As a contractor or freelancer – particularly if you’re a freelancer – you’ll spend a fair amount of time working from your home office. This will vary from person to person, of course, but most people have either a room or a section of a room in their house that they dedicate to work.
It’s not like working in an office where people will tell you where things get filed or how your space should look. Instead, it’s up to you. At Kingsbridge, we’ve picked up lots of tips from our self-employed clients over the years so we thought we’d share a few of our favourites in this blog.
Have a filing system
As much as everything is done digitally these days, you’re still going to have hard copies of certain documents: certificates, insurance policies, invoices and receipts for accounts, letters of business – the list goes on. Ideally, you need a filing cabinet or box to store everything relating to your current business year plus somewhere to archive documents pertaining to previous years. This could be a spare drawer in your filing cabinet or a series of box files – whatever works for you and your space.
Keep a tidy desk
Your desk needs to have everything you may need within easy reach but without being cluttered. On your desktop, you’ll generally want your computer, a notebook (with your to-do list) and pen, your diary or calendar, your mobile, a big hot mug of tea and, perhaps a photo of your family, friends or other loved ones. You may have a few additional things that are particular to your field, but, in general, you want to keep it to the bare minimum. If you need various papers to hand, maybe invest in a desktop paper tray so that they’re reachable but not strewn messily across your work surface. Additional stationery and other items may be best kept in desk drawers, out of sight but easy to find.
Use a pin board or two
Pin boards are an old fashioned but, quite frankly, excellent home office solution. They keep paperwork in your line of sight but away from your desktop and they allow you to turn your unused wall space into storage. If you’re in a creative field, they’re also useful for creating inspiration boards, as well as for sticking up reminders such as letters inviting you to interviews, or paperwork reminding you to renew your insurance.
Post-Its are essential
Post-It Notes are invaluable. Whether you’re sticking one on to your computer screen to remind you to call your agency first thing or sticking one to your front door reminding you not to leave without your tablet, they’re the brightly coloured saviours of even the most forgetful contractors and freelancers. Stock up on these and never, ever run out.
And if one of the things you need to remind yourself to do is sort out your contractor insurance, get a quote online with Kingsbridge Contractor Insurance today.