There’s more people everyday trying to learn how to become a successful freelance marketer online. Some people just hate the traffic, some hate getting trapped in the office and all of them have some reason for wanting to learn how to work from home and become a successful freelance marketer online.
You have probably seen those ads spamming the comments section on your favorite website telling you how to get rich working online. You know the ones! “I made $1832 US dollars while lying in bed last night!” Guess what. Those are scams!
What Is Freelance Work?
Well according to California, it could be considered exploitation. What it means for all those people that are not in California is the freedom to continue earning a good wage while at the same time being free to enjoy your life as you work and earn money online and off!
Yes, if you are in the Golden State of California or even conducting work for companies within the State, there really are laws in place that you will have to be aware of before learning how to become a professional freelance marketer online or off. As of January 2020, California’s “Gig Law” was enacted as enforceable law. You will need proper legal advice for that which is, unfortunately not available here.
How Much Does A Freelance Marketer Make?
The good news is that you can make enough money to make a good living as a freelance marketer, but as with any business, you will have to build it up. If you are reading this though, you are in luck. We will show you everything you need to know to become a successful freelance marketer online and off!
How Do I Get Started as a Freelance Marketer? Without Getting Trapped?
One of the first and most important things to know and remember about freelance work online is that it is easy to get trapped in a comfortable rut when working online. It is also easy to get trapped in a cycle where you will be spending more time looking for work than actually working and earning money as a freelance marketer.
One of the keys to becoming a successful freelance marketer is establishing long-term clients right from the start. You need to make certain that on every profile you post online, include the fact that you are looking for long-term freelance clients.
The funny thing about this is, that even clients who are not looking for long term freelance marketers will respond more favorably. If you are looking for long-term clients, the people hiring you will know that you care about your work enough to ensure that they will come back time and again.
Even if someone hires you for just one or two freelancer jobs, you can gain a lot from their positive feedback. Conversely, one upset client leaving bad feedback can literally destroy your reputation. Always encourage anyone who hires you as a freelance worker to leave positive feedback once you know they are satisfied and happy.
Better still, noting in your profiles and your bids that you are looking for long term freelance work will get you in touch with some people who can help you to begin building up a steady supply of work online.
The more permanent clients that you can build up, the less time that you will have to spend looking for work online and the more time you will have to enjoy your life once your work day is done. This is definitely a big advantage for the freelance marketer who wants to work online to pay for their global travel plans for their freelance world tour.
What Are the Easiest Skills to Learn as a New Freelance Marketer?
For most people, writing is about the easiest way to quickly start earning money online as a freelance marketer. There are a host of freelance job sites like freelancer where people can find work quickly, even if it does not always pay so much in the beginning.
For better or for worse, many of the people seeking to hire freelance writers do not always care so much about quality, especially on the lower-paying freelance job sites. However, this does offer even the person learning how to get started as a freelance marketer the opportunity to hone their skills at the same time as they begin building up their reputation and their earning potential online.
Freelance transcription work online is also another good place to start earning money immediately online. However, be warned that most of these jobs pay by the word. If you type quickly and accurately, you can make some good money this way, but if you have trouble typing, this may not be the best way to earn money online.
Someone who has had the benefit of growing up in a bilingual household may want to learn how to become a freelance translator online. Like writing, it is easy to find work fast online as a freelance translator, allowing you to start earning money online right away while you build up your freelance skills and your rates.
Whatever you do, try not to get discouraged, especially when you first start working as a freelancer online. It may take you a little while to build up your reputation and your client list. Once you do start gaining a good reputation as a freelance marketer, you can begin to earn a good living online working at your own pace and being able to enjoy a lot more of your life.
How Do I Establish a Regular Workload as a Freelance Marketer?
In the early part of your career as a freelance marketer, you may find that you are spending more time looking for work than you are actually working. This is normal, so no need to worry about it at first. Just make certain that you do not end up making a career out of finding work online.
This is an easy trap to fall into, even for experienced freelancers. The best way to do this is to make sure that you always look for long term clients, but there are many benefits to this also. Make sure that every bid for work online and every profile notes (in a prominent position) that you are looking for long-term clients.
Why Is It Important to Look For Long-Term Work as a Freelance Marketer?
Even with “long-term clients” displayed everywhere, not all of the people looking to hire a freelancer online will want to hire you long term. Some will but will not tell you right away. Some of the people hiring freelance marketers online will want to test you out before they hire you for a long term project.
The important thing for you to remember here is that people who are looking for long-term clients will be perceived to be more concerned about the level of work they provide for their clients. When the person hiring you knows that you are looking for long-term work, they know that you will want to make them happy to get more work.
Does it sound silly? Maybe it is, but it is also true. There is a perceived value that is not tangible, but remains very real. All of your clients will want the best value for their money, and by letting them know that you are looking for permanent work online, they will believe, even subconsciously that you may be the one that will provide them with the best value.
The secret then becomes learning how to build up a regular clientele while working as a freelancer online.
How Do I Build Up My Client Base as a Freelance Marketer?
Some of your clients online will have a steady and regular supply of freelance work for you. Some will come and go in spurts, giving you a bunch of work and then going quiet for weeks or months at a time. As long as you provide your clients with a good value for their money, they will keep coming back to you when they need work done.
Make sure to keep a contact list ready, and do not wait for your clients to email you new work. If you have regular clients, you should never be afraid to let them know that you have found yourself with a little time you did not expect for work, and wonder if they have any work you can use to fill that time.
Never tell your clients that you are desperate. Never tell them you are trying to put together money to throw a fancy party. Sob stories and exploits of your world travels paid for by their dollars will not impress them. Asking them for work to fill the time you now have will allow them to focus solely on the work aspect without being distracted or even driven away by details of your personal life.
You should always remember that these people are interested in a working relationship online. Most of your clients do not want a BFF or even a confidante, but just someone who gets the work done on budget and on time.
The more regular clients you can keep, the less time you will have to spend looking for work, but never stop looking for new clients either. Why? Keep reading and you will be happy you did!
How Do I Increase My Income as a Freelance Marketer?
You should always continue to bid on new work and look for new clients, even when your work schedule is pushing your personal limits. Why? Because now you can demand higher rates as a freelance worker online and not care about the people who say no.
Tomedes CEO Ofer Tirosh suggests that one of the ways of increasing your freelance income is to learn when to ditch clients, especially when they pay lower rates. Learning to prioritize clients and terminating your working relationship with low-ballers is an essential strategy for career growth and will allow you to make time for higher paying clients which would give you the leverage to increase your average asking rate.
Think about it like dating when you were a kid. You never worried about the guy or girl who said no, but focused on the one who told you yes. Right? It is the same principle at play when you are working as a freelance marketer online. Worry about the ones who say yes to your higher rates, but don’t stop there.
If your work schedule is full, but now you have a new client who is willing to pay more, this is a great time for you to begin looking at your existing clients. If you are like most people doing freelance work online, most of your original clients are probably paying you a slightly lower rate. If it pays your bills, that is all that counts, in the beginning.
As you find new clients that are willing to pay you more, and you are still working off your original client base, figure out which clients give you the least work. You should explain to them nicely that you have a new client who is paying you higher rates. Explain to your original client how much you like them and how much you enjoy the work and let them know you want to retain their work as well.
However, you also need to tell them, in a nice way, that while you do enjoy working for them, they will need to match your new rates if they wish to retain your services as a freelance marketer. If they say yes, then move on to the next worst low paying client you have.
If they say no, you already have a higher paying client to replace them and ensure that you can keep on increasing your income as a freelance marketer online. No matter what kind of job you have, you should always look for ways to increase your job skills and your income, mostly your income as a freelance marketer working online.
What Are the Best Paying Online Jobs For Freelance Marketers?
What are the highest paying freelance jobs for 2020? Earlier in the article you learned how to quickly find work online so that you could pay your bills. It never pays to get stuck in any “comfortable rut” or to stick with the same career for too long unless you started out at the very top.
It is important to remember that the more skills you have as a freelance marketer, the more in demand your services will be.
What Are the Best Paying Jobs for Freelancers Online?
Anything to do with making Apps will be a popular and high demand market for freelancers for the foreseeable future.
Apps are commonly preferred over the bulkier programs, especially for mobile devices which are becoming even more popular than home computers today. If you can learn to make apps or even put together a team of freelancers to make apps, you should never have any problem finding work online.
Coding is also another of the most commonly in-demand jobs for freelance marketers. This is not just about you learning how to edit css or html files. If you can learn programming online or other similar job skills, you should never have any problem in figuring out how to find high paying jobs online.
Video editing skills are another good paying job online. YouTube is the second most popular site on the internet today. It is estimated that over 80% of all businesses online use video to promote their business. Many of these companies will hire freelancers online to do all of the work they cannot do themselves.
Copywriting online can help the more capable freelance marketer earn tens of thousands of dollars for a single sales letter. It should be noted though, that you will be expected to produce results that are profitable for the person receiving the sales letter.
If you do have what it takes to produce emotional reactions from your readers though, you may have what it takes to literally earn millions of dollars working as a freelancer online.
BONUS TIP FOR FREELANCE MARKETING 101:
How Can I Get Clients Fast?
Well, now that you know a little bit more about what it takes to move into working as a full time freelance marketer online, you should probably go ahead and get started. The job sites you want to jumpstart your client list will vary depending on the skills you have as a freelancer. This is just a small selection of job sites to get you started in the right direction!
What are the 10 Best Freelance Job Sites to Jumpstart Your Client List
- The Warrior Forum: The Warrior Forum is a gathering place for Internet Marketers from all over the world. Everyone from the Newb (Or N00B even) to the Million Dollar Marketers visit the Warrior Forum from time to time. You will have to pay to place your ads, but offer a few select discounts and this is a great place to get long term, permanent clients for your freelance work online. There is no better place to start with quality clients than with a Warrior Special Offer!
- Freelancer: The Freelancer website is one of the most active freelance job sites in the world. There are pros and cons to this site however. Most of the clients do not want to pay much so for a long-term freelancing option, it is not the greatest. However, there are diamonds in the midst if you dig for them, and if you are willing to work at a discounted rate while you build your reputation as a freelance professional online, this is a great place to get started.
- Indeed: Indeed was not built strictly for freelance marketers online, but it is a good place to find work if you know how to dig a little, and set up the proper keyword alerts.
- Craigslist: Posting on Craigslist can be challenging for some, especially if they are working as a freelance marketer while traveling around the world. However, most of the major cities also have listings specifically for home-based work and freelance work online. This is a good place to find more permanent clients, but also some place that is known for scammers, so tread carefully, but you can also find lots of freelance clients here!
- GlassDoor: Most people know Glass Door as a place to review employers, but they offer jobs too. Again, you may have to dig to find freelance gigs online, but it is worth it. Better still? You can read reviews from both current and former employees at the same time.
- UpWork: No top list of freelance job sites would be complete without listing UpWork! Go here, find work online, earn money online. Yeah, it really is that easy!
- Freelanced: Freelanced is a unique website insofar as it is as much a social networking site as it is a work or freelance job site. If you have what it takes, and you can keep your customers satisfied, this is a great place to look for clients, but remember they can and will leave comments on your page too!
- Solid Gigs: SolidGigs is an excellent alternative for finding freelance gigs on freelance job sites. Unlike many of the other freelance job sites, SolidGigs does the work for you by finding all the best freelance jobs available and sending them directly to your email. How easy is that?
- Guru: Guru is one of the largest freelance job sites online today. They are also one of the oldest and most reputable freelance job sites online, so well worth checking out.
- Fiverr: If you have small, quick jobs that you can do as freelance work online, Fiverr is the place to post them. As is indicated by the name, the rate for much of the work on this site is only five bucks, but you can set it and forget it and earn extra money online this way easily enough.
World’s Best Cities for Remote Work
Since 2010, the number of remote workers has increased by 400%. The popularity of this type of work setup stems from the immense flexibility it offers in comparison to traditional office-based jobs.
One of the key selling points of remote work is the ability to work from anywhere. If you’re a remote worker, then you basically have the option to live and vacation in foreign countries without the limitation of having to be in the same office every day.
With this freedom, why not consider relocating (even temporarily) and experiencing some of the best cities in the world? In this article, we provide a rundown of some of the best cities to live in. Since remote workers aren’t confined by geographical offices, this is a delicious possibility that you can seriously consider.
Before we dive into our list, let’s get a better understanding of what remote work is.
Remote work refers to a work arrangement where one’s job responsibilities are performed from outside the office. In contrast to traditional office-based jobs, remote work can be done from home, from a coffee shop, a rented working space, or even the beach.
The rise of remote work has given way to a unique job economy for professionals and the forward-thinking companies who employ them. It has also led to the development and popularity of collaborative apps that help teams work together and manage projects from different locations. Some examples are Slack, Trello, Asana, and Proofhub.
There are lots of advantages to being a remote worker. Remote workers eliminate the time and expense spent on commuting, have more freedom to work the hours they want, and of course, they get to work from anywhere.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best cities that you can live in as a remote employee.
We’ve chosen these cities based on the quality of life they offer. These cities also have accessible digital infrastructure and stable and fast internet speeds so you can perform your duties seamlessly.
San Francisco tops our list. In terms of safety, healthcare, and the climate, this city ranks moderate to very high.
As with all the cities in this list, the Golden City provides excellent and stable internet connection with downloads of up to 1,000 megabytes per second (Mbps) and uploads of up to 35 Mbps.
It offers an exceptional work culture, amiable people, and easy access to resources. The only drawback is the higher cost of living compared to other US states. Where 100 indicates an average cost of living in the United States, San Francisco is rated at 269.3.
Dubai offers a high quality of life and is ranked as one of the best places to live in the Middle East, if not globally. It has an international community with as many as 200 different nationalities and 8.84 million expat residents.
This city is also one of the safest places in the world. You can enjoy sandy beaches, sumptuous dining, and world-class entertainment. A hub for international business and tourism, you’ll have no problem getting internet coverage here as there are a good number of providers with stable and fast internet to choose from.
Dubai offers a low cost of living and a zero income tax scheme. They even have a special program for remote workers called a virtual working program. Remote workers can apply to live in Dubai for a year with many of the same benefits that local residents are entitled to.
India has a fast-growing population with a gross domestic product that is only second to China. The National Capital Territory of Delhi is where the 3 branches of the country’s government sit. It ranked 62nd in the list of World’s Best Cities for 2021.
Delhi is popularly referred to as the heart of India and one of the most hospitable places on Earth for tourists. It’s a great city for foodies and travel enthusiasts.
Because it is a fast-growing city, it offers many opportunities for locals and tourists. The cost of living is also low. The estimated monthly cost for a family of four is around $1,300.
Internet in Delhi is fast and stable. It isn’t unusual to enjoy speeds of up to 100 Mbps.
The only drawbacks to living in Delhi are the pollution, the hot summers, and personal safety. However, as long as you don’t go out at night unaccompanied, you should be fine.
London offers an incredible remote working infrastructure. The average internet speed is around 54 Mbps.
Paired with gender equality, culture and leisure opportunities, and great healthcare, it’s easy to see why London is regarded as an ideal city for remote workers. You’ll find diverse remote working spaces here ranging from coffee houses and cafes to libraries and coworking spaces.
As Britain’s largest metropolis, London offers a history that spans almost two millennia. It is a rich and diverse cultural center. Thanks to the easy transportation the city offers, remote workers can explore this expansive city without putting a dent in their bank accounts.
Warsaw, Poland has a great international community. English is a second language so you won’t struggle with language barriers. Thanks to the modern infrastructure and transportation, everything is easily accessible at a fraction of the cost you would incur in most cities around the globe.
Warsaw is a relatively cheap place to live in with a cost of living that is almost 40% lower than the UK. This includes rent, food, and transportation. It also has a solid all-inclusive healthcare insurance system that’s free for all working residents and their families.
The average internet speed in Poland is 54.5 Mbps, slightly above the global average of 54.33 Mbps.
Bucharest outclasses its competitors with its low cost of living, access to cheap working equipment, and availability of food delivery companies among other important factors.
It was ranked the number 1 city for remote work by broadbanddeals.co.uk. By living here, you’ll enjoy stable internet speeds of 52 Mbps and a low cost of living. The estimated monthly cost for a single person living in Bucharest is around $555.
Budapest, often referred to as the “Paris of the East,” is the vibrant capital of Hungary. Remote workers will enjoy exploring this historically and culturally rich city that is subdivided by the famous River Danube.
The average download speed in Budapest is 31.1 Mbps. As a country, it has the 20th fastest internet in Central Europe so you should have no problem continuing your work here.
The cost of living is fairly affordable at $622 for a single person excluding rent.
The large city of Houston is a popular choice among remote workers due to its many coworking spaces that inspire productivity and make focusing on work a breeze. This is a dynamic city with first-class attractions like the Space Center, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Houston Zoo.
The cost of living in Houston is rated at 96.5, a few points lower than the United States’ average. A single person’s monthly expenses amount to about $843 excluding rent.
Residents enjoy faster internet speeds compared to the rest of Texas and the United States. Almost 90% of Houston enjoy internet speeds over 250 Mbps.
Houston offers big-city amenities at pocket-friendly prices. It also has a healthy immigrant ecosystem and an impressively strong sense of community for a city of its size.
The largest city in Ukraine, Kyiv is a cultural hub and a fantastic jump-off point for exploring the country’s cultural diversity and history. It is home to the infamous and abandoned city of Chernobyl.
Kyiv offers co-working spaces, affordable accommodations, reasonably priced food, and friendly professional communities. Ukraine also has Digital Nomad visas that are designed for people who wish to work in the country, remotely or otherwise.
In September 2020, Ukraine ranked 59th in the world in terms of fixed broadband internet access speed with an average download speed of 59.13 Mbps.
For remote workers on a budget and looking to experience a city with a lot of character and history, the city of Kyiv is an affordable and beautiful option.
Despite all the hype and its reputation as “Sin City, “ Las Vegas is an affordable place to work remotely while giving you access to its art scene, casinos, and world-class entertainment.
While the cost of living is 11.6% higher than the national average, the city offers affordable housing with a cost of living that is still lower than other cities in the state of Nevada.
If you don’t want to lease a place, you can easily find exclusive deals at hotels in downtown Las Vegas. Most, if not all, will provide you with a specific allowance for food and beverages per day.
The Big Apple is a top-tier city for telecommuting if you can afford it. A single person will spend about $1,358 per month excluding rent.
New York is world-famous for its dizzyingly fast pace, high energy, traffic, constant hustle and bustle, 24-hour life, and creative spirit. It’s overflowing with experiences and attractions like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Broadway, the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, and more.
You won’t have any problem with internet connectivity here. Ninety-nine percent of residents enjoy internet speeds of 250 Mbps or higher with fiber-optic technology readily available to several households.
If you’re lucky enough to work remotely, then you have the flexibility of exploring working from different places. Even if you just visit for a few months, it’s refreshing and valuable to experience different cultures and other ways of living every once in a while. With this list of the world’s best cities for remote work, why not explore the possibilities of being based someplace else?
How Remote Work is Reshaping the World of Work
The pandemic has brought innumerable changes to our lives. The global lockdowns not only affected economies but also the world of work. While remote work used to be rare, it has become the recommended setup. Small, midsized, and large companies who used to require their employees to come into the office all found ways to embrace remote ways of doing business.
Instead of holding face-to-face meetings, online meetings and gatherings became the norm. The 9 to 5 crowd were pleasantly surprised to find that appraisals, job interviews, status updates, and catch-ups could all be done virtually without negatively impacting organizations.
With remote work becoming the new normal, employees and employers all over the world are discovering its benefits. Many are left questioning if previous office-based work should be reinstated once the global health crisis ends.
While some are more conservative and less flexible than others on the matter, everyone has an opinion. In this article, we talk about what remote work is, its benefits to employees and employers, how it has evolved, and its future.
Remote work or telecommuting is a working style that gives workers the freedom to work outside of traditional work environments. The concept of remote work is based on the idea that the ability to perform job-related tasks isn’t confined to a specific office or building.
While remote work arrangements were more of an exception and a rarity before the pandemic, the last few years have seen more managers and employers slowly integrate more flexible working conditions for their employees. Such measures include allowing employees to work from home on certain days of the week, implementing 4-day workweeks, and granting flexible working hours.
The global pandemic has forcibly accelerated these changes with the exception of frontline workers who need to continue physically reporting to work to perform their duties.
Remote work allows employees more freedom and more time. Instead of spending time in daily commutes and staying in the office for a fixed number of hours everyday, they can set their own hours, take breaks when necessary, and cut down on costs from commuting and buying meals outside.
Workers who enjoy this flexibility have more time for family, extracurricular activities, and other non-work-related priorities.
Since work isn’t confined to a certain location, it’s easier for them to take vacations, work in places where they feel most productive, and take their job with them wherever they go.
Commuting every day and working long hours in front of a desk without much movement impacts our health. By freeing workers from long commutes and stuffy desk jobs, remote employees can more easily pursue healthier habits.
Whether it’s by going to a gym in between tasks, having more time to prepare healthier home-cooked meals, or just getting up and moving around, such practices are easier to integrate when people don’t need to stay in an office or spend time commuting.
With better work-life balance comes a renewed passion for the job. When employees don’t feel constantly stressed and tired, it’s inevitable that they’ll report to work with greater interest and appreciation.
Since remote work also requires a certain amount of trust between workers and their employers, employees feel more confident and capable of performing their duties.
Lower productivity is one of the primary concerns of employers who are hesitant to shift to a work-from-home arrangement. However, this rationale is contrary to research findings. According to a 2-year study of over 800,000 employees belonging to Fortune 500 companies, most people reported the same or even higher productivity levels when working from home.
Yet another study conducted by Stanford University professor Nicholas Bloom found that remote employees are 13.5% more productive than employees who reported for work. They also took less breaks, less time off, and less sick days.
When employees have more control over their working environment, they can create workplace settings that enable them to perform at their best. Whether it’s loud music, no music, working from a bed, a desk, or a coffee shop, in pajamas or while on a treadmill, it’s up to them.
How much have employers saved in overhead costs since the lockdown started? With employees working from home, employers no longer incur costs like leasing a building, paying electric and water bills among other expenses.
Additionally, many remote workers use their own equipment like laptops and other devices for work. It’s a great cost-saving solution.
This is another misconception that traditional management has about remote work. On the contrary, the same Stanford University study we cited earlier also reports that remote workers are 9% more engaged with their jobs and 50% less likely to resign.
Higher engagement rates among remote workers tie in with the other advantages we mentioned in this article. It follows that if employees have more flexibility, passion, and are healthier, they would naturally be more productive and engaged in their jobs.
Of course, remote or otherwise, engagement still needs some direction and initiatives from management, but there are ways to address the issue if you have a remote setup. The point is a remote workforce doesn’t necessarily mean lower engagement. In fact, it may have the opposite effect and can improve it.
For the most part and before the lockdown, remote work and its benefits were largely untapped, particularly when it came to large corporations. Quarantine and safety measures greatly sped up their rollout of flexible work arrangements.
It probably came as a surprise when 85% of business owners noticed greater operational efficiency among their remote workers.
Additionally, 75% of remote employees stated that the ability to work from home has afforded them better work-life balance.
While not all professions can be done remotely, there are still many office-based jobs where remote arrangements bear exploring. However, if the effectiveness of a remote workforce is measured in terms of engagement, productivity, employee well-being, cost-efficiency, and higher retention rates, then remote work is certainly effective.
Technology has been a catalyst for the growth of remote work. The ability to send and share emails, files, pictures, videos, and other materials instantly has created a borderless workplace where employees and their managers need not sit in the same building, city, or even country in order to work together.
As technology has become cheaper and more accessible for everyone, mobile phones, laptops, imaging technology, and the wide variety of applications have allowed more people to participate in a digital-driven world.
Technology’s pervasiveness has often left us constantly connected to one another and has removed the demarcation between work and non-working hours. This is perhaps more common with remote workers since their managers may work in different time zones or may not have clear or fixed ideas about their working hours.
After the COVID-19 health crisis hit, the number of Americans working from home jumped from 17% to 44%. Undoubtedly, the pandemic has left an indelible mark on the traditional work culture and our concept of work.
The popularity of remote work is expected to continue post-pandemic. In fact, more than half of US employees who are currently working from home expressed the desire to continue with their current work from home arrangements even after the health crisis is resolved.
Upwork, a job site that connects employers with remote freelance workers, predicts that the number of US remote workers will grow to 36.2 million by 2025, an 87% increase compared to pre-pandemic levels.
It’s expected that developments in AI, the release of new tools and equipment, and applications that foster collaboration across distances will continue to drive the growth of remote work opportunities. While it’s impossible to predict the extent to which large traditional companies will adopt work from home practices after the pandemic, it’s clear that remote work is here to stay and will only continue to grow.
How to Stay Productive While Working from Home
Whether you’ve been working from home for years or just started using your home office recently as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s always a good idea to figure out ways to improve your productivity. There are plenty of benefits that come with working from home, but there are also some unique challenges that come with the territory. Below, find six simple and effective tips that will increase your productivity and improve the work-from-home experience!
Stick to a schedule
If your employer doesn’t require you to work specific hours, create your own schedule and do your best to stick to it! One of the great benefits of working from home on your own schedule is that you can choose to work during your most productive hours. Some people are night owls while others are early birds, and still others find themselves somewhere in the middle.
When you create your schedule, be sure to give yourself an hour for lunch, as well as occasional 15-minute breaks. This will keep you from getting burnt out and help you to stay focused and productive throughout the day! Setting a clear start time and end time for your workday and promising yourself that you won’t work outside that time frame is also essential because it helps you create a healthy work/life balance.
Designate a workspace
When they first begin working from home, many people think it sounds like heaven to earn a living while sitting on their comfy couch or even while they’re snuggled up in bed. But those dreams quickly fade when you realize that it’s nearly impossible to be productive from these types of locations. Instead, designate a workspace and commit to doing your work there each day. Maybe you already have a home office, or perhaps you can rearrange a corner of another room to serve as your workspace. Even spreading out your work on the dining room table is much better than working from the couch or your bed.
Once you’ve chosen a workspace, optimize it! Make sure you have a supportive yet comfortable place to sit, a large enough surface for you to to fit everything you need, and plenty of light, whether it comes from a window or a lamp. As you create the habit of working in this location every day, your brain will begin to associate that specific area with work, and getting into a productive mindset will become much easier! For more advice related to mental health, check out MyTherapist.
Get ready for the day
It might sound nice to roll out of bed and walk right over to your desk to get to work, but if you’re like most people, your brain needs more of a transition between sleeping and working. Think about the morning routine you would have if you worked in an office. You’d probably shower, put on a clean outfit, eat breakfast, and brush your teeth. If you’re particularly ambitious, you might even fit in an early-morning workout before your coffee! Then you’d commute to work. This morning routine tells your brain that you’re getting ready for the workday, and it prepares you to be productive. Therefore, it’s very important to get ready for your day, even when you’re working from home, so that you can help your brain transition from sleep to work.
Obviously, it’s not necessary to dress as nicely as you would at the office if you don’t want to, but try to avoid staying in your pajamas all day. Since we associate pajamas with sleep and laziness, you’re much more likely to be lazy and unproductive if you don’t change into an outfit that’s more suited to work. Even a t-shirt and sweats is a better choice than last night’s pajamas!
Yes, avoiding distractions is much easier said than done, but there are still plenty of actions you can take to eliminate most of them. For example, if you know that you have a tendency to scroll through news sites or social media when you get bored with your work, download a browser extension that allows you to block those websites during working hours. If possible, set your phone in a different room so that you won’t pick it up and get distracted while you’re working.
Earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones are also a great idea if you struggle to block out sounds and prefer to work in silence. It’s also wise to inform anyone you live with of your work schedule so that they know not to bother you during those specific hours. You can even hang a sign on the door that lets family members or roommates know not to come in so that they don’t break your concentration.
Set clear goals for each day
A good habit to get into is to set goals for the next day at the end of each workday. That way, you’ll have a to-do list with your top priorities ready to go at the beginning of your next shift. Rather than looking through all of your work and having to decide what to focus on, you’ll already have your tasks laid out, and all you’ll need to do is begin. Setting two or three goals as top priorities can be very helpful so that you know exactly what to focus on throughout the day.
Maintain a healthy work/life balance
When you work from home, it can be extremely difficult to separate your home life from your work life–because they take place in the same location. Designating an area as your workspace, setting clear start and end times for your workday, and informing the people you live with of your working hours are all ways to set boundaries and maintain your work/life balance. Another way to separate work and home is to try working from other locations whenever possible.
If COVID guidelines in your area allow for it, you could work from the library, a coffee shop, or even a local park–just be sure to social distance and wear a mask, of course. If you’re unable to leave the house, try working from your porch or the backyard if possible. The fresh air plus the new location should help you to be more productive, and when you go back inside, you’ll feel like you’re coming home from work, helping you to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
The Bottom Line
It can definitely be a challenge to remain productive while working from home! But if you stick to a schedule, designate a workspace, get ready for the day, avoid distractions, set clear goals, and take action to maintain a healthy work/life balance, you’re likely to find that staying productive becomes much easier!
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