The Way We Work

oDesk’s weekly column brings you the latest news on hiring and managing teams, freelancing and the future of work.

Week of 8/18/2014: | 8 Ways to be Happy and Productive in Your Home Office

Working from home is often solitary, but it doesn’t have to be a lonely or stressful. Small-business adviser Marla Tabaka suggests acquiring specific habits to combat loneliness, such as creating “your own water cooler” by contacting friends and family via social media and other outlets. This helps replace the collegial atmosphere of a traditional workplace.

Tabaka also encourages stay-at-home workers to break free from their routines by occasionally leaving the home office and working elsewhere. Adopting her tips will help provide a more productive and fulfilling work day.

Freelancers Union | Sole Proprietorship? LLC? S-Corp? How to Pick What’s Best for Your Business and Taxes

Once you engage in regular freelance work, New York-based CPA Jonathan Medows recommends establishing a legal structure for your business. By creating the appropriate business entity, you can protect your personal assets from potential liabilities, as well as reap future tax advantages.

Not sure which entity will meet your business needs? Medows gives a quick breakdown of the advantages and/or disadvantages of each entity. Here’s a summary:

  • Sole Proprietorship
    • Advantages: All freelance income is reported on your personal tax return instead of a business return. This ensures efficiency and saves you time during tax season.
    • Disadvantages: Zero protection against personal liability.
  •  Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)
    •  Advantages: Personal assets are protected from business creditors. Also, you won’t pay personal or business taxes on your freelance income.
  • S Corporation (S Corp):
    • Advantages: Same advantages as an LLC with the added benefit of the Home Office tax deduction.
    • Disadvantages: You must file all business income on a business return instead of a personal return.

Remember, it’s important to do your research and consult a financial expert in order to choose the structure that will best fit your needs.

Huffington Post | 6 Ways Top Women CEOs Balance Work and Life

Most professionals, particularly women, want to achieve a better work-life balance. Ashley Crouch talked to six female CEOs and got their advice on how they achieve this coveted balance. Some of the things they mentioned included avoiding perfectionism and self-doubt, prioritizing daily responsibilities, avoiding the inessential, and taking time to recharge after a busy day.

Rory Peck Trust | Getting Social: A Freelancer’s Tips

A social media platform is crucial for any freelancer. To understand why it’s so important and how to build one effectively, Max Riley spoke with freelance photojournalist and social media guru Anastasia Taylor-Lind.

In addition to self-promotion and networking, Taylor-Lind says that social media offers space to develop and redefine a project. It also offers the opportunity to expose both existing and potential clients to unique aspects of your projects that they weren’t aware of before.

She warns that you must be mindful of too much self-promotion. Instead, Taylor-Lind suggests also sharing colleagues’ work on your platform. This strategy keeps your feed varied and your audience interested, as well as allowing you to reach new followers.

What informative posts have you run across this week? Share the stories you’ve been reading in the comments section below. 

Julia Camenisch

Contributing Author

Julia Camenisch is a freelance technology and business journalist. She also works as an editor and copywriter for a wide range of clients, including national magazines, small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Julia brings to Upwork a passion for empowering small businesses through the innovative use of technology.