Over the years I've had the opportunity to teach hundreds of freelancers on how to build their business. Besides questions about what to charge to how to get client work, many people have been interested in the best practices of working from home.
Running a freelancing business from your home comes with it's own set of challenges! Daily interruptions from family members or an unhealthy Netflix addiction can tank your productivity. This is when it's great to have a set of rules or "best practices" to follow.
What I learned working from home.
I've never regretted starting my business from home. When you're able to work according to your lifestyle, it's absolutely rewarding. But just because you can make your own rules doesn't mean it will be easy either. There are challenges you will have to consider if you want to remain happy and healthy.
Set up a separate work space
It's fun to work from your bed or couch sometimes but if you want to be productive and focused, you will need to create a separate workspace. It gives you a proper mindset. And never set up shop in your bedroom -- that should be reserved for sleeping and other fun activities. :)
Define healthy boundaries
One of the best practices of working from home is defining healthy boundaries for yourself and others. There will be times you have to say no to family or friends wanting your attention because you have to work. No doing so will create unwanted tension and problems.
Strive to be ergonomically correct
Slouching over a laptop with poor lighting for 10 hours a day is going to destroy your body. It's absolutely critical to make your workspace as ergonomically safe as possible. Invest in a proper chair, lighting, computer monitor, or other equipment that will improve your health.
Take regular breaks
You are not a machine. Our mental and physical wellness is greatly improved when we take regular breaks from work. Not only will we feel better, we'll actually be more productive than when we try to power through. Get up, walk around, and look outside.
Exercise daily and eat right
There is no disputing the facts that proper nutrition and exercise is beneficial for your overall health and productivity. Regardless of where you work or what work you do, it's important to put your well being above everything else.
Connect with others
Looking at the walls all day long when working from home can drive you crazy, especially if you live by yourself. We all crave human connection and relationships. Connect with people via Slack, Facebook Messenger, or by text. Even better, get out and meet with people to stay sane.
Get away from it all
Being a workaholic is NOT something you should be proud of. It’s great to love what you do or to have the mindset about working hard, but you really do need time away from your business. Get away on a regular basis and be sure to take extended periods off from your work.
It's your turn!
None of these best practices of working from home are earth shattering, but they have made a tremendous impact in my own life. They will do the same for you if you try them.
If you have ideas you'd like to share, please drop them in the comments below. We're always looking for other ways to improve our lives.