The gig economy – the pros and cons of working from home

Freelance writing isn’t the only way you can earn money working from home. The ‘gig economy’ has become so important in the US that it even found a place in the presidential race. In London alone there are over 30,000 Uber drivers and we are starting to see interesting court cases about employment law and employee rights.

Many would tell you that this trend towards digitally-driven, on-demand employment offers previously unknown freedom and flexibility, others would be concerned that it allows employers to avoid entitlements like the National Minimum Wage and holiday pay. We at Fi Darby Freelance love our little section of the ‘gig-economy’ but it is not all roses. We look at the pros and cons of working from home:

The pros of working from home – flexibility

It is surely every 9-5 worker’s dream. To start and finish when you want on Monday, to work in the garden on Tuesday, to go to the beach just because it’s sunny on Wednesday, to have time to spend with the children on Thursday, to spend Friday chatting on social media and to take off round the world on Saturday secure in the knowledge that your office (i.e. your laptop) is safely packed in your bag.

Okay so maybe this is optimistic, but you get the idea. Freelance working does give you the flexibility to fit work in around the rest of your life. You do have to remember however that at some point, the work will need to be done.

The pros of working from home – challenge

Working as a freelancer will probably one of the most challenging things you ever set yourself to do. However, here at Fi Darby Freelance we think this is positive. We all thrive on a certain level of challenge, the Yerkes Dodson law calls this ‘arousal’ and suggests that the optimum level (different for each person) produces the best levels of production. Freelance working is a challenge, but by viewing each individual challenge as a learning opportunity, you will quickly see how working from home might help you to develop a set of previously unknown skills.

The cons of working from home – money

A freelance income is not likely to be a regular one. There are methods that you can use to cope with this, but initially the lack of significant ‘pay days’ may throw you. In addition to this, in today’s global economy, you may have to get used to working with different currencies and learn to factor in exchange fees.

The cons of working from home – trust

It is much easier for an online employer to avoid paying you what you are due. There are great employers out there and there are unscrupulous ones. In order to survive in the freelance world, you will have to learn a set a ‘detective’ skills that set alarm bells ringing when necessary.

The cons of working from home – motivation

It is much easier to procrastinate when there isn’t anybody looking over your shoulder and the digital world today offers a million possible distractions. Motivation can be hard to find when you work from home, but it could be perhaps argued that there is perhaps no greater motivator than the knowledge that if you don’t earn, you won’t eat.

You may be finding it difficult to take that first step into the world of freelancing but the great news is that you can test the waters by taking on a few jobs whilst still earning a salary.

We hope that these pros and cons have helped you to formulate your thoughts on working from home. You might also find our freelance writing pitfalls useful.

Freelance writing pitfalls – three things a new freelancer shouldn’t do

 

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