Preparing your work station

Preparing your work station

Image: by ThoroughlyReviewed.

One of the many joys of freelancing is being able to work from any suitable remote location, obviously dependant upon your type of work. This means that you can completing your invoices from you laptop in bed while still in your pyjamas, writing articles from your favourite coffee shop, or you can be responding to your emails while enjoying the sunshine from your balcony. While this is fantastic, the majority of freelance work is done from a computer, and it is important to have a tailor prepared workstation for you to claim as productive space. Here are some things worth considering when you are setting up your workstation.

Firstly, do you require a desk? If you are going to be on your computer for elongated periods every day, it probably pays to ensure that you are professionally set up for your own comfort and health, which entails that you have a high quality chair as well that can support your back and posture for longer periods of time. If you are using a desk, is it big enough for everything you need? Will you be taking lots of notes and require extra space for this?

The next point to look at is location. Many people find it helps them to have a seperate work space from a living space so that the two different sectors of their lives don't blend together, but other's don't have so many problems with this. Is a home office essential to your needs, or will a simple desk in your bedroom suffice? Do you require a phone outlet within reach or will you be using your mobile instead? Is there enough light to be able to work without straining your eyes? Is there too much that you can't see the computer screen properly? Would you prefer to set your computer by a window to let in as much natural light to your working space as possible, or will the neighbours provide too much distracting entertainment from the apartment across the street?

Talking of distractions, what else exists in your work space that could take you away from your productivity? One of the benefits of having a dedicated home office is that you are less likely to fill a home office with things that can distract you, as opposed to working in a bedroom for example which is much more likely to have televisions, musical instruments, interesting novels and any number of alternative uses of your time looming over your subconscious as you try to push through as much work as possible. Be aware of this and try to minimise this when setting up your workspace, as otherwise you run the risk of procrastinating your responsibilities and having to cram before deadlines which can effect your productivity and, most of all, your quality often diminishes under increased stressed.

Other things to consider are your environment. Are you able to open a window to let in some fresh air? Are you able to control the climate to a comfortable level so that it doesn't distract your concentration? Does it help you to have a plant in the room to make it feel more pleasant to stay in there? If you are taking Skype or video calls, is there anything on the wall or in the room that could be considered unprofessional or inappropriate that your clients might accidentally see?

It is very important to tailor make your working space to all of your personal and business needs, and careful consideration of all of these elements will ensure that you can maximise productivity, maintain a good flow of work, and to work without distraction or discomfort. One last thing to consider, somewhat contradictory to the rest of this article, is that you shouldn't overthink all of this and you should just do what feels natural. If you worry too much about this, you might find that optimising your workstation becomes an obsession and in fact a distraction from your work itself, even if all done with good intention. If, after some time, you need to change, of course sometimes it pays to simply move your desk a few metres for a slightly different atmosphere and view, but don't allow this to cloud your mind and steal you from your work.