The days of commuting and office jobs are numbered. The sheer cost of offices is killing profits and murdering bottom lines around the world. Worse, it’s costing employees money, too. The truly modern place of business is now streamlined, core functions, with most of its workforce actually outside the office. Freelancers
in web design, writers, accountants, consultants and graphic artists have been taking advantage of the new environment to create good viable businesses.

The home workspace

Working at home effectively is really a matter of organization and scheduling. For experienced freelancers it’s almost a reflex to separate the home essentials and the work rate. Work is scheduled to allow plenty of time to deal with the home routine, shopping, kids, etc. This is both good management and good

The home workspace is typically similar to a workstation, even if it doesn’t often look like one. It’s usually well clear of the main drag in the home, and is “Mummy’s/ Daddy’s work” to the kids, therefore sacred ground, not to be touched. The work is well organized, whatever the appearance of clutter. Most freelancers keep their work online, with backups and hard copy securely stored.

The work routine

Work is targeted by default by freelancers. Targets are set for jobs to be completed inside deadlines, and to allow time for quality control. The schedule also allows for business management, doing basics like cash books, invoices, receipts, tax, and other fundamentals.

The actual work includes some tasks which aren’t obvious. A certain percentage of freelance work is based on research, product development, and perfecting materials for the freelance business. Creative freelancers spend a considerable amount of time trying to develop new products.

The other primary work routine is involved in looking for business and client relationships. This is critical use of time, and can be extremely productive. Freelancers need to watch their job market, and look for the good income streams which provide the all-important cashflow.

Training and career dynamics

Many freelancers have business training, which is invaluable when dealing with business clients and assessing their needs. As a freelancer you must be able to communicate in business terms with clients as a freelancer, and speak the language of business fluently. The clients appreciate someone who can understand their needs, and make a positive contribution to their business with ideas and products.

All freelance careers are “portfolio careers”, the portfolio building approach is another fundamental issue. In the freelance market, qualifications are both the traditional professional qualifications and the commercial work. Career development for freelancers is based on commercial success as much as qualifications, and most contractors want to see proven commercial potential in assessing freelance work.

Based on these measures, freelancers try to promote themselves up the ladder of contracts to the very high income roles using portfolios and targeting their work to get this work. Whether you’re doing SEO based copy and web content or cutting edge graphics, accountancy or business consultancy, you’ll find the freelance career can promote you up the career ladder faster than you could ever imagine. Try it and get it right, and you’ll never look back.