We're now seeing more and more opportunities for remote working in freelance contracts. For some people, they love the opportunity to work from home and technology today enables you to work as efficiently as you would if you were in the office, with clients based anywhere in the world.
With the use of online communication tools like email, Skype, Slack, WeTransfer and Dropbox (to name just a few), you’re able to liaise with your team, clients and share the work you’ve done in an instance – but is it as simple as that?
You can get out of bed and walk a few paces and be at your desk, but your working environment is everything. Working from your bed isn’t productive! You need to be comfortable and be able to work as efficiently as you can and trust me, lying down is not the one. Let’s not even get into thinking about posture! Give yourself a spacious area that you can set up your computer/laptop, have your phone at easy reach and be able to make notes. This can be a desk in your home, your own home office or even a space you rent away from your home. Ultimately, you’ll know what works for you.
Give yourself breaks
It’s easy when working remotely to forget to give yourself breaks to allow yourself time to step away from work. By doing so you may not give yourself the necessary break which can allow you to then reflect on the work you’ve done and add something more valuable or take out something that just doesn’t work. Breaks will also reduce tiredness and fatigue which will ultimately affect your performance. Just like you would at the office, allow yourself 1 hour in the middle of the day to get away from those screens of yours, get some fresh air, collect your thoughts and go again.
Have a structure
You’re your own boss so you’ll be used this, but it’s essential to plan your day. What do you have to do that day – what needs to be achieved? Setting daily tasks will enable you to perform efficiently and be able to get vital tasks done so that you deliver your work on time.
Go on-site every once in a while
So your client allows remote working, but working on site every once in a while speaks volumes about you as an employee. It puts a real person to the “freelancer/contractor/remote worker” – I guarantee that your client will respect you and remember you more than if you have never worked onsite. You need to be amenable to the people you’re working for. I get asked for remote workers to be onsite at the beginning of a contract so that they can meet the team, put a face to the name and brief you on the task in hand. You may also get asked to attend onsite meetings and possibly even staff social events! Remote working is brilliant, but don’t isolate yourself. Who knows, you could meet someone who might think of you for a future project – It’s basically networking.
Invest in your tools
If you’re thinking of working remotely and your role involves sharing sizeable files, then it will be worth investing in some super-fast broadband. You don’t want to be sharing your work with your client or even their clients and the file takes 11 hours to upload and download. Everything needs to be slick, and seamless – don’t allow your client to doubt the remote working! And on that note, it’s worth having a fast working laptop/computer – any defective equipment will cause you stress.
Most importantly, you need to be contactable during your standard working hours. Just because you’re working remotely doesn’t mean you don’t have to answer work emails or answer calls from your team or line manager. Remote working benefits you as a contractor but you’re offering a service to your client, and if you’re not on the end of the phone then why would they come back to you for their next project? Don’t allow people to think that remote workers don’t work as hard as those who are onsite, excel and prove yourself so that no one can doubt your working ability. Also, it’s best to remember that this is freelance, if you don’t perform the tasks required of you, on time and don’t work as efficiently then they can end the contract in an instance.
With all that said, working as a freelancer does have so many benefits. Most of the freelancers I place would never go back to working in-house or agency side because they love their freedom so much.
Are you already a freelancer or thinking of going freelance? Pitch can help. Get in touch with me today to find out more.