In this time of recessional crisis, employment is thin on the ground. However there are reams of freelance work that is often advertised through job websites. What are the advantages of becoming a freelancer for a company as opposed to an employee?
- Flexible hours: If you have other responsibilities like looking after children or another regular job, then working from a remote workspace like your own home enables you to manage your own time independently. You can attend to your workload at the time of the day when you find it most convenient or when you are most focused; for nocturnal types this is often at 2am!
- You manage your own workload: You call the shots! You have the freedom to accept work when you need it most or reject work when you are busier than normal. This makes your position less stressful.
- Autonomy: This is great if you are not a team-player and don’t want to be! (That in itself comes with its own bucket of stress; dealing with difficult people in a tactful way requires gymnastic skills in diplomacy and assertiveness!) Freelancers have no-one to answer to except their clients.
- Potential globalisation of exposure: As a remote worker, your clients aren’t necessarily restricted within the confines of your geographic location. You could be working for clients in another country, another continent or the other side of the world! You get to cast your net far and wide.
- No bureaucratic red tape: As a traditional employee, it is mandatory to regard office politics, attend time-wasting banal meetings where issues such as a faulty microwave to tea-bag thieves are discussed at length…events which rather than being pro-active, they get in the way and inhibit a job from being done.
- No travelling: Having to commute on a filthy bus that is so packed you not only have to stand but you are practically pasted to the side window with your nostrils up someone’s armpit isn’t the greatest start to any day! And this lovely journey never runs on schedule. With free lancing, the only commute you have to do is from your bed to the room in your house where you work.
- Improved work-life balance: Because you manage your own time you can pick and choose when you want time out to do the things you love doing, whether that be scoffing twiglets in your PJ’s, or going to see friends, your recreational pursuits are never far from reach.
- No dress- code: The aforementioned PJ’s can be worn whilst doing your job at home. Just mind you don’t get twiglet crumbs in the keyboard…
- More eggs in different baskets: When you’re a traditional employee for one company that is your only client. As a freelancer you possibly have several clients so losing one won’t be too disastrous.
- No communication problems: When you work as part of a team, often messages get mis-construed or even forgotten. So this puts an employee in jeopardy in terms of professional practice.
Ok, so what about disadvantages?
- Accountability: Because you are solely responsible for your output, you are responsible when things go wrong. You also have to be very driven and motivated to work when you haven’t got any peers or management cracking the whip.
- Tax: Tax legislation states that freelancers should get taxed as if they were employed by the clients they churn out work for. Independent contractors are taxed more heavily than traditional employees and records of all transactions need to be kept. Managing your accounts can be a lengthy process and confusing. Investing in an accountant usually gives peace of mind.
If you want some advice with ir35 and free lancing then it is recommended to hire an accountant that will provide superb guidance on correct procedures on managing your finances.