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Freelance Working Comes at a Price

freelancesupermarket.com newsroom

RSS 14 October 2019
With freelancing and self-employment on the rise, it’s still a big step that many fear to tread. Lack of job security in an uncertain market is a big step, particularly when none of us know what chaos the next few months will bring.

Another, safer option with many of the benefits of freelancing without the risk is remote working. Do your existing job, but do it away from the office at a time and place that suits you. Up to 70% of millennials have said that this is the option they would choose, given the choice. (How many of them actually appreciate that it requires actually doing work while at home is another matter).

But UK businesses are still proving to be resistant to hiring remote workers, meaning many of us take the leap into contracting or freelancing jobs.

While the luxury of working from your sofa in your pyjamas (I say, while actually working from my sofa in my pyjamas)sounds like a dream come true for many, there are pitfalls that many remote or freelance workers fail to consider.

Primarily, your mental health.

Freelance working can be a godsend. If you're an introvert who hates open plan offices and the banality of water-cooler small talk, being able to crack on and get things done without having to actually speak to anyone can be as good as it gets. However, for the vast majority of the world, who are born extroverts, sitting alone with just the hum of the refrigerator for company day after day can be a very lonely place, particularly if you live alone or miles from a coffee shop where you can surround yourself with the buzz of everyday life.

Not being party to the latest gossip in the office canteen about what Paula from accounts said about Emma from HR can lead to a sense of isolation and being left out. It's easy for the remote worker or contractor to be accidentally left out from those spontaneous meetings with the rest of the team, that your boss is partial to holding.

Without the face to face conveyance of body language, the intended irony of your email can get lost, and easily be misconstrued as bitchiness. And when your boss is on your case, being outside of the office environment means it's not necessarily obvious that he's on everyone's case today.

And of course, if you're not a contractor or long-term freelancer for a larger company, and are just going it alone, not having colleagues to bounce ideas around with and the uncertainty of where your next gig is coming from is a large burden to carry by yourself.

Not to mention how if you're working from home, you're somehow expected to always be available, day or night.

No wonder that almost double the number of remote workers report feeling stressed, compared to their office companions.

However, if the pull of the coffee shop and the lure of your pyjamas and the cat as your office buddy are unshakable, there's no doubt that being master (or mistress) of your own destiny can hold its own appeal.

Let's face it - on a cold, grey October day, working from your sofa isn't a terrible place to be.

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