Freelancer Tips: Creating an Office Space at Home

The modern-day dream; working for yourself. Going freelance seems to be the ‘thing’ at the moment and it’s no surprise when you consider the benefits such as determining your own hours, workload and clients.

While it might sound pretty idyllic, there are a few challenges along the way. Firstly, working from home. Sure, it might be fun every now and then when you’re working your usual office job, but the realities of working from the comfort of your own home prove a little more difficult.

To make sure you don’t get into the habit of lounging about in your pajamas, it’s best to set up a professional working environment in your home. Home offices are great for keeping you motivated and giving you an area in your home dedicated for work. With that said, here are some tips for creating a productive office environment for your freelance goals.

Be sensible, think ergonomics.
Before you get down to the fun stuff, you’ve got to think practically about your work space. Your computer screen should be at eye level, your keyboard parallel to the floor and you should have any relevant wrist support for using your mouse. Similarly, invest in a proper office chair that will help you to sit straight and improve your posture.

While it might seem a little boring, these are essential things to do to avoid any long-term aches and pains that come with sitting at a desk every day.

Make the most of lighting.
Where possible, make the most of the natural light in the room. Whether you’ve got a separate room for your office or you’re setting up a desk in an existing room, think about the natural light available. Having said that, make sure you’ve got proper curtains or blinds, like one’s from Swift Direct Blinds, to keep out any annoying glare throughout the day.

Good lighting keeps you alert and focused, perfect for knuckling down to work. If you’re struggling to use natural light, use good overhead lighting and lamps to illuminate the room. This is also important for those winter months where daylight hours are a little lacking.

Clever use of storage.
Chances are, for most of us, your home office won’t be a grand room that oozes space. That’s why it’s important to look out for nifty storage wherever you can.

Built-in cupboards are great for filing away important documents or paperwork while keeping the floor space clear. Similarly, desks with plenty of drawers, magazine racks and shelves are just a few ways to make the most out of the room in terms of storage.

Create a comfortable zone.
While it’s important to keep your home office professional, it’s also a good idea to have a more relaxed area too. If you can, add in something like a small sofa or armchair to give you somewhere to relax when needed.

Sitting in your office chair all day can be tedious and repetitive, so mix it up by taking an hour or so to sit comfortably and have a breather.

Add your personality.
Yes, you want your home office to be a respectable environment that will distract you from the fact you’re still at home. However, don’t forget to add a touch of your personality too. It’s easier to concentrate in an environment that you feel comfortable in, so add little pops of ‘you’ within the room.

Whether that be with your favorite color, a few soft furnishings or living plants. Either way, keep the room to your own tastes to really maximize your productivity while working.

Designing your home office is one of the first steps toward your self-employed dream. While there are plenty of things to think about, remember to enjoy the journey – this is your career after all!

Photo by Joyce McCown

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