff you may require for work, having an organised and equipped work place will make you more efficient and productive.
Make it a happy place
As mentioned before, your workstation doesn’t have to be decorated according to the latest trends, but it has to be a pleasant and inviting space for you. If you prefer a minimalist style, pick a few low-key items such as an elegant pencil holder, a stylish desk lamp or a framed photo of your loved ones.
If you love being surrounded by pleasant scents, keep a vase of fresh flowers in the corner of your desk or set up a diffuser with your favourite scent. Bear in mind it needs to be a space where you want to sit and love spending your working hours at because if you don’t, you’ll end up avoiding it and not getting your work done.
You don’t need to spend a fortune decorating it, just try making it enjoyable. Start humbly with just a few basic things and over time, with a bigger budget, you can spruce it up.
As much as you want your workspace to be nice and enjoyable, don’t overdo it and clutter the space with knick-knacks. Pick a few inspirational objects and keep distractions at the minimum. It’s also important where you decide to set up your workstation. If you don’t have a home office, choose a spot in your home that is not facing a noisy street, not close to your kids’ playroom and possibly not in your bedroom as the bed just might prove to be more tempting.
Change things up occasionally
Working from home may sometimes feel like a double-edged sword. While it’s great for efficiency, you’ll still need to have a strong will to resist the temptation of your comfortable bed, the living room sofa and your big TV, or even the pile of clean clothes waiting to be ironed – all those things that turn to be much more appealing when you’re stuck with a writer’s block.
The solution lies in an occasional change. Even if you’ve set up a great and functional workstation, uproot on a fine sunny day and work a couple of hours outside on your patio or take your laptop to your favourite café and finish up work over a delicious latte.
Leaving your home workspace at least once a week can help you keep your mind sharp and focused and break the writer’s block more easily.
Don’t forget your home is your workspace
One upside of working in a traditional office is that you don’t have to worry about the Internet connection, office supplies and toilet paper in the bathroom. However, working from your home adds more responsibility – you are the one who needs to make sure you have all the necessary equipment and supplies not just for work, but your home needs as well.
For instance, you need to ensure your fridge is stocked, have a meal plan for your family, ensure good quality Internet connection and figure out numerous other problems as they come along. Taking care of all these issues can be demanding but it’s exactly what will help you be efficient and productive in the given environment.
Freelancing is a great opportunity to be both financially and location independent and as long as you’re not a travel blogger, if you work from home, a designated workstation is surely worth having. It offers you the possibility to design a space according to your taste and optimize it for success while you still can decide to be mobile and change your station if you feel like it.