The gig economy is on the rise; in February 2016 the University of Hertfordshire undertook research which suggested that a quarter of women in the UK have sought to work from home via online platforms and a quarter of all gig workers use this work as their sole income.
Let’s say you have done your research, chosen your line of work and given up your day job. Whether you are doing copywriting, web design, graphics work or coding (all of these are common ‘work from home’ jobs) there are some questions you are bound to ask:
Do I need to set up a home office?
The answer to this one is ‘yes’ and ‘no’. If you have a laptop, it is entirely possible to work from home, at the kitchen table or even in the garden. However, although these are great for a quick change of scenery or if you are watching the oven, long-term you are going to need a space in which you can shut yourself away from the rest of the world.
Do I need to work normal office hours?
This really depends on what type of work you are doing. The gig economy is global so you might find that clients expect you to work during hours that suit their timezone. The great thing about freelance working from home is the flexibility. It would be a mistake not to sometimes take advantage of this, but if you want your new business to be a success, you will have to be fierce with yourself; if you take an hour off to go for a swim at midday, make yourself work that hour either early in the morning or in the evening.
How can I keep myself motivated?
There are lots of ways to do this but here at Fi Darby Freelance we find the following three things work:
a) Remind yourself regularly what it was like when you worked set hours and weren’t in control.
b) Keep daily records of how much you are earning. If nothing else the reality of bill-paying is a great motivator.
c) Set yourself mini targets every day. This could be a written to-do list, a target number of blog readers or even an interesting piece of research; anything that will give you a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day.
What can I do about feeling lonely?
It can be a social shock going from the workplace to home working. In many ways the solitude is a pleasant change, but you should also be aware of your mental health; we all need contact with other humans. Keeping in touch has never been easier via social media but getting out and actually meeting people is important too. Try to find other people who are working from home, attend business networking events or go on a course that will help you to make contacts.
Am I going to enjoy working from home?
The answer to this one is entirely up to you. Most life experiences are what we make them. Like anything else, there are pros and cons to working from home. Being responsible for your own wage takes a bit of getting used to and finding your initial clients can be daunting. Once you settle down however, you will find that the world is literally your oyster; which is great if you happen to like oysters!
Interested in finding writing work online? Here’s one place to start.