While a large population of expats in South East Asia have been transferred overseas by their company, a new trend has taken off involving working professionals moving abroad and pursuing freelance work. This work can be performed from the comfort of their own homes, often for companies back home that require design, writing or other skills on an ad-hoc basis.
If you’re one of these trendsetters, or are thinking about moving overseas for a career as a freelancer, here are a few tips on how to boost your productivity.
Create a relaxed and inspiring workplace
Anyone who’s ever worked from home in their life can attest to the fact that it’s very tempting to wake up, switch on your laptop and work from bed. It’ll come as no surprise though, that this isn’t exactly the most productive environment in which to work.
You can go a long way to enhancing your focus and output by setting up a dedicated room or desk for working. It’s a smart idea to invest in a comfortable chair and sturdy desk for your work, while letting plenty of natural light and air into your ‘office’ will go a long way to creating a positive work environment.
Furthermore, allocating a separate area for your freelance work will help you separate it from your leisure time. As a result, you’ll find it easier to switch off outside of your working hours and feel more at home in your overseas property.
Maintain a healthy social life outside of work
While it can be a huge benefit to crack on with your work without having to endure any distractions from colleagues and management, freelance work can be a very isolated experience. You may find you get more work done when you are working from the peace and quiet of your own home, however spending too much time alone can be damaging to your mental health, and over time lead to a lack of enjoyment and motivation for your work.
That’s why it’s more important than ever as a freelancer abroad to maintain a healthy social life. Spending time with others is essential for most people’s wellbeing, and as this is something expat freelancers don’t experience during working hours, you may find you need to make more of an effort outside of work.
Join a local group or club, pursue a group hobby or spend more time with your friends once you’ve all finished work. All of these can be a great way to maintain a healthy social life, while there are even groups on social media platforms where freelancers and bloggers can share their experiences and organise social events.
Make sure you have enough work to pass the time
One downside of being a freelance worker is that it’s not always a guarantee that you’ll have enough work to get you by. For this reason, it’s hugely important to manage your money more carefully when you are an expat working as a freelancer. Make sure you have enough for the essentials (rent, bills, food etc) and ensure you put some funds aside to get you through any times where your workload is that little bit lighter.
It’s also a smart idea to line up plenty of work and maintain relationships through your contacts, LinkedIn profile and any other industry-related channels. This way, you’ll have more avenues to explore should you services not be required by a regular client of yours.
One way you can help to make things a little easier on yourself as a freelancer working abroad is to work with a foreign exchange specialist. With our freelancer account, you can receive payment from your clients in one currency, then convert your earnings to your overseas bank in a new currency. With competitive rates and low fees on all currency exchanges, whether it’s Singaporean Dollars, Japanese Yen or Hong Kong Dollars, you can be sure you’re bringing more of your money home from your freelance work.
Register for a free account today.
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