As many other service occupations, translation is a perfect specialization to go freelance and render your services on the web.
One of the main reasons why I like freelancing is that I can work from home in a plush bathrobe and be my own boss.
Indeed, over the last decade working from home became easier thanks to the modern information technologies.
However, if you’re absolutely sure about going freelance you should definitely spend some time on your home office arrangements.
In other words, never work where you take rest, and don’t take rest where you work.
Believe me, you will be more productive in a properly equipped working space rather than on the sofa.
There is another reason why you should separate your working zone from the rest of living space.
Imagine that your computer table is near your bed.
Soon after you start working from home you’ll feel like going to bed and waking up at work.
You may lose a happy feeling of being home. But wait, that was the reason why you should have liked freelancing!
Therefore, you shall try to allocate a separate corner or even a room, if you have a big apartment, where you can work.
Here are some main things to consider when preparing your home office:
Ideally you should have a separate room for your home office where nothing can distract you from work.
Your family members probably will not take your freelance work seriously at first. You should explain that working from home does not mean that they can disturb you or spend time with you as if the life turned into an everlasting weekend.
Unfortunately, not everyone has a free separate room.
If this is your case try to separate you work zone visually or using pieces of furniture, like shelves.
Lighting and colors
Lighting is an extremely important when talking about occupational health. You shall take care of installing proper lighting fixtures ensuring moderately bright, evenly scattered light.
Working in the evening, remember that computer monitor shall not stand out against a dark background as this will cause additional eye strain.
The perfect color combination within translator’s work zone is blue and green.
Blue is known as a universal color for productivity, it is stable and calming. Green is good for people working long hours. It does not cause eye fatigue and helps to remain efficient.
Before hanging new wallpaper make sure that your spouse is not against it 🙂
Selecting your computer desk, you should take into account how many pieces of equipment you need. For instance, I need a computer, two monitors, speaker system and a webcam. You may want to have a phone, printer or scanner. Your desk shall have enough space to place all your equipment.
Also, computer monitor shall be placed at the line of sight when sitting. Thus, consider your desk height.
Chair is the second important piece of furniture after your computer desk.
To be a translator, you should have an “iron butt”. For instance, I spend over 8 hours a day in front of my computer. Of course, I’m trying to take rest every 45-60 minutes: I go to a kitchen to make some tea or even take a walk in a park across the street.
But 8 hours is a long term… Sedentary lifestyle may lead to serious health problems. Spending too many hours in a chair put your spine and knees at risk.
Therefore, you should find an ergonomic and adjustable chair. Natural upholstery fabric is preferable.
Adjust the seat height so your feet are flat on the floor and your knees equal to, or slightly lower than, your hips.
Adjust the back of the chair to a 100°-110° reclined angle. Make sure your upper and lower back are supported. If you have an active back mechanism on your chair, use it to make frequent position changes.
Also, watch this awesome video to check if you’re sitting in a right position:
Speaking of the ideal home office for a freelance translator, I cannot avoid the topic of CAT tools. CAT tools help me to improve overall translation productivity, filling my working hours with happy purring.