As a freelancer you likely work from home at least part of the time. Now, the team here at Freelancer News won’t judge you if you do some of your work from the comfort of your own bed (that can’t just be us… can it?), but if you want to really take your business to the next level, you need to set up a proper work space.

A home office does not need to be extravagant, state of the art or filled with bells and whistles. In order to be effective, you really only need the following five key items to get started.Key Items for your Home Office

1. A dedicated working area

To really get focused and separate your work life from your day to day home life, it’s a smart idea to set aside a dedicated work space.

Now, for some of us, we might have a comfortable chair we like to work in, or a kitchen counter perch close to snacks and plenty of plugs – this isn’t what we mean. If you are lucky enough to have some extra space in your home, create a dedicated home office.

Being able to physically set yourself apart from the rest of your home (including nosy spouses and cranky kids) will help you to get down to business when you’re meant to be working and disconnect when you finish for the day.

2. Some great music and speakers

Some people can’t bear any extra sounds or distractions when working, but depending on your field certain music played at a certain volume can actually help you to be more productive. For some of us, thrash metal is the perfect music to work to while others prefer classic concertos – there is no one right kind of music for everyone.

3. A solid system for backing up

Nothing is worse than losing a huge wedge of work that you have spent hours, days or even weeks working on, simply because you didn’t back everything up. You never know what could go wrong or when, so you always need to ensure that you have a backup power source and a good system of backing up that constantly updates to an external hard drive or the cloud.

4. A room with a view

While you might think that staring out a window could be a distraction, studies show that a lovely view could actually help to boost your energy levels and improve concentration. Natural daylight and fresh air can make a huge difference in your mood, and can improve your productivity. Even simply opening a window can help.

5. Keep tangible notes

You might have many different note taking apps and online systems for managing your time, but nothing will keep you as organised as hand written notes. Physically writing things down can help you to remember them in a meaningful way, so make sure that you always have notepads, pens and pencils on hand.

By setting up a dedicated home office, your productivity will soar, you will get more done, and your work/life balance will be improved. Now get to work!