Working from home as a content writer is an enormous leap into the unknown. You suddenly have all this freedom to set your own schedule, design your own office, and work on your own terms, and it’s easy to forget what you actually need to work productively – apart from online writing jobs, that is!
To stay motivated and driven at home, you need to create a working environment that works for you. There’s plenty of room to get creative here, but first, you need to nail the essentials.
Here are the 10 things that you simply can’t do without when working from home as a US or UK content writer:
Dedicated Office Space
First things first, you need dedicated working space. This should be somewhere that helps you to separate work from leisure. Ideally, there’ll be minimal distractions, good lighting, and a work-oriented atmosphere. You could go big and bold and create your own mini Google-style office or you could keep things simple and stylish by turning any nook in your home into a workspace.
It’s never a good idea to work in your bedroom or just relax on the sofa all of the time, you need a separate space to get your head in the game, switch into work mode, and be as productive as you can be. If you have the funds, you could even think about building a small wooden office in your garden or convert a shed or outhouse into a liveable, workable space.
It’s the middle of the working day, you’ve found your flow, your productivity is through the roof… and then the internet goes down and your day suddenly grinds to a halt as you disconnect from the world. High-speed internet is an absolute must when working from home! If you send large files regularly, rely on video chat, or browse the internet for research, you need a good connection.
An unlimited broadband contract is essential, so you can do everything you need to do without limitations. Prices start from as little as £25 per month, and don’t forget to make sure your mobile phone has adequate 4G when you’re out and about to check up on things away from the home office.
An Ergonomic Chair
As office workers are sitting down for 75% of the time they are awake, an ergonomic chair is one of the most important investments for comfort, health, and productivity. Ergonomic chairs support the spine and allow tissue and joints to stay in a natural position.
They also reduce error rates and increase productivity. It may not seem like an immediate need, however, months and years down the line you’ll be glad you invested in a comfy chair for your daily work.
Shop around and try out a range of chairs before you buy. Look out for things such as lumbar support, adjustable height and seat comfort so that you can enjoy the support it offers as you get to work.
An ergonomic chair is a great start but there are other aspects of creating an ergonomic office that is important. For a comfortable work area, your desk should be high enough to provide space for your knees, the top of your monitor should be at eye level, and you should position your keyboard and mouse to keep your wrists straight.
Take the time to work out the right measurements for your needs and then invest in products that support you properly. Doing this is not just an investment in your comfort levels right now, but it will also help you avoid aches and pains that will plague you in years to come.
A Good Computer
If the majority of your work relies on a computer, then it needs to be able to keep up with you. Some people who work from home will swear by desktops as the best setup; other people couldn’t be without the flexibility of a laptop.
Whichever you choose, make sure you do your research and invest in a computer that’s right for you. Think about drive space, screen preferences and operating system compatibility.
Doing this will save you plenty of headaches further down the line. If your work is being carried out solely on a computer, then choosing the right one is a worthwhile investment, what’s more, you can write it off in your UK content writer tax expenses.
If you’ve never tried working with two monitors, then you’re missing a trick! Dual monitors have been proven to improve productivity, make finding information easier, and reduce errors in work. If you regularly find yourself juggling writing and researching, dual monitors are essential.
For example, content writing services need access to their client briefs, research tools and writing software at one time whereas editing services just need the work they are reviewing and access to editing tools
Try to get monitors that are the same measurements as each other to give you a seamless flow and set them up in a way that allows you to see everything you need without hurting your neck.
If you find that two monitors are still not working then going for three is acceptable, especially if you rely on lots of different information at any one time.
The exact list of office equipment you’ll need will differ from the next work at home professional. You may require a printer, scanner, photocopier, paper shredder, and whiteboard, or just a good set of stationery and a coffee maker. Investing in the equipment you need will keep your workday running smoothly.
Take the time to map out your needs and write a list of all the corresponding equipment. You can then choose to rank order the list and invest in a new item each month until you are fully kitted out and ready to work.
A UK content writer working from home can pick up a bargain on eBay or Gumtree, or buy the necesssary equipment from places like Staples, Currys or Home Bargains if you’re on a budget.
Software is another essential where your needs will differ from the next person. On top of any specific software you require, you may need communication software, anti-virus software, word processing applications, accounting software, or a PDF reader.
There are plenty of tools and apps designed to make it easier to work from home that you can download and use right away. Don’t forget that your software purchases can also be claimed back on tax too, helping you to get the best value for money.
No work at home professional should be without a data backup safety net. Backing up your data keeps your work safe and secure from ransomware, power surges, and everything in between.
You could take a look at cloud backup services if you want to keep things simple, but there are also other ways to back up your data, like using a USB flash drive or an external hard drive.
It’s always good to have a couple of backup options on the go so that you are never left with a crisis when something goes wrong. Investing in backups now will save you stress in the long run.
A Good Microphone and Headset
You can avoid echoey voices, broken speech, and terrible background noise – at least from your end – with a good headset and microphone! If video conferencing is part of your working day, then it’s essential to invest in the right tools to make sure your voice comes across clearly.
From headphones with built-in microphones to more sophisticated audio options, there is something out there that will support your needs. This means you will not only enjoy better audio quality but appear more professional to your clients too.
At Anglo Content, we provide the opportunity to work as a US or UK content writer with the ultimate work at home essential: a dedicated content writing platform. Through Anglo Content, it’s easy to find online writing jobs from the comfort of your own home. Apply to become a Seller today!