Sorry Dolly!

Working 9-5 is NO way to make a living

Photo by Buenosia Carol on Pexels.com

I’m sorry Dolly, but it turns out working 9-5 is no longer a way to make a living.

A recent survey by Fiverr, a freelancer marketplace, has found that 67% of Brits are considering a move to self employment citing flexibility of hours and working location as being the most attractive reasons.

There’s no denying that our work habits are rapidly changing and with that comes anxiety for business owners who may be reluctant to work with freelancers or who prefer the traditional office setting.

These concerns are completely normal, and the fact is that working remotely with a freelancer requires good communication skills on both sides to set and manage expectations. Regular updates are a must!

So how can you ensure productivity when you hire a freelancer?

Research gathered by employee engagement experts Qualtrics found that in the UK, employed workers thought that 36% of their time spent at work was unproductive. Freelancers are masters at managing their own time and they build relationships based on trust. Don’t forget, they are self employed too and not only have a vested interest in keeping their clients happy but they also understand the value of time.

Will there be more distractions when you work from home?

Simple answer, no. I’ve found that I am far more productive working from home as I don’t have the distraction of colleagues discussing the latest TV shows or the dodgy kebab they had on Saturday night. I can work flexibly around my home life and that means that when I focus on work, that’s exactly what I’m doing.

I won’t be able to communicate with them as frequently.

As a freelancer working with clients, I am acutely aware that communication must be regular and ongoing. As a minimum, I check in with my clients weekly for updates but where applicable I would send daily updates as a courtesy, the client knows where I’m at, what I’m working on and what I plan next. In my experience, I communicate more than I would if I was sat in an office.

Will it cost more than hiring an employee?

On the contrary, the hourly rate of a freelancer may be higher than an employees hourly rate but there are costs associated with having an employee that you don’t have to budget for with a freelancer such as:

  • Tax and NI costs, holiday pay, sick pay, maternity/ paternity pay
  • Pension contributions
  • An employee gets paid even during your quiet periods, with a reduced workload
  • Structured hours, regardless of workload
  • Require office space and facilities
  • Requires equipment to be provided
  • Gets paid during unproductive hours
  • Requires training for ongoing professional development
  • Budgets to allow for staff turnover, recruitment costs, employer insurance etc.

Freelancers contributed £119 billion to the UK economy in 2016, according to a study by IPSE conducted in 2017, while the flexibility offered by Britain’s freelancers was calculated as adding value of some £21 billion to the British economy.

In a nutshell, working with freelancers will enable you to access expertise as and when you need it, upscale your head count during busy periods and downscale during quieter periods. What are you waiting for?

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