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As a copywriter, working from home doesn’t have to mean losing a spare bedroom or trying to concentrate at a kitchen table. Increasingly more people are becoming ‘shed workers‘.
As we explain to our students studying on our copywriting course, it’s important to have a dedicated work area. But if you’ve got family underfoot or don’t have space for a home office, it can be difficult.
That’s where sheds come in! Shed working is not only popular, it’s positively trendy these days.
Having a dedicated office space helps maintain your motivation and purpose. The physical act of walking to work, whether that’s up the stairs to your spare bedroom or up the garden path, puts you in the right frame of mind.
If you share your home with a partner, children and / or sundry family pets, you might have to be strict about who uses your workspace. Finding your client files stuck together with chewing gum or a marmalade-smeared CD inserted in your PC is guaranteed to raise your stress levels. But with your own shed office, you can repel all boarders and crack on with your work.
Before you run up to the top of the garden and put all those gardening and DIY tools and other sundry shed paraphernalia on the bonfire, take time to think your shed-working plan through.
Before you can start to become a shed worker, you’ll have to consider its physical properties. If it’s a standard wooden shed, you will need to think about insulating and lining the walls and floor. Freezing in a shed is about as much fun as starving in a garret!
You’ll need an adequate power supply in your shed and you might need to enlist your friendly local electrician for this one. Electrical installations are subject to legislation, so you will need to find a suitably qualified Part P electrician.
You’ll need power for lighting, heating, computers, printer and all the other essentials of running a copywriting business (kettle, coffee maker, etc).
Depending on the strength of the signal and the location of your shed, you might also need to install a phone line and broadband. If you’re lucky, you might be able to work with a cordless phone and a wireless broadband connection.
Even if you take a laptop backwards and forwards to the house with you each day, you’ll still have to consider security. Confidential files and paperwork will have to be protected against theft, vandalism, fire and flood. Having a suitable fire extinguisher would also be a sensible precaution.
If you back up your data to an external hard drive or memory sticks, don’t leave them in the same place as your PC. In the event of theft, fire, flood or any other disaster, you could lose the lot.
If you’re one of our copywriting training students, don’t forget you’ll find information on secure backups in the Learning Gateway Resource Library.
If you’re planning to become a shed worker, have a chat with your insurance company before taking the plunge. You might need additional cover to protect your equipment.
If you don’t have a garden shed, but working from the garden appeals, you could always become the trendiest copywriter on the block and invest in your very own yurt.
So when it comes to working from home, get creative and explore all the possibilities. It’s not so much a case of thinking outside the box as thinking outside the house.
Blog post by Joy McCarthy