Over the past few years, technology has paved the way for a rapid influx of freelance and remote work and workers. This new development of what is referred to as the “Gig Economy” is quickly outpacing the number of traditional employees, with upwards of 57 million Americans participating in some sort of freelance work. As more businesses expand, it’s also becoming much more common practice for employers to seek out job candidates to fill positions in remote locations. [How did this all happen? Read about How Flexible Work Became the New Normal. Although it’s growing in popularity, the perception behind freelance and remote work is still a little clouded. To help set the record straight, we’re debunking the most common myths of these nontraditional working styles.
You don’t have a boss
Being self-employed doesn’t necessarily mean you’re free from a boss. In order to succeed in a freelance career, client satisfaction is essential. Although freelance workers may not report to a single supervisor, you can be sure they’re in constant contact with their clients, reporting status updates and providing whatever other moving parts are needed for a specific project. In fact, without a direct supervisor checking in, freelance workers need to be especially rigid in their schedule structure and hold themselves accountable for completing their work on time—a quality many traditional workers may not possess.
It’s easy money
Despite what freelance work may look like from the outside, the actual workload is generally anything but easy. Many freelancers don’t have the luxury of relying on a bi-weekly paycheck and are solely responsible for sourcing their income, managing finances and taking the necessary precautions to ensure payment is received. Additionally, depending on the individual, most freelancers have to take on a couple of jobs at a time before securing a steady income.
Read about Passive Income Ideas-6 tips to earn more.
You can work wherever, whenever
Although freelancers may not have a designated office to report to from 9-5, normal business hours do still generally apply. Clients expect to communicate when it’s most convenient to them, and that usually means during the workday. Additionally, because freelance workers need reliable Wi-Fi service, the fantasy of working on a beach or from some other exotic location is generally nothing more than just a fantasy. For most freelance workers, a typical day tends to look much like a traditional employee’s getting dressed in the morning and working from a central location or designated home office.
Here are some of the best places for freelancers to work from.
You’re not productive
One of the most common misconceptions of remote workers is that they spend 80% of their day watching TV or running errands and 20% actually working. On the contrary, remote workers are generally more productive than their in-house colleagues. In fact, a two-year study of 500 people by Stanford University found that there was a significant increase in work productivity among those who work from home. Without the recurring distractions office workers tend to face, remote employees are left to create their optimal work environment, free of distraction triggers. Additionally, because of the stigma that remote workers are slackers, many end up actually working longer hours than expected of them to prove their worth. In fact, it’s a common struggle for people who work from home to shut off “work mode” and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Learn about the best time tracking apps for freelancers to be most productive.
You don’t communicate well
Without the option to physically approach someone, many people tend to assume remote workers have poor communication with their coworkers and managers. However, the reality is almost entirely the opposite; 52% of remote workers are in fact in contact with their managers at least once per day. Technology has greatly improved the facilitation of communication amongst teams regardless of location. Between instant messaging platforms, video conferencing and project management tools, remote workers and their managers can be just as in-sync as those sharing a cubicle.
You’re an introvert
Working from home doesn’t mean never leaving the house. Many remote workers are in fact very social people, and therefore, make arrangements to enjoy the comradery in-office workers are able to experience. Local coffee shops and co-working establishments are popular options for remote employees who prefer to work around people.
So there you have it, the reality of freelance and remote work. Next time you hear about someone working from their living room, you’ll know they don’t mean Cheetos and movie marathons, but a work day just like yours.
Author Bio: Maddie Davis is co-founder of Enlightened Digital and a tech-obsessed female from the Big Apple.