When you decide to work freelance or have home as your base for work, it may seem from the onset that there is a lot of dispensable freedom given. But past students know that such freedom can also be a curse. Remember your student procrastination days? Just like making sure that your organisation is in good condition, another thing to bear in mind when deciding to work from home, is communication. Even more so, as working ‘remotely’ will make it more difficult for others to reach you.
Communicating clearly to your colleagues and clients
One thing to clarify when working remotely is your working hours, particularly for freelancers. Working from home can be a convenience but if it’s the only thing you end up doing, then you know something needs to change. For clients or colleagues, stating you will be working from home may give the impression that you are disposable at all times of the day, which of course is not true. As you may be attending to children, family or other matters, you need to be strict with yourself with how much workload you can realistically take so it doesn’t get out of hand.
Make clear your working hours so people know what times you are and are not available. Making sure you have time for yourself and having that routine when your home is a place of work will keep things in perspective.
The thought of planning your own office space can be quite exciting. More so when you are preparing or thinking about what furniture pieces to purchase. Setting up your foundations though, is another story. Despite communication technology being an important factor for most occupations, it probably isn’t as exciting as picking out desks and chairs from the latest Ikea catalogue.
Ensure that your communication technology at home is reliable enough for your work. As you will be in control of your space, if something fails, it won’t be so easy to rely on the IT department to help you out. If you don’t happen to be a tech whiz, then keep things simple. Simplified phones like those by Gigaset are used in many working spaces and are simple enough to be used at home, despite having the innovative technology like VoIP.
To lessen the confusion of your family members as well as staying professional, think about having two phone numbers and e-mail accounts (personal and business), as well as a reliable internet connection. Think about other aspects as well which may make it easier for others to reach you during your work hours.
What other tips would you add?