The age of the internet has made it much easier for us to communicate quickly, which has also made it easier for many to work from home. Working from home is equally as important as work done from an office and should be held to the same merit.
If you are planning to either start your own business from home or freelance, there are a few key components needed to be successful. Now, some are intuitive and basically "duh!" but some may not be things you would think of off-hand:
An internet connection
I know, I know. DUH! But, this isn't exactly a given. Internet connections are wonderful to have and will give you the most reliable way to communicate. If you are short on change, you can always hang at your local coffee shop as a temporary alternative.
An actual office space
I sometimes have a tendency to work off of my couch. It's comfy so why not? Well, sometimes that leads to everything accumulating on my coffee table which then leads to a Saturday afternoon of me weeding through it all for important stuff. The point being that a dedicated office space means that only work stuff will be in that area and not random coffee mugs and remote controls.
A year's worth of office supplies
Why a year? Because it is a good time frame to allow you to comfortably get situated in working from home and have the right equipment ready while you are still working the kinks out. Running out of ink when you need to fax an important paper is embarrassing and having no pens when you need to take quick notes will probably make you panic so a year's worth allows you to get acquainted with the freelance lifestyle long enough to be like "I got this!"
A reliable computer or tablet
There is nothing worse than an unreliable computer. If you have one, you probably don't want to go into freelancing or opening your own business until you can invest in a good one. Your computer WILL be your lifeline and needs to work effectively. A computer is not a good time to skimp and get the cheapest model to save a few bucks because that money you saved may be lost revenue one day from an ill-working computer.
A cheap phone
Okay, you spent money on a computer but do you need an amazing phone? Maybe not. What it needs to do is be able to make calls, receive calls and maybe check emails and other important information on the fly. A good new cheap phone that has come out is through Project Fi. Their data plan is $10 for every GB of data and then $10 to have the phone. You need to pay for the phone outright, but if you do the math you save so much more than being on a contract phone with a major carrier.
This may be a little specific and there are alternatives, but what is Headspace? Headspace is an app that allows you to meditate. You are probably rolling your eyes, but freelancing requires a lot of brain power, diligence and also just will power. You are alone a lot in your residence, deadlines are all on you and sometimes it gets overwhelming.
Headspace offers a free "Take 10" trial which is 10 days worth of 10-minute meditation. You can always continue to just use it for free or subscribe for a low monthly cost. Having a few minutes to reconnect with yourself will make all the difference in productivity--believe me.
A go-to place to unwind.
You start freelancing, you get overwhelmed and maybe you do not just want to meditate but want to leave your residence! Have a few "safe places" set up in your mind beforehand so you aren't stressed about work and then stressing about where to go to escape it. A local park, a coffee shop, a yoga studio--even Target are all places to clear your mind and also escape for a bit.
These are just a few essentials. Of course, you need other small pieces, like food and maybe a really awesome coffee maker to keep you alive, but it's a start.
Have any suggestions on what you believe are essentials to work at home? Share!
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