Sponsored by iiNet:
I love the control over my work/life balance that my career offers me. I am completely in charge of my schedule and I have the freedom to decide when, where and how I get my work done. I can plan my days off when I want them and I don’t have to leave the house in the morning for a long commute in rush hour traffic. When I have children in the future, I will be able to plan my work around their school schedule, so that I can always be there for them.
One of the most important parts of being a freelancer and working from home is having your own home office. A home office is an opportunity to create the ultimate environment for productivity, away from all of the distractions of your home life. It can be a lovely, quiet and peaceful place where you will feel focused, safe and inspired to do your best work.
When you are setting up your office, the atmosphere and the feeling of the space is important but so is the technology and how it functions. You want your home office to perform flawlessly so that technological glitches don’t slow down your creative flow.
Be Ready to Take the Call
When you are a freelancer, your clients might want to contact you via phone. Invest in a wireless headset if you can. It means that you can easily look something up online, write notes down or sign for a package while you are talking on the phone, without worrying about dropping the phone.
Most people use their mobile phone as their primary contact device, but sometimes there might be places in your home where your phone signal tends to drop out. This is important to consider when choosing where to locate your office.
Also, when it comes to taking business calls on your phone, you might want to consider a voicemail and forwarding service which will give a professional impression to your customers.
Get a High Speed Connection
The extra expense might be stopping you from investing in a high speed connection from your home, but if it is going to be your workplace the cost is certainly worth it. Think of how many hours you waste over the course of a year just waiting for a website to load – time that would be better spent getting work done. It’s worse yet if you are a web developer or work in a field where having access to the internet is something that can’t be overlooked.
Also, you might need to use video conferencing or other business tools when networking with clients, which require a high speed connection. Sure you can stick to a cheap dial-up connection and live dangerously on the edge of your seat as each call to your home line threatens your connection, or you could simply get one of the numerous wireless plans that aren’t too pricey these days. Even in a country like Australia, which is counted as one of the most expensive places to live, their rates are about $50 a month (source: iiNet adsl2 broadband page).
I’d pay a little extra for peace of mind; dropping out of a Skype business call because your connection just can’t take it is embarrassing and unprofessional.
Make Yourself Comfortable
Having the right gear in your home office isn’t just about being connected online; it is also about making your workday more comfortable. Invest in a wireless keyboard, an ergonomic chair (your back is going to thank me) and a large monitor so you don’t strain your eyes staring at a tiny laptop screen. You can even add some speakers so you can listen to your favourite tunes while hard at work.
Take your time setting up your home office – you will be spending a lot of time in it. Make sure it is comfortable and well equipped so you can be as productive as possible.
This post was written by and paid for by iiNet