Working From Home is great. Firstly you get to avoid the horrible commute into work everyday and for anyone living on the Northern Line between Clapham South and Clapham North will be as grateful as I am to be WFH. As much as I miss waiting for 6 trains to pass by every morning at 08:15 until there is finally space for me to board - only to be squished up against the tube door or even worse, some girls soaking wet hair slapping me in the face as the tube rumbles along it's tracks (true story, not pleasant). Secondly, you don't even have to shower, get changed or presentable if you really don't want to...whose there to judge, no-one! And don't get be started on all the procrastination and life admin that you can get done in-between work of course.
Saying that, there are some very major drawbacks for a freelancer working from home. The first would have to be the loneliness. I used to work in an 9-6 office environment which was very fast paced and social so working from home is a major difference to this. In an office environment you have everything you need such as stationary, stocked up magically for you to use for work (*and personal) reasons. Not only that, the coffee machine is free (if it isn't it should be) and the amount you save on this is ridiculous. It can also be quite annoying when the postmen knows that you are always home, so you end up being the receiver to all of your neighbours parcels. Finally when working in an office and you have no toilet roll at home - come on who's going to admit to sneaking a roll or two into their bag?!
It is so important to stay motivated, strict and busy when working from your home because it is very easy to slip into doing household chores or even a lunchtime nap. I've found the best way to do this is to create the perfect working environment, which has to be functional, comfortable and have easy access to the coffee machine.
I've recently purchased a new desk, which is much bigger than my last one making it much easier to work as the small desk was so crammed I was forever getting stressed because it was so untidy. It is also very important to have good lighting. The photos above were taken last night which is why there is no natural light. However it is important to situate your working from home desk in a well, naturally lit room as well as having enough light via lamps in the evening when working long hours. Personally I have my desk setup in the front room, dining and kitchen open planned area, as my spare room is too small and doesn't get the best light during the day, plus it would just feel very dull and uninspiring to work in a bedroom. Of course you need a comfortable chair. I have a pair of chairs one for myself and one if Im having a meeting at home. Mine are more dining room table chairs as I wanted them to be easily tucked in tight to the desk to save space. For comfort I've got a couple of cushions that I use.
Making your home office aesthetically pleasing is a major part of being more productive, I actually wrote a piece a while back about how plants can transform your wellbeing at home and bring your home to life. So decorate your home office with plants, posters, pictures of family - basically whatever makes you feel relaxed and inspired. I've opted for some inspirational posters which reminds me of holidays and therefore pushes me to work hard to be able to go on my next one. Of course it wouldn't be an office without a coffee machine and I have the ultimate, self cleaning, bean-to-cup automatic machine from KRUPS (reviewed here).
Working from home or flexible working is a major trend in the UK and growing. Companies are realising that if managed correctly, they can actually get a better output, results and a longer-term relationship from their employees by offering flexible hours, working from home or both. Personally when working from home, my productivity is much higher and the hours of work are longer too and that is mainly down to creating the perfect working environment in the home.