This whole work-from-home phenomenon has really taken shape.
According to a Global Workplace Analytics’ analysis of 2018 American Community Service data, about 3.6% of workers telecommute and the overall number has increased by 173% since 2005. And for freelancers, the home is the workplace in almost all circumstances. It makes sense. As long as you’re using your crib to crank out copy, why not be able to deduct part of your rent or mortgage from your taxable earnings?
Before you take the leap from getting a paycheck to launching your own business from home, you’ll want to get a handle on the technological tools needed to be productive. In the digital age, the proper work-from-home setup is essential to managing assignments and assuring that the quality of your product is tip-top.
First off, a laptop is an absolute must. Whether you’re a writer or graphic designer, crafting and submitting quality work on time and securely demands that you have a reliable machine. That’s not to say a desktop setup won’t work. It’s just that part of the allure of freelancing flows from the ability to do your thing from a coffee shop or creekside, if you’re so inclined.
Also, these days, there’s a laptop computer for nearly every budget. So, price shouldn’t deter you from laying down the very foundation of your new entrepreneurial venture.
Connectivity— you’ll need it, and it must be fast and reliable. There was a time in the internet service provider arena when calling up a webpage gave you the time to shower and dress before the source became available. Obviously, that’s no longer the case but you get the idea.
Deadlines can be missed if your Internet connection is spotty. Be sure to review and select from the top purveyors of internet service so that you don’t get caught up in frequent outages and downtime. And don’t skimp when it comes to speed. Having a faster connection will improve your hourly rate if you’re working on assignments with a set price per submission.
Results on Display
Let’s talk displays. For designers, programmers and developers who crave a clean, crisp look at their work, a state-of-the-art monitor is a blessing. And that state-of-the-art descriptor shouldn’t scare you from a cost perspective. You can scoop a curved, 32-inch LCD monitor for less than $200 bucks right now. Ten or 15 years ago, you might have paid five times that amount for similar size and technology.
At that price point, adding a second monitor could be an option. For freelance writers, it’s a boon because no longer will you have to toggle back and forth between your content platform and your source. From left to right, you have everything you need at a glance.
Just Like Being There
With colleagues spread all over the globe, face-to-face meetings can be a bit difficult to pull off. With an array of videoconferencing software on the market, putting a name with a face is pretty simple. Apps like Zoom, Webex or Blue Jeans lets stakeholders on a project congregate in a virtual room despite location. The free programs work on a mobile phone as well as well as laptops and tablets, so if you can sneak off to a quieter location if your dog spots a squirrel in the front yard.
And if you feel like staying in your pajamas all day, audio-only options are generally acceptable and function from any mobile device, as well.
It’s not too difficult to acquire the means to work from home or wherever else in the world you want to produce.
Depending on what line of freelance work you pursue, your tech setup can range from utterly simple to blazingly elaborate. What tools you desire and what ultimately gets the job done hinges greatly on budget. And with technology progressing much faster than a speeding bullet, you can be a Superman or Superwoman in your own right, with some tax deductions to boot.