I’ve been a freelancer and a homeworker for nine years now. It has saved my sanity, whisked me away from a corporate life gone sour and significantly improved my health and family life.
If you’re a freelancer or homeworker, you’ll recognise the kind of benefits that come with this lifestyle:
- Less time travelling (saving time, money and earning you eco brownie points!)
- Incredible flexibility – work when it works for you!
- More time to get on with the task in hand. No queuing for coffee, meetings about meetings or time thieves hanging about your desk.
And if you’re running your own business, there’s the sense of accomplishment that comes with earning a living that isn’t dependent on you fitting a performance bell curve or a compensation system that has been created by a data wizard. A data wizard that hates people.
Why you need to get out
There is plenty that can go wrong in the life of a freelancer. You can spend waaay too much time on your own. And when you spend too much time on your own. Stuff like this happens:
You will live in your dog walking clothes
This look is fine for walking the dog in wet weather. It’s not fine 10 days on the trot. You don’t want your only change of clothes to be out of a wet set of ‘leggings and a hoodie’ into a dry set.
You will get distracted by housework
How many conference calls have you been on where you can hear a washing machine whirring away in the background? I rest my case.
You’ll get bored
And we all know what happens when people get bored. They start wearing elf hats. Or even worse, trying on the dog’s ‘cone of shame’ to see what it’s like….
The benefits of getting out more
Having realised that I’d reached peak ‘working from home’ I made a conscious decision to get out more and what a REVELATION it has been! Here’s what you can look forward to:
Wearing decent clothes
I took this photo in a service station car park – so thrilled was I to wear clothes that were neither waterproof or incorporated a hood.
Wearing impractical clothes
Time spent with interesting people
In the past two weeks I’ve participated in two workshops in beautiful shiny offices where the coffee is great and the people are engaging and nobody has dog hair or mud on their clothes. I’ve talked tech with men and women who are twenty years younger than me and fresh in their corporate journeys – so vibrant, so free of cynicism! We ate mince pies from West London and I learned that cropped jeans and ankle boots are now ‘a thing’. When you live in the sticks there is NO FASHION. Unless you count Jack Wolfskin and Dubarry as fashion.
Time spent showing off your skills
As well as feeling like I made a proper in-person contribution to the the clients I met, I also got to perform for a fantastic WI group. They plied me with Christmas cake and proved to be especially well-educated on gangsta rap. One lady told me how her brother was ‘born in the same month and the same year as Dr Dre.”
I love ‘the deal’ I have – but noticed a real boost in my creativity and energy levels from having spent more time than usual outside of my four walls. This led to finding an excellent webinar hosted by Ginger Public Speaking, securing a preliminary conversation with a speaker’s bureau and a call with a very interesting organisation that I hope to work with in the future.
How to get out more
When I started as a freelancer, my children were very young and needed a huge amount from me at the end of the school day. In the past nine years this has changed and yet I hadn’t rethought my working pattern. Something that I now realise was a little bit nuts!
If, like me, you’ve been doing the homeworking thing for a while, I’d recommend taking a fresh look at where you’re spending your time. And if you’re almost always indoors, perhaps it’s time you got out more.
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