As a freelance proofreader, you may worry about working from home, especially if you’re used to a communal office environment. But there are some simple things you can do to boost productivity when working from home. Check out our tips below to find out more.
1. Have a Routine for Working from Home
One advantage of working freelance is you don’t have to stick to the standard nine-to-five workday. If you’re most energized between 10pm and 6am, then you can work then instead!
However, whenever you feel most productive, try to establish a routine. This means having a set working week and a set time each day when you work, then doing your best to stick to it.
You can be flexible with this if required – e.g., if you need to work later one day to speak with a client in another time zone – but following a routine is the best way to maintain productivity.
2. Create a Productive Working Space
Whether it’s housemates, children, or even just the television, there’s always something at home to distract you from work. And this makes it important to create a dedicated workspace.
Ideally, when working from home, you should find a workspace that:
- Offers at least some privacy (e.g., a spare room or a quiet corner somewhere)
- Provides plenty of light and, if possible, some fresh air
- Is tidy, comfortable, organized, and free from distractions
When sharing your home with other people, if possible, you should also ask them to give you some space while you work, so make sure your workspace isn’t in other people’s way.
3. Organize Your Workday
Wherever you work, it helps to organize your workday. Key factors here include:
- Planning and organizing your daily tasks
- Keeping track of the time you spend working on each job
Having a regular routine and set working hours will help with these. But you may also want to try some of the time tracking and workload management tools available. With apps like Toggl and Asana, for instance, you should find it much easier to manage your workdays.
4. Take Regular Breaks
When working from home by yourself, it is easy to forget everything else. However, you must remember to take regular breaks if you are going to maintain a high level of productivity.
Taking a short break every 50-90 minutes will also help you concentrate, which is vital for picking up small errors in a document. You can even schedule regular breaks into your day.
5. Watch Out for Work Creep
Finally, try to keep your work life and home life separate. This can be tricky when working from home, as your “work life” and “home life” take place under the same roof!
The danger is that work can creep into your home life: maybe you start working later to fit a bit more in each day, and maybe you keep checking your work emails even on your day off. But this isn’t sustainable! You need to switch off and relax sometimes if you want to maintain a healthy work–life balance. To help ensure you can do this, then, we suggest:
- Having a regular end-of-day routine, such as exercise or preparing dinner. The key is having something that marks the end of the working day and sticking to your routine.
- Having separate personal and work contact details. This means that you won’t be bothered by work emails or phone calls when you’re supposed to be relaxing.
And by separating your work and home lives, you should find both are easier to handle.