Perhaps one of the most obvious benefits of freelancing is the flexibility it offers compared to “traditional” 9-to-5 jobs.
This may seem counterintuitive to new freelancers; because aren’t you working on someone else’s projects? And the answer is complicated. While you may have to search for clients, if they are looking for a particular skill set, portfolio, or simply the “right” freelancer for their project, they are then also searching for you.
This means that while you are working on someone else’s project, there is some give and take when it comes to the finer details like the project scope, communication, timeline, and payment. All of these details should be finessed in a mutually agreeable contract.
Essentially, every aspect of freelancing is flexible and customizable with regard to how you want to run your business.
In this section we will cover the flexibility of the following aspects:
Freelance to set your own schedule.
One of the most appealing parts of freelancing is that you can set your own schedule. You can work whenever you want! Work during the day or night. Take a break for a workout. Enjoy a long lunch with your family. Have a crying baby at home? Work when they have a nap.
This is one of the main advantages of accepting freelance work. Of course, you will need to make some exceptions for your clients when they need to have calls, meetings, or deadlines. But in all other instances, as long as the work gets done and everyone is happy, your clients shouldn’t be privy to your exact schedule on a day-to-day basis.
This type of flexibility is what allows freelancers to take on global clients. If you are a night owl, work with someone on the other side of the world. If you prefer to rise early, there’s nothing stopping you from logging some work hours before the traditional workday starts at 9:00 am.
It doesn’t stop at just the hours of the day, though. If you want to work intensely for 8 months of the year while taking an entire season off to travel (or whatever you want to do), as long as it works for your business you can do it! Finances permitting, you can take time off whenever you want as a freelancer. There is even software that helps you save appropriate amounts of your income so you can still be “paid” regularly when you’re not working.
A FlexJobs survey found that 62% of respondents stated flexible work schedules were their number one motivation to freelance.
Location doesn’t matter as a freelancer.
Work online. Work remotely. Work from the comfort of your home or hit the road to explore new places as a digital nomad.
Thanks to a little something called the “worldwide web”, even if you live geographically far from a client or prospect, you can still work on their projects. This is great news for you and for them because now they get to work with their top choice!
The fact that location is irrelevant as a freelancer means the world for working parents, caregivers, and those who are homebound. And due to the pandemic, work-from-home flexibility will only continue to be enhanced as traditional companies have been forced to make the switch to employing a remote workforce. Digital tools for hiring, billing, meetings, document management, and more will continue to be developed and optimized.
Save more money by working from a cheaper location.
Itching to get out of your hometown? Choose your ideal city and go full “digital nomad”.
When your geographic location no longer matters, you truly open up a world of opportunity when it comes to your living arrangements. In fact, there are many locations where you can set up shop, live for less, and come back having saved far more money than your current lifestyle would allow. All you need is a good wifi connection and a plane ticket.
The freedom to work from anywhere had previously been awarded mostly to those in “tech jobs” because these types of companies understood the requirements for a productive remote work setup. Most of the time, this was to open their operations to a global talent pool as they required very specific tech skills. But now, more jobs than ever have the ability to “go remote”.
But don’t worry. You don’t need to move across the world to enjoy the location savings of working a freelance position. Simply by eliminating the commute back and forth between work you can save upwards of $1000 a month (either in gas and car bills or public transit costs).
Plus, eliminating or significantly reducing your commute instantly frees up hours each day. If you commute an hour each way to work on average, would you do with 10 extra hours each week? You could train for a marathon, spend time cooking a nice meal, or just enjoy some downtime.
Only work on projects you enjoy!
Once you’re established enough, you’ll be able to choose which clients you work with and what projects you want to complete.
Gone are the days where your boss would walk to your desk and request an unreasonable deadline or make an off-base suggestion that you have to slug through. If a client suggests a project that doesn’t make sense, you can say so… or refer someone else to complete it!
What kind of work brings you satisfaction, or even joy? In the FlexJobs survey, 46% of respondents wanted the autonomy to choose their own projects. A freelance life gives you the freedom to manage multiple clients and projects at once or concentrate on just one lucrative contract at a time.
A CSD study states that “Whereas the Baby Boomer generation prized the idea of a ‘job for life’ and Generation X accepted that their careers would consist of several jobs for different employers, it seems that today’s Gen Y grads are questioning the value of having a traditional ‘job’ at all.”