There has been an increase in interest in freelance work and freelancers in recent years. We look at this growing trend and its ups and downs.
A recent survey carried out by Fiverr, an online market place for freelance services, revealed that 67 percent of British people would, if they had the choice, quit their office jobs to become freelancers. The top reasons given for the choice centred on desire for more flexibility and control, with 74 percent saying they would like more flexible working hours. For 64 percent the chance to be their own boss was appealing. 58 percent also cited the flexibility to work from anywhere as a reason. The participants were 1500 ‘white-collar workers’.
So do you get flexible hours?
Sure, you get flexible hours – in fact so flexible you get weeks of unemployment. For beginners, this unemployment period can run into months! This is the in between jobs/assignments period. If you aren’t lucky enough to be earning a lot of money from your freelance gigs, then you will need someone to depend on while you search for your next job. And that search is a job itself – you will spend hours searching and applying for jobs.
Does it give you control?
Yes and no! We’ll explain it… You get to control your environment, particularly if you are working from home. Unless you are desperate for money, you also get to control the type of work you take on.
You do not control the behaviour of those you work with – the people who hire you. From delayed payments and last-minute cancellations of projects to non-payments for works completed; these are some of the things freelancers have to deal with. We know freelancers who had to go through the courts to get their payments.
The flexibility of working from anywhere:
A lot of freelance work gives you the option to work from home, but that’s not always the case. Some companies require freelancers to work from their office. This is the case with most jobs that require you to work with other employees. Those freelancers who end up in offices often experience feelings of isolation, like they’re not part of “the team” and are just there to complete a job.
For some after a while the novelty of working from home also wears off.
Are there any perks in freelancing?
There are plenty for those who have a lot of industry contacts and steady flow of work. You can play your favourite music in the background while you work. You can spend more time with your dog/s (pets), feeding them and taking them out for a walk. You can take two-hour lunch breaks, if you want.
And if you are a very successful freelancer, you can make that image of working on the beach somewhere exotic come true.
Are you a freelancer or have you had freelance work before? Let us know your experience by commenting below. You can also get directly in contact.