about freelance by freelancer
Only a lonely person can be free.
His mistakes and sins are falling on his own head only.
This statement reflects freelancers’ philosophy (read What is a Freelancer?). The power of freelancer developers lies in their independence. Remember, it’s almost impossible to make a freelancer work in an office. When a freelancer becomes an office worker, it gets unprofitable for the employer. No matter how much you like the work of a freelancer and need his/her knowledge and skills, it can be asserted that with a 99% probability in reply to your offer to join the staff and work for a fixed (though not bad) salary you’ll hear a number which is twice or thrice as much as your ideas of what a good salary for this position is. After your question “Why this much?” objective truth will follow, “I can make the money you offer during just one week, sitting at home and working for just four hours a day! And you want me to work eight hours a day in the back of beyond, plus daily pressure of the management and boring co-workers”.
You should weigh the pros and cons before offering an office position to a freelancer. For this person a possibility to get fired isn’t a telling argument and is not frightening at all. A freelancer’s ambitions and understanding of what’s going on is on the same level as those of your biggest boss. You don’t do a freelancer a good turn offering permanent employment. It is the freelancer who does you a good turn exchanging his/her favorite desk and soft dressing gown for a cold cramped office and that hateful dress code. Just think about advantages of being a freelancer:
The most important is the freedom to choose what to do. Experienced freelancer designers and other developers are well-connected, know the labor-market, and the number of their clients grows until they can afford working on most profitable and/or interesting projects.
It’s possible to collaborate with more than one company/client, including those from abroad without leaving the country. It’s also possible to work with competitive brands. Working on several projects brings several payments. If the work is well-organized, a freelancer can make more money than his/her colleagues bound to work in their office.
Tranquility: a freelancer can’t be fired. Or can… but what for? As a result of management reshuffles, freelancers may lose one of their sources of income. Or, maybe, freelancers will be given an opportunity to give up that suitcase without a handle, their short-sighted employers.
Convenience: freelancers don't have to go to work every day, wake up early, commute and spend most of their life in an office. Freelancers get employed by means of any way of communication available today (fax, e-mail, phone or regular mail which has by now become an anachronism).
Psychological factor: being away from “highly precious” directions of the management, office intrigues, gossip and other peculiarities, sound or not very, of corporate life. Freelancers don’t have to adjust to their co-workers, arguing with whom is inevitable.
Freedom: freelancers can decide what to do during the day. They don’t have to stick to some fixed schedule. They can choose when to work and take a break. They can work whenever it’s comfortable for them. Thus, those who aren’t early risers can work in the evening or at night, which is more comfortable for them than to struggle with their own selves to make their brain work in the morning. Free artists, they can choose when to have a day-off or a vacation. After fulfilling another project, a freelancer can take off and go to some faraway country without having to report to anyone.
Family: freelancers spend more time with their family. Even if a teleworker spends a lot of time working, he/she still stays with his/her family which makes it easier to fulfill different family responsibilities, such as taking care of children, grocery shopping, etc. Can a husband, other than a freelancer, satisfy a request of his wife and hammer a nail into the wall at 3.37 p.m. on Tuesday?
Economical factor: a freelancer works more efficiently. During the same time, a person working in comfortable conditions will do more and the work done will be of better quality. Working at home wearing your worn out favorite pants, holding a cat on the laps and listening to Monowar is much better than work in a stuffy office to the accompaniment of a Xerox and phone calls, while wearing a tight stranglehold-tie and sweating in a suit. Hiring freelancers is also more profitable for companies (in terms of electricity bills, expenses on office supplies, rent, etc.) Finally, no one will say a word if a freelancer is a workaholic.
Maybe, you will still be able to “tame” a freelancer because in spite of all the advantages of being a freelancer, freelance has some disadvantages:
Heavy responsibility: freelancers are responsible for all decisions they make. Everything depends on them. Freelancers have to combine all kinds of jobs, from a cleaner to an accountant. Freelancers have to do everything on their own, from looking for new clients to finding out a way how to receive the money they earned. Self-advertising is important for a freelancer too, yet it isn’t that affordable plus it isn’t a panacea, considering today’s tough competition among freelancers.
Instability: freelancers earn money when they have work to do. It’s fair yet tough. It makes it difficult to plan expenditures, while the employer will pay you for chatting online while sitting in the office eight hours a day.
No promotion: a traditional career ladder is unavailable for freelancers. They are big bosses themselves yet it’s the most of what they can achieve.
Lack of care: no one will grant a freelancer a sick-leave certificate. There are no benefits, bonuses, medical insurances, subsistence allowances, compensations, paid leaves, or service pensions. It’s highly unprofitable for freelancers to have serious illnesses (yet a harmless running nose can’t upset their working routine).
Irregular working hours: freelancers renting a summer cottage for a week to have a break from work and relax should be ready to sweat their guts out working for 16 to 20 hours a day for another couple of months.
Isolation from the outside world, decrease in the number of social contacts and, in some cases, loneliness. Sometimes freelancers have a limited circle of people they contact with, yet this disadvantage is rather controversial.
Freelancers are people (just like us) and they differ from each other and each of them is individual.
Freelancers need motivation to work. Otherwise, they won’t be able to fulfill their work properly and on time. By the way, it’s people with a strong character who are able to motivate themselves. To make yourself work is sometimes more difficult than to make someone else work.
Freelancers have to take care of production equipment, means of communication and payments by themselves. They have to buy everything, from clips to computers, for their own hard-earned money.
A possibility to get cheated: employers refusing to pay aren’t common. It’s more likely that an employer will reduce the payment or take away part of it because employers are aware that it’s easier for a freelancer to agree with it than to argue. Moreover, few freelancers are registered for tax, thus at least somehow protected by law. Statistically, the number of dishonest employers is much greater than the number of dishonest freelancers.
Hazy legislature or, to be more precise, lack of legislature. Freelance is based on trust between employers and freelancers. In case a conflict occurs, no one can guarantee that you will get the money you’ve earned. Perhaps, you can register with a tax administration as an individual entrepreneur, in case you have some energy left after hours of working on different projects, and time for the never-ending red tape.
So, life of a freelancer isn’t easy. A person looking for remote work on the Internet is both a solitary knight fighting against other knights just like him/her, and a politician who has to adjust to the current state of affairs on the market. From time to time, a freelancer is an out-of-staff employee of this or that company and, of course, a free artist acting at his/her own risk.
It’s up to you to decide which path to take. Freelancers follow their own path… And remember, freelancers aren’t so fearful as they are painted.
Read this: What is a Freelancer?
You can read this article in Russian Language - Почему фрилансер не пойдет работать в офис?