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Working from Home — Top Tips from Freelancers

We asked our Freelance Twitter followers including AMA Members for advice on the best ways to home work for those usually based in the office. Here’s some of their top tips along with some extra links to help you with this change:

Beckie Smith
Marketing & Development Consultant and AMA Member Rep

  • Always walk to and from work. This might mean walking 15 mins round the block. The roll out of bed into your desk feeling isn’t ok.
  • Schedule a real-life conversation with someone morning and afternoon. Try to get both someone you’re working with currently and someone you’re not. In an office you have those ‘project meetings’ and ‘chats while the kettle boils’. You still need both when working from home.

Amy Rushby
Freelance Marketing & Digital Professional

  • Have a room/area dedicated for work time so you can close a door on it at the end of the day.
  • Zoom and WhyPay are free to use services for conference/video calls. I find they work better than Google Hangouts/Skype/Facetime and seem more professional.
  • Eat outside, not at your desk (who wants food in their keyboard anyway!).

Stephanie Brown
Digital Marketing Consultant

  • Try Coffitivity – ambient soundtracks of different kinds of coffee shops. For people who don’t like silence, but find radio or music too distracting.
  • Don’t work in your PJs. People often assume us freelancers/WFH are lounging around in our jim jams all day, but I -have- to get showered and dressed to feel properly in work mode.
  • Propping your laptop on a box helps reduce double chins on video calls!

Christina Lister
Marketing & Audience Development Consultant and Co-Leader of Museum Freelance

  • Make sure you have some kind of community you can tap into.
  • Play around with what works for you as everyone’s different.
  • Be kind to yourself, take breaks, fresh air and movement.
  • Try to set boundaries between work and home so you’re not ‘on’ all the time.

Mel Larsen
Marketing Consultant, Business Coach, and AMA Board Member

  • Have a set start and finish time. Create a routine. That way you can differentiate between work and home-time.

Jane Cordell
Director of Result CIC and AMA Board Member

  • Have a separate space for work, however small. We converted a small cupboard into a small pull-out workstation when in a small London flat.
  • Make the most of being able to organise your tasks at the best time of day.
  • Don’t feel guilty for taking breaks you need.

Graham Dowling
Solution Consultant

  • Changing your working height throughout the day really helps with back pain. Standing desks are definitely worth it!

Rebecca Givens
Digital Freelancer

  • Get showered, dressed and ready as if going into the office.
  • Change location throughout the day.
  • Use the phone more than you normally would to get a bit of verbal interaction.

Ruth Garde
Curator, Creative Producer & Writer

  • I walk my dog for an hour before I start.
  • I often have quiet music playing in the background while I work as long as it’s not too intrusive.
  • I ignore any chores until after my work hours

The AMA Team

  • Marketing and PR Manager, Matt, has started wearing shoes when working rather than slippers to avoid settling into leisure mode.
  • The whole team meet for an optional 15-minute video call which is scheduled every working day at the same time. This allows us to catch up with non-work news and to get some added social contact. People can attend whenever they fancy and drop in and out as they please.

Extra resources:

Supercool share some good advice in this blog post on their transition to remote working back in 2017. Read more.

MuseWeb have shared a crowdsourced list of platforms that are temporarily waving their subscription fees for users. Read more.

Ticketsolve share some tips on ways to be effective working from home. Read more.

Google share four tips to keep you accountable, collaborative and productive as you work from home. Read more.

You can keep updated on further AMA resources and support here.