This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.
One of the many reasons that people choose to freelance is to have flexibility of workspace. This can mean a lot of different things, from the ability to work from home, to being able to travel while working, and many nuances between.
For some, a permanent workspace is part of this equation, while others work wherever their jobs and lives take them. Below are some tips for freelancers without a permanent workspace.
A Routine Is Still Helpful
Even if you’re not in the same place every day, establishing a routine can really help your productivity. Consider a morning routine that includes your favorite morning beverage and some stretching or activity to get your blood pumping. When you start working, take the same first steps every time to get you in the work “groove.” I highly recommend having different devices for work and personal use. It will not only open doors for tax deductions and limit liability, but it will also make it easier for you to separate “work mode” from your personal tasks and reduce distractions.
Track Those Miles
If you travel or commute for work, it’s important to track your mileage. This is important for tax purposes, but it also gives you insight into the resources you’re using. You should regularly analyze how you spend your time and money. The expenses of travel, particularly daily gas usage, is an often overlooked aspect of the costs of any employment, but especially self-employment.
Maximize Your Access. And Your Boundaries.
When you don’t have a designated workspace, it can be difficult to place boundaries on your time. In one respect, being readily available is a huge benefit for working with clients and employers. People like working with people who respond quickly. However, you also want to make sure your work isn’t impeding on your personal life.
To this end, it’s important to have maximum capability of being accessible for work, while drawing strict boundary lines on your time. This might mean establishing work hours. It might be instating a “I will respond within 24 hours” rule. When traveling, it might mean telling people you’ll be unavailable, even if in-flight Wi-Fi is an option. Don’t force yourself into 24/7 “work mode.” Take some breaks, and make it clear to the people you work with and for that you have limitations. It’s always better to exceed their expectations after you set boundaries than to disappoint them after making impressive promises.
Take Security Measures
When you’re working on the go, it’s important to consider security, both physically and digitally. Working in public spaces like coffee shops and libraries is great for Wi-Fi access, but you should check the security of your connection. Never work on confidential material in public spaces. Make sure your work is backed up in the cloud so that loss of devices won’t set you back too far. Practice situational awareness to ensure your safety and prevent theft, particularly when traveling.
Freelancing can offer a lot of freedom in regards to workspace. If you take the precautions above, you can experience the benefits of autonomy with very few setbacks. Do you have tips for freelancers without a permanent workspace? Share in the comments!
Jeriann Ireland is a freelance writer and crafter who balances her time writing for clients and selling handmade items in local stores and at craft fairs. You can check out her blog, dairyairhead.com