Becoming a successful work-from-home freelancer or contract worker requires some essential equipment and development of useful skills and habits.
And although you work from home, interpersonal skills are critical as you remotely communicate with clients and colleagues. You may also be working with various teams, so the ability to adapt is beneficial.
Becoming a successful freelancer or contractor while working from home is within reach of anyone who wants it. Here’s a rundown of six things you’ll need to achieve your goal:
1. Dedicated Workspace
Creating a workable workspace is critically important to your success. Even though you are not commuting to an office, you are still “going to work.” It’s essential to get into: a) good habits and b) the right mindset. For these reasons, you’ll find it useful to have a workspace which minimizes interruptions and maximizes comfort and professionalism.
2. Invest in the Right Equipment
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to work remotely but a few items are essential. For many work-at-home roles, all you will need is a quiet, secure place, a dedicated phone line, a computer and a reliable internet connection. As a bonus, if you can connect via ethernet, this provides added security, as Wi-Fi is more vulnerable to external compromise.
3. Prioritize Comfort
We recommend using ergonomically-fitted equipment. An adjustable chair, with proper back support, is a must. A larger computer monitor will help reduce your eye strain, as will proper positioning of your screen and keyboard.
4. Define Your Work Hours
Working for yourself provides great flexibility. It can also tempt you into bad habits, such as procrastination, performing household chores or extending breaks.
While you have the flexibility of creating your own work schedule, you should still define your hours. The good news is that it’s easier to protect your time when you have set your work hours. Schedule nonwork activities for before or after you complete your work and be strict with your time.
5. Turn Off Your Phone
The thing about smartphones is they can mesmerize you, monopolizing your time. To avoid interruptions in the form of phone calls, text messages, notifications and the allure of social media, we recommend silencing or turning off your phone during work time.
6. Learn to Say No
You’ve said yes to taking control of your workspace and time. To maintain control of these, you will have to get good at saying no, too.
If someone visits your home office for a chat and a coffee, remember that saying yes to them may mean saying no to your work and clients. To be successful, you must prioritize your work, especially if you have a defined work schedule to protect.
Note that saying “no” may extend to clients, too. While it’s a rush to get good feedback and receive more work, you should avoid overextending yourself.
The door is open for you to become your own boss. To improve your performance and productivity, work on self-discipline, self-control and interpersonal skills. These are excellent for both in and outside the home office. As you develop them through practice and experience, you will ultimately become more successful.
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