Freelance jobs present a unique range of challenges. While you may have the chance to set your own schedule, you also have to be responsible for motivating yourself to stick to it. You often have the option to work from home, but you have to determine whether this will give you the structure you need to stay competitive in your industry. Making the right choice is essential, as you’re solely responsible for your success. Consider both the pros and cons of various work environments so you can select the best place for tackling your freelance jobs like a pro.
The Benefits of Freelance Jobs
The most obvious benefit that drives the freelancer arena is the flexibility that comes with independent contract work. You are your own boss, managing your time, both on and off the clock.
Obviously taking freelance jobs gives you a little bit of flexibility. You are usually flexible enough to make your own hours and to work from virtually anywhere.
Working from home, you don’t have to even put on real pants if you want – now that’s a work perk. You can get up for coffee however many times you want during the day and no one will judge you. You can stretch or do yoga or run in place or do jumping jacks to take a break and your office mates aren’t there to see what is going on. For that matter, if you work better with your stereo drowning out the world you can even do that too! You can work from a desk, from the couch, from your bed, from the kitchen counter or where ever you feel comfortable. Some of the best parts of freelancing have to do with location and the freedom to do your work in an environment that fits you.
Forbes posted an article that gives some pros and cons of working from home too.
From the Office…
The work from home environment doesn’t work for everyone. Some people thrive on the structure and schedule of the office routine, finding motivation in being surrounding by other professionals that boost social moods, creative ideas, and overall work ethic.
For some people, taking freelance jobs where they’ll be working from the office is the best scenario.
You not only have the structure and schedule of getting up and going to the office but you also have the social aspects of an office setting as well. Humans – the more socially adjusted ones – crave social stimulation. And, if you need that, having the ability to walk to the next cube or office to catch up with a co-worker for a 10-minute break is not just desirable but necessary. Lots of people are happier and more productive when they get the social stimulation they need. It’s also a huge benefit to have some structure in your life, to know you have to be at work from this time to that time, to know where you go to work, to actually have to put on real pants – hey, some people need that.
But, needing this structure doesn’t mean you have to get a traditional 9-to-5. Many freelance jobs are in-house, and many more gigs allow you to work from a local coworking space that re-creates that office vibe.
The Struggles of Freelance Jobs
Okay, so I don’t know these people, but some people struggle when they don’t have a ton of structure in their life. They cannot function if they don’t get dressed in real clothes and have a real office to go to.
Obviously then, doing freelance jobs from home would be a struggle for you. If you are not a motivated, self-starter (or heck, even if you get distracted easily) – then working from home will be difficult even on your best day.
You have to be disciplined and must be able to schedule yourself so you actually get your work done and aren’t missing deadlines. You also miss out on the social aspects of an office setting. Unless you really don’t like people, most individuals benefit from at least a little social interaction. Some people struggle with depression and reclusiveness the longer they spend away from other people (seriously!).
It also can be super difficult to get new clients – again people like dealing with a person, and as an at-home freelancer, you become an unknown face behind a computer somewhere. Clients can have a difficult time developing a relationship with you. And also some people cannot be productive and efficient without a proper workspace, so unless you have a dedicated desk or location to work from within your home, some freelancers may struggle with this, becoming unmotivated or distracted.
From the Office…
That all being said, working from an office can be superbly difficult, too.
You have less flexibility in your schedule, and you will more than likely always have other eyes around watching everything you do. You also have to be semi-nice – if you are a complete jerk, rude or yell all the time, you probably won’t be working there for very long. You also have to deal with people, their moods, and office drama. Sometimes this can be worse than what you dealt with in high school. Working in an office setting can be distracting because of this, too.
You also have to put on real clothes, for those of you that love your sweats and yoga pants – the struggle is real! If you are contracting for a company or collaborating on projects, there could also be long meetings. Working in an office is definitely not easy – for sure.
Taking freelance jobs in and of itself gives you some awesome flexibility and can help you be more accommodating to a crazy schedule.
Like all jobs, there are benefits and struggles to any work situation that you choose. It’s completely up to you and your gigs to determine whether an office setting or home office is better for you. Make yourself a list of the pros and cons that relate directly to you – but be honest, otherwise, you’ll end up struggling in the end.
Remember that no matter the route you take, there will be good days and bad days – the key is to remain disciplined and keep up with your deadlines or you’ll be dead in the water! And, once you have your work environment set up, turn to Spera for the tools you need to keep your freelance jobs organized in the virtual space as well.