When going home after an exhausting day at the office, pessimism can threaten to overwhelm us. We ask ourselves, why do I need to sit staring at my computer at work all day when I have one at home? Could I not be at home doing the same thing remotely, or better still, on my own? Thousands of freelancers do exactly that, after all, so why not us?
If you are really seriously considering working as a freelancer from home, there are some pitfalls and challenges you should be aware of ahead of time. First, it is boring. Second, it is really boring. Third, you really have no idea how boring it is.
Seriously, folks, even if your office work involves hunching over a hot computer screen in a cramped cubicle all week, at least you can exchange a word with your colleagues over the course of a day. If you work at home, you will not have even the satisfaction of avoiding interacting with whoever irritates you.
On the other hand, if you live with someone who is not working from home as well, then you can forget about productivity. Kids, as well, are often the coup de grace for getting work done.
However, isolation is deadening too. It is difficult to be creative in such an atmosphere. After all, almost all types of work require some kind of inspiration.
If you are still determined to work as a freelancer, the following few tips might help you overcome the boring environment and get the most out of your home setting.
First, your place of work should closely resemble a real workplace. What does that mean, you might ask? It means that you should have some discipline in your schedule and in the way you work. All the things you are usually prohibited from doing at the office are applicable to your house too.
At the same time, working in your own space, you have more freedom to decorate your workplace in a way you weren’t allowed to do at the office. Avoiding distractions, for example, from disturbing or inappropriate posters, you can decorate your workplace in a way that will inspire and motivate you. A perfect choice might be motivational quotes posted around your desk. Other decorative elements might be more specific to the type of work, whether designers, software programmers, or journalists. The decoration of your workplace can be extended to the wallpapers and screen savers of your computer, as well. At the same time, try to avoid any overly eye-catching elements, i.e., animated backgrounds, provocative images, etc.
An important word of advice: Having two different computers may pay off. One should be for work and the other for personal usage. If this solution is prohibitively expensive, at least try to avoid playing games, watching videos, and visiting social networks while working. After all, such activities are prohibited in corporate offices. The most important reason is that they are time killers, but they also expose your machine to viruses from the Internet.
Sitting in one place all day long is clearly boring, regardless of your usual workload. In order to remain motivated and inspired, it is recommended that you interrupt your work from time to time. As stated earlier, social networks, websites, and games are not recommended, so you should develop a pattern of activities that you can do when you take a break from your work. The list of activities that you can engage in might include sports, a short walk, a meal, etc. The main point is that whatever you choose to do does not do it in your workplace.
You should make your relaxation period different from your usual activities. If you work all day long designing WebPages, do not surf the internet while on break. On the one hand, you should try to vary your day as much as possible. On the other hand, a break may take longer than you expected, and it may be difficult to get back to your work. A simple kitchen timer can help to solve such problems.
We at ResearchWritingCenter.com employ a number of in-office writers, but most of them work at home or in a remote office. Our statistics (based on internal data) show that the writers who work in-office are actually less productive than the ones working at home. This is true in part because they receive the desired freedom. Additionally, the working hours are flexible.
People working at home with the RWC on average actually write 2-3 pages per day more than the ones in the office (based on internal statistics for the second quarter of 2010). However, after six months of such work, their numbers drop to levels practically identical to those of the in-office writers. This supports my point – it is important to “stay in shape” mentally for an extensive period of time.
So being able to stay productive and creative is something I wish for all of you.
In conclusion, I can say that freelance jobs have their own strengths and weaknesses. This is not meant to imply that working at home is more difficult than working in the office. It is just that you need to consider some pro-active measures to make your work productive. The present article sheds some light on a few of the unique such aspects, which might make your work experience more pleasant.