Whether you’re a contractor, freelancer or remote worker, the 8 to 5 concept is become obsolete. In fact, a recent survey shows that 53 million Americans do freelance.
Why such a huge number? Certainly because of the freedom and flexibility that freelancing brings.
Those of you who know the joys of working from home, whether self employed or freelancing, you know also the joys of procrastination and lures of lying on the coach.
For everyone who works in an office setting, working remotely may sound like a dream situation.
Can you sit on the coach, in your sweat pants, have a Netflix on in the background and click away at your emails when you feel like it?
For all of us whose office is wherever our laptops rest, here are some tips to help you keep sane and healthy as freelance remote worker.
Go to professional networking events
Working remotely limits your opportunities to meet new people, whether co-workers or vendors.
Attending professional events widens your boundaries of exchanging ideas and you get multiple opportunities to hear opinions from new people.
You need such kind of interaction as a freelance remote worker.
Communicate widely but, be professional
As a freelance remote worker, you are disadvantaged in knowing in details what is happening in the office.
Be it a personal problem someone is facing or daily updates in the office, you have limited opportunities to get such information.
It is then important that you establish constant communication with your immediate team as well as those outside this box, especially if you are managing a project.
Establish regular video meetings as this can help you get updates on current work and any roadblocks.
Whichever method you choose for communication, remain professional always.
Organize your meetings calendar’
As a freelance and a remote worker, the probability of having to respond to numerous phone calls and online meetings is relatively high. This raises the need for proper management of your meetings calendar.
Keep your calendar free at the time your remote teams are at work.
Also, use the calendar tools that show that you are not available when you are having your meals, appointments or you when you need breaks.
This is necessary if you work with teams around the world. Remember to be disciplined and use such calendar tools as intended.
Set boundaries as a remote worker
Never buy people`s wide perception of remote freelance workers that has come to include the assumption that you are available 24-7.
Though working from home gives you some scope to have nonstandard work hours that does not mean that you are available all hours in a day.
Though we all have to work extra mile sometimes, but in general, to make sure you are not getting overworked, it is good to stick to a daily schedule.
Use collaboration tools widely, including video conferencing
Webex, Skype and other similar tools for video conferencing and online chats are great tools for quick conversation when you need immediate answers.
Such tools present you with a great opportunity to stay engaged with your team members as they are more personal than email.
Collaboration tools like Jira helps remote workers to track projects, maintain work logs and collaborate on those projects. You should get used to tracking your work and using internet as a project space.
Give yourself breaks
One of the fun aspects of showing up to an office from 8o`clock to 4oclock can be eating lunch with colleagues or taking coffee breaks every now and again.
When you work from home, it is easy not to realize you have gone nearly the whole day without getting up from your computer.
To avoid this, get up and walk around your home. Have periodical short breaks. This ensures that you are relaxed as you work.
Define your work space at home
Set aside some space, preferably a room to be your work space at home. That way, when you enter it, you know consciously what you are there to do; go to work. It changes the state of your mind from “I am at home” to “I am at work”.
Have a comfortable chair, a desk with ample space for your computer and work space in the room. Make this room similar to a desk area you would have in the office.
Consider having family photo on your desk and easier proximity to things you need.
Flexibility and quiet time you have to spend on your projects are some of the benefits for working remotely.
However, as a freelancer you need to work extra hard to show the value of your work as the distance and detachment from office are real.
Ensure you have built strong communication network with those in the office and other freelance workers.
Also, ensure you are physically and mentally healthy.
With these seven tips, you can comfortably work remotely whether you just quit your job to start freelancing or you’re already a freelancer.