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How to Get Started in Freelancing, PART I\. Pros and Cons of Collaborating Outside the Staff
2022.05.05

How to Get Started in Freelancing, PART I. Pros and Cons of Collaborating Outside the Staff

Freelancing is the ability to work remotely, from anywhere in the world. This method was fully appreciated during the restrictions due to the Covid-pandemic. And also in connection with the situation in Ukraine that developed after February 24, 2022. In addition, freelancers include all performers out of state. Contractors in construction, education, medicine; photographers and journalists are also freelancers. We analyze all the pros and cons of freelancing for performers and employers. 

 

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Benefits for freelancers

  • Significant savings in time for assembly, travel.

On average, we spend 30 to 40 minutes every morning getting ready for work. It takes about an hour to get to and from the office. Thus, we lose about 2.5-3 hours, which the freelancer fills with useful things. This advantage holds true in the case of working from home.

  • Free work schedule.

Students, schoolchildren and others who want to earn extra money in their free time from their main job can plan their schedule as they see fit. This moment is also important for people burdened with a family — they can allocate the time that they are ready to spend on work and, if they wish, visit their relatives more often.

  • Independence from a specific workplace.

Some freelancers can work from home or sitting under a beach umbrella by the sea. Of the tools — a laptop and access to the Internet. “Udalenka” is a lifeline for people with limited mobility, young parents, introverts. This, of course, does not apply to the types of work that require physical impact on the object, such as furniture assembly, finishing work.

  • Low threshold for organizing your own business.

More experienced freelancers tend to become employers for newbies or colleagues who don't like to promote their services. The entrepreneur does not have to spend money on office rent, purchase of expensive equipment. Although some freelancers (builders, foremen, photographers) are still forced to purchase professional equipment.

  • The specifics of labor obligations.

When starting work, a freelancer has a clear instruction — TOR (technical assignment) or a contract, where all the client's expectations are written. This is usually a text document, accompanied by oral explanations. Everything that goes beyond the contract is paid separately or can be used as an advance for receiving mutual services (recommendations, for example).

  • Possibility to choose partners.

Over time, a freelancer has colleagues or acquaintances in related professions, with whom he begins to cooperate of his own free will. Thus, a circle is formed in which it is pleasant and calm to work.

  • The most comfortable working conditions.

Individual workplace, food intake, temperature regime and other needs are solved very easily. There are exceptions — in some professions, workers depend not only on themselves.

  • Possibility to choose projects.

A freelancer chooses projects according to professional skills and interests, personal preferences. So, no one will force a copywriter to take a topic for an article that he cannot work on due to moral restrictions.

  • Constant self-learning.

Communicating with various customers, a freelancer receives a variety of experience, thus constantly improving his qualifications and practical skills. As well as taking part in webinars, coaching, conferences and other niche events.

 

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Benefits for employers

  • Pay only for work performed.

You pay for the time devoted to a specific task. In offices or in production, piecework is still rarely practiced.

  • Opportunity to involve specialists from other regions in the project.

Thus, the employer is not limited by geolocations and, for the good of the cause, can invite performers from other cities and even countries.

  • Budget savings.

The advantage is especially true for startups and businesses located in large cities, where renting a room is very expensive. There is also no need to buy furniture, equipment for workplaces. Organize sanitary and hygienic conditions for employees and so on.

  • As a rule, simplified document flow and reporting.

However, this rule sometimes does not work — in high-tech, knowledge-intensive areas of production, it is not always possible to include the remuneration of a freelancer in the cost of production and you have to allocate funds from profits.

  • Possibility to refuse cooperation at any time.

It is convenient when the contractor did not live up to your expectations or business tasks have changed. 

 

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Disadvantages for freelancers

  • The need to constantly search for customers, self-promotion.

A freelancer is forced to spend time looking for customers or pay for the services of personal managers, special resources (employment exchanges), buy advertising, maintain professional accounts on social networks.

  • Income inequality.

Compared to a full-time employee's salary, a freelancer's income is inconsistent. This makes planning difficult and makes a financial airbag a necessity.

  • Working from home can be a challenge at the same time.

So, the erroneous opinion of relatives that a freelancer works at home and does not rest creates a lot of inconvenience. No one has canceled procasting, burnout and distractions from everyday life either.

  • There may be problems with obtaining bank loans.
  • You need to do your own bookkeeping and pay taxes.

By the way, non-declaration of income in most states is considered as a violation of the tax code.

  • Lack of social guarantees.

Health insurance, treatment costs, vacation pay are entirely on the freelancer. As well as pension contributions — otherwise, the freelancer will be able to receive only the minimum wage.

  • There is a risk of fraud and other dishonest actions on the part of the customer.

Non-payment for work performed, or partial payment, slanderous reviews, etc. is a very common phenomenon. At the same time, a freelancer is most often deprived of the opportunity to prove his case in the eyes of the law and hold him accountable, especially if his employer is a citizen of another country.

  • You need strong motivation and self-discipline.

When a person is his own boss, there is a temptation to do as you like, as convenient. As a result, you can lose some of your income and/or damage your reputation.

  • The client is always right.

This point echoes the legal insecurity of a freelancer. Evaluation of the results depends on the subjective views of the client. Often other “authoritative opinions” are connected to it, often contradicting each other.

  • Technical difficulties.

We have to carefully monitor that the tools are always in order. Maintenance, repair, and preventive maintenance become the responsibility of the remote contractor. Sometimes the process gets out of control — for example, the provider turns off the Internet, and deadlines are missed.

  • Lack of career growth.

To take a leadership position will only work with the company. Also, the experience of colleagues who are so rich in the corporate subculture is not available to a freelancer.

 

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Disadvantages for employers

  • Difficulty in monitoring the execution of tasks.
  • There is a possibility of disclosure of confidential information.
  • There is a risk of dishonest performance of work or fraud on the part of the contractor. Especially if it is geographically remote, located in another country.
  • It is not possible to involve freelancers in work related to state secrets or personal data.
  • There may be difficulties in attracting freelancers to multi-stage, multi-stage projects — at any time, a freelancer can refuse to work or raise the price.
  • It can be difficult to pay for a freelancer's services, especially if he is not a resident or tax payer.
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