Remote working tips from a Singapore freelance copywriter
Since Singapore’s DORSCON level was raised to orange, a few things have happened.
Our nation’s supermarkets briefly ran out of toilet paper, canned food and instant noodles (except, for some particular reason, this one), WhatsApp chat groups exploded with activity, social media channels went wild, and this freelance copywriter had a slew of new COVID-19-related blog articles to write to clients in the food & beverage, health and early childhood education industries.
The next thing that happened is more Singaporeans started to join the “work from home” club – a formerly-exclusive group that I happen to have a lot of experience in. (Being the MD, CEO and coffee boy at my sole proprietorship has its privileges, YOLO!)
So, I’ve decided to prepare a list of “Working from Home” essentials, based on all my years of experience of working remotely and freelance copywriting.
This is what you’ll need for remote working freedom:
Laptop with a Tok Gong Battery
Translated, this means a laptop with a battery that will last as long as you can – without being plugged in. After all, where’s the fun of working from home, unless you can do so from the comfort of your bed (or other places that may not be within reach of a power outlet)?
My laptop of choice is a 15” MacBook Pro that Apple says has an “all-day” battery. (Note to self: Drop Apple a note to remind them of how many hours there are in a day.)
If your laptop promises 10 hours of juice before its battery needs to be refuelled, that’s certainly good enough for more folks. That is, unless you’re using a company-issued laptop that was purchased prior to the SARS epidemic. If so, you’ll need the next item on this list.
A must-have for professional road warriors, freelancer writers, Starbucks seat hoggers, and now, work-from-home professionals everywhere!
If you don’t mind charging your battery bank often, then a 10,000 mAh power bank will suffice – giving you just enough juice for 2 to 3 charges of your phone, or you could use some of that power to keep your laptop alive for a few more hours.
If weight isn’t an issue, then a hefty 20,000 or 26,800 mAh power bank will recharge just about any and every device you have on hand – enabling you to power though battery-sapping video editing jobs, video conference calls, and more.
Here’s a secret that few remote workers will admit – one of the biggest perks of working from home is being able to take a nap, whenever and wherever you want. (Yes, it is as awesome as it sounds.)
But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should – especially if you have deadlines to meet. But working alone can lead to boredom and tiredness, so here’s a way you can kill two birds with one stone. (Or, for non-violent/politically correct/animal loving readers, here’s a way for you to “have your cake and eat it”.)
Get a little cushion that you can place on your desk. When you’re tired, simply place this cushion, which will call a “desk pillow”, on the table and plonk your head on it. Make sure it’s just comfy enough to let you nap without waking up with a neckache, but also just uncomfortable enough to prevent you from drifting into a deeper and longer sleep.
You’ll be amazed at how refreshing a quick nap on your desk can be. Who needs caffeine when you have an adorable “desk pillow” to recharge on?
There will be times when you’ll need to charge through your days with zero distractions – and this includes naps. In times like these, it’s always useful to have a supply of your favourite coffee on hand for a quick pick-me-up.
Not a fan of coffee? Neither am I. And that’s sugar is for.
Grab a bag of specially favoured, sugar-filled, 3-in-1 coffee. You know, the types that coffee aficionados will turn their noses at, while they sip their bitter kopi-o (and while regaling you with talk about aromas and flavours). We’re talking hazelnut or vanilla flavoured 3-in-1s here, which are the perfect post-lunch energy boosters that anyone can appreciate.
Toss the Toys Aside
This article wouldn’t be complete without this final piece of advice: Remember to also create your list of “anti-essentials”. This means everything that will distract you from work, as well as unhealthy addictions that you may have too much of – especially now that you’re at home all day, every day.
Unplug the PS4, hide the TV remote, and lock up the snacks! Save these goodies (and others) as rewards to be enjoyed after working hours.
Need more advice on staying productive away from the office? Keep your eyes on this freelance copywriting blog for more goodies!