Do you ever wish you had more hours in the day to fit in all your work and family commitments? Well, I certainly did and so decided to explore freelancing. Like me, you can be steered by circumstances or be guided by your desire to have more freedom over your decisions. But whichever route you take, the world of freelancers is going to answer a lot of your questions. It is an ever-exciting, challenging and satisfying journey. So, let’s see what amazing perks are in store for a freelancer choosing to work from home.
7 Perks of Being a Freelancer Working from Home
Zilch travelling time:
The daily commute and traffic! I have almost always lived farthest from the office than any of my colleagues. So, it always made me feel as if I had less hours in my day for anything else compared to my friends. The slow traffic and the noise didn’t help much either. Having been able to cut that out from my daily routine has freed me up. I have loads of time to enjoy life, relax or just relish the freedom of unexpected bonus time. Beginning to work as a freelancer has set me free to control how much and how often I want to spend time commuting.
However, if you like traveling, you can choose clients located in places you want to visit and set up the meets at their place. Pleasure and work can go hand in hand when you are the boss 🙂 . Working from home doesn’t mean having to be cooped up at home all the time. It means you can choose your place of work. It can be your favorite café, the nearby park, a weekend getaway place, the beach – anywhere you want!
No dress code:
I like dressing up and going out. But when required to do this every single day of the week within limitations of a dress code, the fun sort of goes out of the whole thing. Some days, it just feels like you can do your best work sitting comfortably in sweat pants with your feet up on the table. I know there are a few emancipated organizations which allow you to wear casual, comfortable clothes to work throughout the week. But, they are painfully few.
Working from home as a freelancer, dressing up for the occasional client meeting becomes quite an enjoyable part of work. Not having to worry about what to wear to work every day uses up less of my thought space. It isn’t a huge thing. But, having the worry of what to wear tomorrow removed adds to the overall experience and work satisfaction.
Freedom to decide your own limits:
The decision of how much time you want to keep aside for your personal life and for work, lies totally with you as a freelancer. You also get to decide the amount of work you want to take on at any given time. There is no need to toil away trying clutching at goals that someone else thinks is ‘just about right’ for you. It takes a bit getting used. Because once you become your own boss, the initial reaction is to not say ‘no’ to any opportunity. This tends to snowball and affect the quality of work and deadline commitments, as well as our personal life.
Conversely, there is also the chance of over-compensating personal commitments because of the apparent leniency of time. This eats up into productivity and income. With the freedom to decide our limits, comes the need to be more responsible about our finances and time. It takes a while to find your groove. But once you do, the freedom is simply exhilarating.
Whether you succeed or fail to deliver on your promises, the responsibility lies solely with you in a freelancing environment. There is no one else to blame. This can be a pro or a con depending on the way one is used to work. But from what I have seen, it is definitely people who believe it to be a boon, that decide to branch out on their own and work for themselves. It keeps you geared to give your best to every single job. This in turn not only improves your mastery in the field but instills the habit of perfection in every effort.
Working from home has made me a more responsible person in terms of time management. It has also boosted my efforts at improving my knowledge so as to meet client expectations to the utmost possible limit. Enjoying sole ownership doesn’t mean that one is not a team player. It actually means that you enjoy being part of a productive team. A team in which every member is as much geared towards giving their best as you are, in their respective fields of expertise.
I hope I am not alone in feeling that no matter how well you perform, there is always the worry of the boss being in a mood to appreciate it or not. Would it be like one of those situations where you get 99 out of 100 marks and are still harried about where that 1 point was lost? I personally do not like such unsure situations when putting in my 100%. Though for me, fortunately these instances were not too abundant, yet it somehow took the fun away from doing my best.
Although there is still a sort of boss (the client, remember? 🙂 ) in freelancing, you have more freedom. The freedom to pick and choose, and not work with a grumpy client again. This thought has the power to get you in a calmer mood and deal with a fidgety client better.
Widening your knowledge horizon:
Though there is always the option of getting specialized technical help as and when needed, it is helpful to know how things work. This not only helps financially, solving simple problems on your own, but also gives the edge of added knowledge in a field alien to yours. I learnt a lot about the varied aspects of doing a job like financial, marketing, administrative and technical. Acquiring a new skill or knowledge offers a sense of achievement and satisfaction.
It also makes us appreciate the amount of technical knowledge and ingenuity that goes into creating things like a self-hosted website, it’s back-up and maintenance. I wanted to design and create my own site. Though it took a couple of months, loads of research and reading, I was finally able to do it and be proud of the results. But for me, it created a new sense of respect for the easy-to-navigate visually appealing sites we come across everyday on the web.
Better life-work balance:
This is one of the best incentives of working from home at a thing that you really like to do. I am sure there are many well-organized people who can balance both these aspects of their life seamlessly commuting every day to work. But, being a mom with a somewhat high-maintenance kid, working as a freelance writer and blogger has given me the flexibility and work satisfaction essential to my sanity. However, the trick has been to keep aside dedicated time slots to work and not let daily chores seep into it.
Also, one of the crucial things I learnt was to know when to say ‘no’. No to more projects and to personal engagements eating into my ‘work’ time. Thid helped me preserve the ever-precarious life-work balance.
There are lots of perks and an immense sense of freedom being your own boss. Like with freedom in any other sense, it also comes with added responsibilities. More so, if you are using your home as your work base. The benefits listed here are from my own experience and may very well vary from person to person. Before making any major life changes, it is always good to sincerely assess your strengths and weaknesses. Since working as a freelancer is bound to affect you financially, do your research thoroughly. Be sure whether it is a good fit for you or not.
Having said that, switching to freelance writing and blogging, operating from home has been a welcome change in my life. You can try it out as a side hustle and see where it goes from there. Being ultimately answerable to only yourself is a liberating experience and being a home-based freelancer is a nice way to begin that journey.
Are you a freelancer or contemplating to be one? What do you like most about working from home?
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