I’ve been working from home since the beginning of 2017. I’ve written before about what working from home is really like and discussed how it can be lonely and isolating at times.
Now, more people than ever are working from home and trying to stay productive. Many are succeeding! Some find it difficult. And others are adapting and making it work while waiting until they can put some pants back on and go to their office where everything is set up exactly as they want.
How To Be Productive When Working from Home
The hardest part of working from home is the fact that there is no boss or manager checking up on you.
What Has Stayed the Same?
In terms of my actual day to day work, not much. I work in my same home office at the same desk, sitting in the same chair, but using a slightly newer laptop and writing and editing to my heart’s content.
Just before the pandemic struck, I published my third book (second self-published) at the end of 2019, and it’s one I am incredibly proud of.
After the pandemic was well under way, my fourth book (second traditionally published) advanced in the publishing process and should be released soon.
I still am pretty isolated — more so, I’d argue, than prior to the pandemic. I don’t get to see friends and family in real life and suddenly everyone is a Zoom expert.
And we always had one cat (he’s almost 6), but we also got a quarantine kitten! Now we have TWO fluffy babies! I call the older one my manager and the baby my new intern. So, I’m still a cat lady.
A major change is that I now share my home office with my husband, who has been working from home full-time since March and is expected to stay home until January 2021.
It’s weird to see him in “work mode” and suddenly having all new grunts, sighs, mechanical keyboard typing, and all the other sounds of having an office-mate.
It’s also really nice to have a coworker! I’ve worked at home completely alone — just me and my cat — for years. Now I have someone to eat lunch with, get hugs from, chat, take walks with, and kiss whenever I want (workplace harassment alert! [joke]). It can get a bit loud when we both have meetings, but we make it work.
Business has changed some
My clientele has changed a bit.
Around May, people realized the pandemic may be here to stay a lot longer than they hoped/planned, and I had a couple of clients drop off, as they now needed to allocate the money elsewhere.
I get it. Paying freelancers is often like having a part-time employee taking care of things you maybe can do but don’t want to or helping accentuate something. It can be considered a luxury that helps the business but is not absolutely required to keep it running.
I definitely had concerns that no one would be hiring me for the duration of the pandemic.
However, I’ve been happily continuing to work. In fact, many people have used the extra time quarantine provided to write a book or start freelancing to make money. I’ve had many people asking me about how I got started and for advice, and it culminated in launching a brand new service offering in my business: freelance business coaching!
This is something I am extremely excited about, as it is fun, new, challenging, interesting, in my field of expertise, and I get to work with people to help them build a profitable freelance business — something I love doing. Since starting my own business, I have taken the time to answer questions and mentor new freelancers whenever I have time, and now I get to do it in a professional capacity!
I like to joke that one of the reasons I love being a writer is because I am nosy as hell and I get to learn all about people and their stories. Now I get to dive in even deeper and get to know more about the person, their plans and goals, what they want, and help them create something they are passionate about. It’s awesome.
I took the time to create a “signature process” and design a plan, and I already have several coaching clients who are putting in the work to start their own business!
Life has changed, but business marches on
It has to. As life evolves and changes, those of us who own businesses are forced to adapt or die. Like with evolution, it’s survival of the fittest. Your business needs to be able to react to changes in the economy in order to be around for the long haul.
If one thing isn’t working, it’s important — no, vital — to be able to adapt and change direction swiftly to find something else that works. Whether that is a new service offering, expanded office hours, adding new skills, taking the time to write a book, new marketing and social media strategies. Whatever it is, now is the time to experiment.
Check out my book Concept to Conclusion: How to Write a Book and learn everything you need to know to conceive of, outline, write, publish, and market a book!
Sign up for my mailing list for writing and freelancing news and information.
Other stories you may like:
How to Get Sh*t Done When You Just Don’t Feel Like Writing (or Working)
We’ve all been there
Freelance Business Coaching — What is it?
I’m thinking about starting to coach new freelancers