A year ago, the thought of working from home seemed an impossible idea for many companies and organisations. Now 12 months on, thanks to a global pandemic, it has been proven working from home is possible.
I’ve been working from home pretty much since I left university five years ago. At the time it wasn’t intentional. I did try seeking employment, in which I’d work in an office, newsroom and/or media studio, but continued to be unsuccessful.
In the meantime, it just so happened I could do my blogging and work with Disability Horizons at home. I then continued to secure other jobs with AccessAble, Access Rating and Purple Goat, all of which I can do from home too.
Therefore, I decided to become freelance and work from home full time. It is so beneficial to me because I save a lot of time and energy travelling and do not have to rely on PAs to accompany me.
Also, since the pandemic, employers are becoming more flexible with working from home and I’m starting to find the confidence to try seeking employment again too.
But how do you make a successful career working from home? Here I share five simple gadgets, tools and software that allows me to organise, plan, communicate and complete my work as a journalist.
iPad and MacBook Air
First of all, it is important you have good quality technology that allows you to access the internet, apps and other software.
For me, I’m an Apple fan and rely on my iPad mini 4 and MacBook Air. I used to be a Windows girl, but after having my iPhone and iPad for a few years and sick of ZoomText on my Windows 8 laptop, I switched to a MacBook.
I usually do most of my written work on my MacBook then use my iPad to edit images and videos.
What I love about Apple is all the accessibility features are built in plus I can sync my work between all my devices.
Of course, you’re welcome to use other laptops and tablets, but this is my personal preference.
You can find out more about the Apple accessibility features by visiting my MacBook Air review and iPad review.
The Notes app on Apple devices is the greatest tool for organising work. I have to do lists, content ideas, contact lists, meeting times plus much more.
It is such a simple tool and so useful for arranging all your work. It’s perfect for people who can’t write with a pen and also saves on paper.
It can also sync to all devices so you can take your notes everywhere and jot things down on the go.
I’ve been using video calls pre-Covid but there are so many more uses for them now, whether that be team meetings, appointments, interviews, classes or just a social chit-chat.
I’ve used Zoom, Windows Team Meetings, FaceTime and Skype but I prefer to use Zoom. I have meetings and training sessions with my colleagues at Disability Horizons, monthly catch ups with my JST mentor, attend other journalism masterclasses and even weekly drama classes with my West End Centre theatre group.
I’ve been able to attend events and meet people that wouldn’t have been possible without video calls.
Having video calls is such a vital tool in communicating with others when working from home and can save time and money with travelling and means I don’t need to be accompanied by a PA.
This is a key element of working from home I hope continues when the pandemic is over.
Social media is another useful tool to communicate with individuals and organisations.
I’ve discovered many journalism masterclasses and webinars on Twitter and even came across the John Schofield Trust on there too.
I also use Facebook to get case studies for specific news stories and get advice on freelance journalism. Plus, I’ve met and collaborated with fellow bloggers on blog Facebook groups.
Social media is aa great networking tool to grow and advance your business working from home.
Bitrix24.net is an online platform that allows you to contact colleagues and stores documents, tasks, events and much more.
I use this tool specifically for my work at Disability Horizons. It’s basically our own virtual office where we use a chat service, share and store documents, arrange tasks for different team members and schedule meetings.
We have different chat groups for different projects, one-to-one messaging and an online drive to store various folders and documents and a calendar to schedule events and meetings.
I think this is a great tool for companies with a large team who are working from home but can still communicate and store work safely.
If Bitrix24 isn’t a viable option, you can always create WhatsApp groups and DropBox or Gmail drives to store work.
Share your tips for working from home
So, they are just some of the ways to have a successful career working from home. Do you work from home? What gadgets, tools and software do you use to access and complete work? Share your suggestions in the comments box or social media.
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