You’ve likely attended a party, a wedding or other such event when somebody asks you what you do. When you tell people that you’re a freelancer working from home they turn green with envy. They tell you how lucky you are to still be able to curl up in bed while the masses outside your window struggle in the wind and rain or stew in the nose to tail traffic to get to their places of business. They likely envision you lounging on the sofa, sipping coffee all morning before deigning to do a few minutes of typing before settling in for a nap and sending out your invoices. Yet, while freelancing from home may sound idyllic (and in many ways it is) it comes with its own inherent perils and pitfalls of which you’ll need to steer clear in order to make your endeavor successful.
Every day is a struggle for productivity
While your salaried colleagues might enjoy little luxuries like scrolling through their social media feeds on their coffee breaks or treating themselves to an extra long bathroom break on company time, freelancers face a constant struggle for productivity. The home is a hotbed of distractions from the quotidian chores that seem much more appealing when you’re staring down the barrel of a deadline to the ever-present allure of online distractions. Install anti-distraction apps on your PC, establish set hours and stick to them and make sure that you build in break times that will allow you to rest your mind and give you something to push onward towards throughout the day.
Time out of work is time out of pocket
Many salaried workers enjoy sick pay from their employers. Freelancers, however, know that if they’re too sick to work, they don’t make money. Thus, when you’re a freelancer, it’s extra important that you look after your body and mind. Eat well, exercise regularly, stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep. When you’re out and about, be extra careful especially when in busy areas. A slip and fall attorney may be able to help you if you are injured as a result of someone’s negligence but this can be a lengthy process. Constant vigilance is a small price to pay for good health and productivity.
Managing your work/life balance can become even harder
Many assume that because you no longer have to commute to work and back and that you no longer have a workplace, a boss or the other accouterments that come with the world of work that it’s much easier to manage your work/life balance. In most people’s experience, however, quite the opposite is true.
The trouble with working from home is that you’re always at work and it can be tempting when you can’t sleep at night to sneak into your office and get a head start on the next day. Again, stick to your set hours unless you’re in severe danger of missing a deadline. You will aid nobody by burning yourself out.
Freelancing from home is a wonderful way to make a living. But it is also an extremely double-edged sword.
How about you? What are your experiences in the down-side to freelancing? Let me know in the comments below.