Working as a freelancer can be a fulfilling career experience.
Whether your field is creative, administrative, commercial, or a combination of these there are opportunities to not just make a living, but to thrive.
However, that’s not to say that it is always easy.
Having a designated space for work is important, but that doesn’t mean to say you have to dedicate a whole room.
While working from home can feel like a benefit in itself, figuring out what home office layout works best for your productivity can be a challenge.
You have to make sure that you can operate in an environment that is comfortable but also supports your ability to be productive and professional.
This can be further hampered if you’re on a tight budget — not everybody has an extra room in their home to use as an office, and even furnishing a space can get a little pricey.
So, how can you create a workspace layout that is both functional and affordable?
Healthy and Practical Office Layout
Your home office workspace space doesn’t need to be the kind of clinical environment that is so prevalent in concrete office blocks throughout the world.
One of the benefits of remote freelancing is the fact that you can work from wherever you are most comfortable.
However, it’s also important to acknowledge that working from your own bed every day might be comfortable and cost-effective, but it’s not especially healthy — it can disrupt your sleep patterns and is bad for your posture — or practical.
Therefore, the ideal home office layout needs to support your wellbeing and productivity.
This begins by obtaining some of the home office essentials.
Having a designated space for work is important, but that doesn’t mean to say you have to dedicate a whole room. Rather select an area that you can use to physically and mentally separate your home and work life.
It can also be wise to invest in a second-hand desk and an adjustable chair, if you can fit it into this space.
The desk itself doesn’t need to be anything fancy, but it’s worth prioritizing your funds toward a good, ergonomic chair that supports good posture.
If you are working from a non-adjustable desk space, it’s also important to ensure that your chair and laptop or monitor are at a height that doesn’t find you hunched over or straining your neck.
This doesn’t mean to say that you need to spend your funds on a new desk.
Rather, you can get adjustable riser stands for your screen that are inexpensive and effective.
Aim For An Agile Home Office Layout
One of the benefits of being able to work remotely as a freelancer is the fact that you don’t have to be as rigid as you would in a traditional office while still being effective at home.
Indeed, particularly if the types of tasks you undertake each day might be different, you can benefit from a home office layout that prioritizes agility.
This could include:
You won’t always be living and working in a space that exudes office professionalism.
However, as a freelancer, it is becoming increasingly necessary to take video conferencing meetings.
Rather than having to cut off a room in your home and decorate it to fit professional standards, it can be cheaper and just as effective to have a collapsible green screen on hand.
There are relatively inexpensive versions available that attach to your chair, though if you’re on a really tight budget, it’s not difficult to make one yourself.
If you live in a temperate climate, it would seem like a waste not to take advantage of this fact by working outside.
Not only can this help improve your mood and productivity, it can reduce symptoms of stress and depression. However, you don’t want to be hauling your entire indoor office set up outside every time.
The lowest cost and effective way to approach this is to utilize existing patio furniture or invest in at least a comfortable outdoor chair.
You’ll also need to create some form of shade so that your screen is free from glare.
If you can’t immediately buy a patio umbrella, there are laptop shades available that you can simply slip your computer into to keep it out of the sun.
Keep Your Home Office Organized
Good organization is vital to a successful freelance career, yet it’s an area that many people in the field struggle with.
This isn’t just from the perspective of getting your invoices in on time or answering emails, either.
When your home office space is cluttered, it can have negative mental and emotional consequences; you may not be able to concentrate on the tasks at hand and provide additional sources of stress.
Therefore part of designing the ideal layout of a home office is optimizing your organization.
Thankfully, this tends to be among the most affordable adjustments that you can make to your home workspace.
Storage solutions for your important notes and papers are available at most art, big-box grocery, and homeware stores.
However, your approach to this needs to be minimal. While it’s important to keep your desk space clear, don’t grab various bins that you can just fill with your clutter.
Get a couple, each designated for specific contents, and take a disciplined approach to them.
Anything that is not essential to fit inside these, you need to dispose of.
Indeed, it can be wise to scan physical documents regularly to store them electronically so you can minimize the amount of paper lying around.
If you have a small office space, such as under the stairs or in a closet room, you can maximize your storage area by putting up some wall shelves.
However, limiting how many of these you use can force you to be more discriminating about what you’re keeping. Indeed, it can be more important, organizationally speaking, to mount a whiteboard on your wall instead of some shelves.
This can help you to keep your looming deadlines, essential tasks, and creative ideas visible at all times.
Freelancing generally means that you get to work from wherever you want to in the world.
However, to maintain productivity, it is important to create a home office layout that keeps you healthy but also allows you to be effective in various circumstances.
Perhaps most importantly, low-budget organizational adjustments can keep you on top of your work and keep your clients satisfied.