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Now that remote work is becoming more common in almost every field, freelancers are able to work from home more often. But not everyone is cut out for working from home. Some people thrive when they can set their own hours and work in sweatpants, while others get distracted or feel isolated without coworkers around. If you’re thinking about trying remote work as a freelancer, here are some tips on how to freelance remotely and succeed at it. Working from home as a freelancer isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely possible if you prepare correctly. You just need the right tools, space and mindset to make it work. Here are 10 helpful tips that will make your remote freelance gig go smoothly
Plan your workspace
While you can’t control everything in your freelancing gig, you can control your workspace. First, make sure you have a dedicated space for your work. Working from your bed or couch just isn’t going to cut it — you need a clean and distraction-free work space to focus. When setting up your work space, consider noise levels and lighting. You should be able to control the noise level, so find a place where there aren’t too many loud sounds or people that might distract you from work. You should also have plenty of light — preferably from natural light. The more light you have, the less likely you are to strain your eyes as you work.
For some freelancers, working from home can be the dream. But for others, the dream quickly becomes a nightmare. If you work from home and you have kids, pets or other distractions, you may be tempted to work non-stop and never leave. But working from home doesn’t mean you have to be constantly working. In fact, constant work without a break could make you less productive. Set boundaries between working and your personal life. Choose specific hours to work and try to move around as much as possible during those hours. When you’re done working, don’t feel bad about taking breaks or putting your work away.
This might sound like it has nothing to do with freelancing, but it’s actually crucial to remote freelance success. If you’re a chronic procrastinator, working from home might not be a great gig for you. If you have a million distractions available to you 24/7 from the comfort of your home, you may never get anything done. You need to be able to motivate yourself at all hours of the day and prioritize your work above everything else. If you have a hard time motivating yourself, work on your productivity skills before you try to go freelance. Use productivity apps like Focus to help you stay on track and be less distracted.
Communicate clearly with clients
Working remotely means you’re likely to be communicating with clients a lot — especially if you freelance in writing or content creation. When you first get clients, make sure they know how and when you like to communicate. Do you prefer email or Slack? Would you rather set a specific day and time for calls? Make sure your clients know how and when they can get in touch with you. You don’t want to waste their time or yours by having them wait for a reply you don’t have time for. Tools like Basecamp or Asana can also help you keep track of conversations with clients.
Use the right tools
When you freelance, you’ll have a lot of tools and services to keep track of. Make sure you’re using the right tools for your industry and that they are accessible and easy to use from your home. Tools like Trello or Asana can help you organize your work and communicate with clients. Other tools, like a VPN or a virtual phone service, can help you stay productive and secure while working from home. Remote company culture websites like Remotely or CogTog can help you find and connect with other remote workers and keep you motivated as you work remotely.
Stay healthy and motivated
Working from home can be more isolating than working in an office. To avoid feeling isolated, make sure you get out of the house every once in a while. Find a coworking space in your area — you can use remote work as an excuse to travel and try out new spaces. Stay on top of your health, too. You have more freedom to live a healthy lifestyle when you work from home, but you also have more time to eat poorly or sit around. Find ways to stay active and motivated, like joining a gym or a running club. If you’re worried about motivation when you freelance, especially if you’re doing it on your own, consider freelance company startups like Hubstaff. Working with like-minded people can help you stay motivated, while also getting the experience of working with a team.
Working remotely can be a great way to earn money as a freelancer, but it can also be challenging if you’re not prepared. Before you dive in, make sure you have a good work setup, work boundaries and communication methods with clients. Keep these tips in mind when you’re ready to dive into remote work as a freelancer.