For the uninitiated, a work-from-home freelance job may look like THE dream job. You set your own terms, decide the pay, work in your pajamas, be the BOSS. Moreover, the gig economy is growing rapidly. According to a report by ASSOCHAM, its annual growth rate is 17% and may be worth $455 billion by the year 2023.
But it does come with its own set of challenges — from missed messages, communication faux pas, never-ending feedback loops, lack of personal time, to isolation.
On the bright side, there are resources out there that will help you overcome almost all of these challenges. The first step is to make sure you are proactive. It will help you find ways to evolve and grow as a remote worker continuously.
To help you get started, we at TapChief bring you a compilation of resources to give you a head-start in freelance remote work.
1. Learning platforms
Never say NO to learning. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, learning new skills is vital as you grow as a freelancer. If you want to keep those paychecks coming in and land rewarding gigs through remote working, you should always up-skill. Learn about new tools, new techniques, what’s trending, and so on. Some helpful tools to up your learning curve are:
Coursera offers several online courses with certifications. It has online degrees for various programs and specialized courses for content writers as well.
If learning to code is your dream, then head over to Skillcrush. The platform has got fantastic content for web developers who want to become successful freelancers. Also, beginners can learn basic skills for free.
Udacity has expert-designed courses in multiple disciplines related to technology. You can sign up for Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, and Programming courses and learn through real-world projects.
Udemy is a massive learning platform where you can find courses in all categories, including translation, coding, business, and many more. It has both free and paid courses by third-party creators.
Free Code Camp is absolutely free to use and is an extremely popular platform amongst software developers. Here you can learn coding languages and complete projects to earn certificates.
2. Project management
Freelancing requires quick turnaround times. Moreover, the distribution and tracking of projects require a lot of time and effort. Here are your go-to tools to meet deadlines and track hours worked.
Asana is an excellent software for managing complex projects. Assigning of tasks, prioritizing projects, keeping up with timelines, and all such utilities are available in Asana.
Trello is a leading tool used to manage workflows and collaborate with teams. It is simple and affordable and can get all the work organized to boost productivity.
Basecamp is made explicitly for remote work management. It is an all-in-one tool that takes care of everything, including file sharing, meetings, chats, task managers, etc.
iDoneThis is an amazing tool used to manage daily tasks. It allows you to set daily task reminders, mark completed ones, and even sends email notifications.
Further reading: 10 free project management tools for freelancers
3. Time tracking
Tracking working time is necessary when you work from home, especially if you’re paid by the hour. Here are resources to keep track of time.
Time Doctor can be used to track the timings of your team. It has fully customizable features and easy integrations with most project management tools.
This can be quite helpful for remote jobs. It provides smart tools like GPS, timesheets, employee scheduling, payroll releasing, employee reporting time, and much more.
MyHours is a time tracking software that allows project organization, work hour tracking, and client report sharing, all in one place. The best part is that it is absolutely free for beginners.
Clockify is another free time tracking tool. It can be used for unlimited team members and has all-time management features you’d need, including timesheets and productivity.
Further reading: Time management tips from successful freelancers
3. Connecting and communicating
Constant communication with colleagues during remote working is essential. The best remote tools to up your communication game are:
Slack is the most popular tool in this genre; it makes communication easy. It comes packed with features like calling, chats, and file sharing. Plus, it has lots of scope for automation and tracking project flow.
Zoom has gained a lot of popularity in the past few post-COVID-19 months. It is great for online presentations, webinars, and meetings.
Calendly is another virtual meeting platform where employees can connect. Presently, it has free Zoom integration too.
4. File sharing
If you’re still switching files through mail, you’re ancient! Now, share files like a pro with file-sharing tools like Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox. These tools are great for sharing large-sized files too, something you don’t get in conventional mail.
Google Drive is a cloud storage software that stores files securely. Once uploaded, the files can be edited and accessed from anywhere and shared with others.
OneDrive is similar to Google Drive. Files stored here can be updated, accessed from anywhere, and shared with anyone.
Dropbox is a smart workspace that offers features like employee management and collaboration with employees all in one place. It allows easy syncing and sharing of documents.
5. Website resources
There are many informative websites available on the internet to answer all queries about work from home jobs. Some of the most popular ones:
Forbes has interesting write-ups and tips for remote workers. Some of its articles are very extensive and will give you enough information to land your first gig or find part-time remote work.
True to its name, this site has all info you might need on remote working. It has intel on remote companies, jobs, tools, and blogs.
RWS organizes live conferences on topics related to freelance work, so mark your calendars. They also record sessions so that you can view them at your own pace. You can benefit from their resources on digital nomading and work from home.
Blogs on knowyourteam.com cover everything, including remote work training, leadership, productivity, tools, and much more.
It’s the world’s largest remote company. It has a comprehensive repository of resources, tips, tricks, tutorials, and remote working tools.
6. Books to read
This book rejects the belief that aggressive hustle and long hours are mandatory to build a successful business. Jason and David state that productivity does not come from long hours of work and stress.
In this book, Jason and David explain the remote work challenges and how their advantages out-weigh drawbacks.
If you are a beginner, this book can help you grow in remote working culture. It’s got essential tips on how to avoid struggle and become a successful freelancer. So you can be your own boss.
7. Mind management
Work from home can get stressful and challenging. You’ll need all the calm you can get. Here are tools that’ll help you stay focussed and increase productivity.
Brain.fm is a music platform that curates mind-relaxing music that’s simply WOW. It’s explicitly designed to keep the mind focussed and increase productivity levels.
If you are one of those who get easily distracted with site pop-ups and notifications, then you should try Self Control. This tool will totally block out unnecessary applications and websites unless you turn them on (not even when you restart the machine). So you can work distraction-free, no worries there!
One of the best ways to increase work productivity and stay mentally focused is by meditating at least once a day. Calm is a great website and app that guides on meditation. It also has relaxing music and natural sounds for deep sleep.
With the right tools and resources, you’re bound to enjoy remote working and make the most of it. Do write to us about which of these are your favorite tools. We’d also love to know about your adventures being a freelancer.
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