It’s very likely you’re reading this from the comfort of your own home. And why wouldn’t you? From 2005 to 2012, telecommuting in America alone rose by 79%, as stated by an American Community Survey. While that is only 2.6% of the whole American workforce, a 2014 New York Times report highlights that that number might even increase to as much as 30%, if the definition includes self-employed individuals and people who do not have bricks-and-mortar

[Don’t forget to check out our video “The Value Of Social Groups When Launching Your Personal Brand” at the end of this post!]

“No one would disagree that the U.S. workforce is increasingly mobile. But, beyond that broad statement, we know little about the rate of increase in mobility—how often people are out of the office, where they are, and what they’re doing. For that matter, there’s no agreed-upon method of defining who they are,” states Telework Research Network’s paper, The State of Telework in the U.S.

Without doubt, the phenomenon of working out of the office is becoming more widespread globally. Freelancer.com, the world’s largest freelancing and outsourcing marketplace in terms of users and projects, has reached 14 million users this year – and that number is expected to swell up to 15 million just after the first quarter of 2015. Just like the many contingent workers and telecommuters around the world, they have seen that the benefits of working from home far outweigh the 9-to-5 desk job. Likewise, they have suitably adjusted their lifestyles to create the necessary work structure that freelancers need to create to grow professionally.

Thankfully, career growth for self-employed people and freelancers isn’t as difficult as it sounds, thanks to numerous tools made available online. In the list below you’ll find some awesome tools which you can use to make freelance work that bit easier:

Google Drive

Who says you need to bring your computer or your external hard drive on your out-of-town trip, after your client tells you that he needs you on call for a project you’re currently working on? Store all your files in the cloud with this free service from Google. With an internet connection, you can create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations anywhere, anytime. Just sign up using your Google account.

Google Hangouts

It’s like Skype, except you don’t need to add your contacts to another app. This is an awesome tool for video and audio conferences, and is available on desktop and mobile.

Freelancer Mobile App

Have some downtime while at the check-out counter of the grocery store? Waiting for your lunch at that hole-in-the-wall restaurant you frequent? Wanting to make better use of the time while going to the bar with your friends? The Freelancer Mobile App makes it easy for freelancers to look for new jobs, bid on various projects, and get work. You can also talk to your employer via the app, making this job-hunting app incredibly versatile.

HootSuite

Whether you’re a social media manager for a business you’re servicing, or you’re managing the promotions of your own small company, HootSuite is the perfect tool to juggle multiple social media accounts. No need to fret about posting at weird hours – you can schedule posts for your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr page (among many others)!

Trello

This tool allows your team to seamlessly collaborate on multiple projects. Trello organizes tasks, ideas, and files as cards, which are then filed into lists. Team members can customize boards as well as comment on each other’s cards. Projects happening simultaneously? Not a problem. Trello makes it easy for everyone to check on each other’s deadlines.

Did your favourite tool make it in the list? What tools do you use to make freelancing a breeze? Let us know in the comments.

_ Want more tips on staying productive and at the top of your game as a freelancer? Check out our video below! _

Evan Tan is the Regional Director for Southeast Asia of Freelancer.com, the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by number of users and projects. The platform connects over 14,000,000 employers and freelancers globally from over 247 countries, regions and territories. Through the marketplace, employers can hire skilled professionals from around the world to do work in a range of areas, including, software development, writing, design, engineering, the sciences, sales, marketing, accounting and legal services.