Setting up an efficient home office as a freelancer can ultimately lead to making more money. Especially if you get things that contribute greatly to your productivity. Today, I’ll show you 11 things I’ve bought throughout the years that had the biggest impact on my career.
In this post, I’m not focusing on certain pieces of software. That topic can be its own blog post as I’ve used many.
I’m also not going to bring up various office supplies. Things like pens, paper, staplers, printers, and what-not are kind of a given.
In this article, I’m actually covering the tangible office assets that every freelancer should have. Well, in my opinion, anyway. Everyone has their own idea of what makes them efficient.
What is in My Home Office as a Freelancer?
Because my home office is such a wreck, I’ll think I’ll forgo pictures at the moment. Perhaps I’ll clean it up a bit and use my own photos in the future.
For now, I guess you’ll have to take my word for it.
A Decent Chair for the Freelancer Home Office
One of the things that made the biggest impact on my productivity as a writer is the office chair. When you’re stuck in an uncomfortable chair for hours on end, it can wreak havoc on you.
This is because physical discomfort can take away from productivity. It’s all about reducing stress on your body, which clears the mind to a greater degree.
In my case, I vastly increased my income after buying a comfortable chair. In fact, the chair paid for itself in a very short amount of time because of how much more productive I was.
A Sturdy Keyboard
In my career, I’ve gone through a lot of keyboards on my computer. And although the Corsair K95 Platinum is a bit more expensive, it’s been the most resilient keyboard I’ve used thus far.
Now, you probably don’t need one this expensive. After all, mine is a gaming keyboard as I do a lot of streams for YouTube and Twitch. But, there is something to be said about buying a more sturdy keyboard.
Not to mention that I am a fan of mechanical keyboards, and having programmable macro keys lets me load things such as Photoshop and Premier a lot faster.
A Second Monitor
Another device that vastly improved my freelance writing is having the second monitor. Ever since attaching one to my computer, I have been more efficient overall.
Normally, I’ll use the second monitor for researching content while writing on the other. This way, I can just look at the other screen while typing instead of having to switch browser windows.
It’s just one of those things that cut a few minutes off of every article. When you’re writing for content mills like Textbroker, every second counts.
A Laptop for Working Vacations…sigh
As a freelance writer, you don’t need a laptop that is super powerful. Well, unless you plan on adding a lot of images and video to your articles. But if you’re working with simple text-only editors, you don’t need much umph.
Having a laptop lets you write from literally anywhere. In fact, I’ve done many an article from a hotel room thanks to my cheap Lenovo.
To keep things on a budget, I just bought a refurbished Lenovo laptop from Microcenter. As I said, you don’t need a lot of power to simply write. As such, the cost of a decent laptop for what you need is relatively low.
Just remember that if you’re on a budget, you don’t need a lot of power to simply write. My refurbished laptop allowed me to make more money while traveling, so it was a great investment.
Never underestimate the value of good lighting. For me, the poor lighting I had in the beginning was horrible on my eyes. The end result was having to take several breaks or suffering through a myriad of headaches.
In my old house, my home office had a lot of natural lighting for my freelancer work. I also had a decent bulb ahead of me for late-night writing.
Nowadays, I have plenty of light that doesn’t strain my eyes. Now, I just need new glasses and I’ll be all set.
Every Freelancer Home Office Needs Plants
I used to scoff at the idea of having plants. Normally, because I often forgot about them and they died off. But, I’ve actually done fairly well keeping a few things alive.
At any rate, plants not only spruce up the office space but can also improve your mental state.
I feel far more comfortable today with my seven-foot coleus climbing up the window. Not to mention the bamboo tree I have on my desk…which my cat keeps eating.
My point is to never underestimate how effective plants can be for keeping you focused and relaxed.
Bookshelves Decorate with “Me” Items
One thing that has helped with my mental state is keeping things around that represent me and who I am. Some people will use pictures of family, favorite books, and other personal items.
Personally, I have two bookcases behind me loaded with personal items. Sure, it looks a bit cluttered here and there, but they are things that reflect who I am and what I do.
Actually, you can see these bookshelves in the background of my newer videos on the YouTube channel.
A Good Desk
A good desk is more important than what you might realize. Then again, the definition of what makes a desk “good” is really up to the freelancer. Some people can get away with cheaper desks while others might want a bit more room.
From my perspective, I like larger desks as it allows me to keep things I need within reach. Unfortunately, this also means that I have much more space to clutter.
At any rate, having the desk I have now has made me more efficient in the projects I do. This includes everything from writing to making YouTube videos.
A Decent Webcam or Video Camera
As a freelancer, you’ll probably need to be on camera when chatting with clients or for other video purposes. I know I’ve spent more than a few minutes talking with clients over video.
In some cases, you might be able to get away with using whatever cheap unit you have. Or, perhaps you have a low-quality one on your laptop.
But there is something to be said about delivering a good video experience. Especially when dealing with clients.
For this purpose, I upgraded from a Logitech C920, which isn’t that bad of a camera, to the Aluratek 4K webcam. Then again, I also do quite a bit of video content online. You probably don’t need a 4k camera.
However, a decent webcam can mean all the difference when interacting with someone who is going to pay you for a project.
USB Power Adapters
I have a lot of devices that use USB ports for charging. From my phone to the Corsair headset I use during podcasts, everything plugs into the wall in some way or another.
To make sure everything gets powered, I have a few USB wall adapters that double as regular power sockets. Now, I can charge everything I need as well as what any visitors might bring in and use.
This includes the LED lighting I use in some videos.
There is no such thing as having too many USB charging ports for a freelancer in the home office.
Space Away from Everyone!
Lastly, and perhaps one of the most important, is having space away from anyone who can cause a distraction. Though, kids usually still stand in my doorway to chat about something random.
In the early days, my home office was in the middle of the living room. And although I tried hard not to let people interfere, it was extremely difficult.
Today, I have a room dedicated as my office I have in my home for freelancer work of all kinds. I’m able to make videos, write unhindered, and am usually able to stay more focused on my work.
And since I can shut my door at any time, I also can limit how often my cat needs to lay across the keyboard.
Make Your Home Office Your Own as a Freelancer
In reality, the best setup for your own home office really depends on what works best for you. Everyone is different, and things I feel are a distraction, you may be able to handle easily.
In any case, it’ll take you a bit of time to really find your groove when working from home. Find ways that will make you more productive while feeling professional.
The end result is making more money.
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