Work Life Balance & Freelancing

Work Life Balance & Freelancing

Home life and work life can easily interfere with one another when working as a freelancer. By keeping the two separate, you can work more productively and enjoy your free time more. Here are just several ways to enjoy work life balance when, like me, working as a freelancer.

Work Life Balance Tip 1: Have a Dedicated Work Space

Having a space in your home dedicated solely for work can help you to switch to work mode (and off again). It’s important that your designated workspace is somewhere free of distractions – working from your living room whilst other family members watch TV is not ideal. If you don’t have an individual room to transform into a home office, try to at least designate a corner of a room as your office, For instance, you could consider buying some office furniture and setting up a desk in the corner of your bedroom. Alternatively, you may be able to convert unused space into an office such as an unused loft.

Work Life Balance Tip 2: Work Away From The Home

I remote work a lot. This can help you to get away from the distractions of home and give you that sense of having a separate workplace. Libraries and coffee bars are popular free places to work from. You can also try renting a desk in a co-working space to see if this helps you get into a work mindset. I run a free coworking group in Thirsk aimed at helping reduce freelancer’s isolation and boosting work life balance.

Work Life Balance Tip 3: Keep a Work Schedule

Freelancing offers the benefit of being able to work flexibly, but too much flexibility can have an impact on your ability to work. Try to keep set work hours each day if you can. Not only will you find it easier to concentrate on your work, but you can then set dedicated and uninterrupted times for doing things with other people. I’m very strict on my working and non-working times.

Work Life Balance Tip 4: Use Separate Phones

If clients contact you by phone, it could be worth considering buying a separate phone for work use. You can then turn this work phone off in your free time so that you don’t have to deal with work calls and texts. Similarly, you could turn your personal phone off during work hours – whilst you may still want to keep a few emergency personal numbers on this phone, it could allow you to distance yourself from personal social media notifications and unimportant texts that could serve as a distraction when you’re working.

Work Life Balance Tip 5: Use Separate Email Addresses

It could also be worth setting up separate email addresses. This can allow you to only receive business emails when logged into your work email and only personal emails when logged into your personal email. If you’ve got too separate phones, you may also be able to log each one into a separate account. This is more about avoiding distractions which means you should get your allotted work done in work hours and not run over into “home” time.

If you have any other work life balance top tips for freelancers feel free to comment below.

 

 

Keeping Compliant as a Freelancer

Keeping Compliant as a Freelancer

Being a freelancer can be a very liberating experience, yet with all that freedom comes responsibility and occasionally loneliness. I’ve been doing this for more than twelve years and it isn’t just a case of being a copywriter and writing, I need to know about current law around compliance, GDPR etc AND more! In this blog post, I’m going to take a look at some of the key components of being compliant as a freelancer to ensure you don’t get yourself in hot water along the way.

ACCOUNTS

If you’re used to being paid as an employee, then you will be used to having your tax deducted prior to it reaching your account.  However, as a freelancer, you are responsible for paying your own tax, and as such, you can find yourself in quite a predicament if you forget, or spend it, prior to it being due. This is something that you need to make a good habit early on.

On the plus side, there are many companies such as Qdos Accounting that can not only help you to remain compliant but can help reduce the amount of tax you do pay, as the majority of business expenses are tax deductible. This is a complex area, particularly when it comes down to aspects like home offices. I did my own books/accounts in the early years and I have to say that employing an accountant was by far one of the best business decisions I made.

GDPR

No matter how large or small your business, there’s a good chance that  GDPR is going to affect you. The GDPR is in place to make data processors more responsible for the information people give them, in this sense, it extends beyond most basic data protection policies and is in place to stop people abusing the information they hold. It is important to keep on top of GDPR in terms of being compliant with legislation in your business. To no do this could cost you money, your reputation and land you in hot water. None of this is good when you just want to get on with your freelance work.

CONTRACT LAW

The law of contract is pretty simple.  The reason a contract exists is to protect both parties entering into it, and the most important aspect is to clearly define the tasks and expectations; both in terms of requirements and reward.  This way, everyone knows where they stand and if there is an issue down the line, you can both refer to the contract agreed to in the first instance.

In simple terms, a contract is the exchange of promises between parties. Despite this so many freelancers I speak to don’t have contracts with their clients. Make this a priority if you want to protect yourself and your business.

contract, compliant

MISREPRESENTATION

This is a particularly pertinent aspect of law for freelancers. Misrepresentation is simply misrepresenting something material, for instance, it could be a qualification or something you have said the customer will get in order to induce them into sale. If you are found to be misrepresenting yourself the contract is likely to be rescinded (withdrawn) and the other party is unlikely to be held responsible for paying you any money. The key is to be transparent. Don’t say you can do something when you can’t, and basically do not lie about any aspect of your business.

NEGLIGENCE

Finally, negligence is where you carry out work without a reasonable standard of care.  Negligence when driving is when a person is found to be driving without due care and attention, which is similar in business, in that if you make a mistake that isn’t intentional but was a little reckless you could be guilty of negligence.

If you are accused of being negligent, then the other party is likely seeking damages to compensate them for any loss suffered as a result of your negligence.  It, therefore, pays to take this aspect seriously, and many freelancers know the importance of being able to demonstrate they took reasonable steps to ensure no negligence occurred. Good insurance is a must when you are a freelancer, as is, of course, being compliant.

These sorts of things aren’t what you went into business for and they don’t come up when you imagine your perfect working day. Ensuring that you are compliant in all of these areas is an important part of being a freelancer so don’t get caught out.

 

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