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Have a family member or friend who freelances? Need a last-minute gift idea?
You’re in luck! Here are a few quick ideas.
Ah the difficulties of working from home. One minute, you’re sitting at your desk typing a blog article. The next minute, you’re on the back patio trying to convince your English Setter to come inside. Unlike a normal job, which requires you to wear shoes, freelancing has no formal dress code. It’s therefore no surprise why most freelancers prefer to sit around in their socks (or completely barefoot during the summer).
Having freelanced for about seven years now, I’ve blasted through countless pairs of socks. (It’s only recently that I’ve started wearing shoes again during work hours. Note to self: that sounds like another great blog topic!) Give your freelancer the gift that keeps on giving: really thick socks. In addition to delivering warmer tootsies, you’ll also help your freelancer friend save a few bucks by avoiding hole-prone stockings.
In reality, we freelancers have very few expenses. Internet, computer, mouse, and keyboard are the bare necessities. A sometimes overlooked necessity, however, is a reliable backup drive. Although most freelancers store a majority of their documents “in the cloud,” there are always a few files that must reside on one’s computer. In addition, in the event of a total machine failure, it’s a good idea to have a full operating system backup that can be used on a new computer. (Trust me, it happens.)
For most freelancers, 1 TB (terabyte) should do the trick. Just be sure to do your homework before checking out. You’ll need to know which operating system you’re buying for. (Some backup drives claim to support multiple operating systems, but I prefer those specific to my machine). If you decide to buy a backup drive, be prepared to spend at least $60 to get a good one. (FYI – This is the most expensive item on our list.)
Freelancers spend a lot of time typing. A wrist rest can make typing more enjoyable and, if used properly, reduce the likelihood of the dreaded carpal tunnel. It’s possible that the freelancer you’re buying for already has one of these. The good news is that he or she could almost always use a new one. Think about it: a wrist rest comes into close contact with a freelancer for nearly the entire workday. Therefore, wrist rests can get gross rather quickly and are difficult to clean. They can also wear out, especially if made from low-grade foam.
I have three different things I sit on while working (not all at once): an ergonomic chair, a standard office chair without a headrest, and an exercise ball. I rotate between these three for various reasons. Personally, I like to use the exercise ball when I feel like my posture has started to wane. For whatever reason, the ball forces me to sit up straighter. Although I can only use it for a few hours at a time, it’s a nice change of pace from my other two chairs.
When shopping for an exercise ball, it can be helpful to consider your freelancer’s desk height. For example, after some careful math, I determined that a 26″ ball would work best for my needs. You might need to be sneaky to get the right measurements.
Coffee is the fuel of freelancers everywhere.
Make the workday just a tad more luxurious for the freelancer you love. Help him or her keep his coffee the exact right temperature with an electric coffee warmer. No more running to the microwave for a quick zap. With a coffee warmer, your freelancer can stay more focused on his to-do list.
As I’ve pointed out here, I absolutely love my coffee warmer. I’ve actually gone through two of them in about five years. I could have probably made the first one last a bit longer, but they’re super cheap.
Have another great gift idea for freelancers? Share it below!
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