The Benefits Of Being A Freelancer

The Benefits of Being a Freelancer

12th July, 2017 by

As Britain’s traditional industries fade away, and the concept of a job for life enters the history books, more and more people are turning their backs on the security of a salary. An estimated four million people across the UK now work for themselves, many in creative industries which have developed around the internet. From journalists and analysts to web designers and retailers, a sea change in how we work is being propelled by near-universal internet connectivity and cloud-based services.

As Britain’s traditional industries fade away, and the concept of a job for life enters the history books, more and more people are turning their backs on the security of a salary. An estimated four million people across the UK now work for themselves, many in creative industries which have developed around the internet. From journalists and analysts to web designers and retailers, a sea change in how we work is being propelled by near-universal internet connectivity and cloud-based services.

HMRC’s definition of sole traders and the self-employed covers people with multiple customers, selling goods or services while deciding “how, where and when” to work. This latter attribute has been pivotal in the growth of freelancing, since flexibility is arguably the greatest single benefit to working freelance. And though most freelancers spend more time actually working than skive-happy office-based workers, working hours can be scheduled around existing commitments rather than vice versa. That’s ideal for parents, carers, the infirm and anyone who regularly travels.

Commuting downstairs

Travel is one aspect of life that can be radically altered by working freelance. Many employers still cling to the 20th century model of asking staff to attend a central place of work between 9am and 5pm every weekday. The results are reflected in endless rush-hour traffic jams, overcrowded train/Tube carriages and serpentine bus queues. By contrast, working from home may eliminate ten weeks of wasted of potential. These extra hours can be spent doing additional work or with family members, while working in a home office also eliminates dress codes or workplace etiquette. When it’s bucketing down and there are leaves on the line, padding to work in a dressing gown feels delightfully indulgent. And if you feel the need for company, coffee shops and drop-in co-work studios are never far away.

A penny saved…

As well as saving huge amounts of time, the absence of commuting can reduce household bills by thousands of pounds. That’s just as well, since a freelancer is only ever as profitable as last month’s invoicing. Yet companies pay handsomely for talented freelancers, since outsourcing work is far cheaper than employing a staff member with all the ensuing entitlements and tax liabilities. Speaking of tax, self-employed people can claim tax relief on everything from phone bills and technology purchases to mortgage interest and furnishings. This slashes annual tax liabilities, providing expenses are justifiably work-related.

Different strokes

Another advantage to working freelance is the diversity it brings. Rather than dealing with the same products and people every day, a flexible freelancer can represent multiple clients in unrelated industries. No two days are the same, which ensures Monday mornings are more likely to be greeted with enthusiasm than resignation. And speaking of resignation, many freelancers are grateful to eliminate any risk of being sacked/laid off/reshuffled/relocated. There’s something reassuring about taking charge of your own destiny, rather than being a cog in a corporate machine. Your career is completely within your control when you’re working freelance.

A very particular set of skills

Far from petering out, many careers are rejuvenated by the new skills and knowledge unlocked by becoming a freelancer. It’s necessary to understand the basics of invoicing and IT, while time management skills are always sharpened by the absence of a guaranteed salary. You might not aspire to excellence in social media marketing or client pitches, but these skills can build confidence and professionalism. Freelancing rewards proactive people, as well as revealing hidden talents. Writing your own blogs or building a website through platforms like WordPress may just unveil a rich seam of creativity – and potentially additional freelance opportunities.

Where those skills simply don’t exist, there are companies ready and waiting to help today’s army of sole traders. From accountants to web designers, self-employed individuals can easily obtain professional assistance with any services or technical matters they’d otherwise struggle with. For instance, you don’t need to know much about website hosting or email management when UK2 will handle all these things on your behalf. By assembling a select group of external professionals, even a home-based freelancer can be part of a successful team…

 

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