Remote Work and Freelancing: Benefits, Challenges, and Tips to Succeed in the Gig Economy
Are you eager to begin your freelancing career? Are you experiencing some challenges as you work from home? Or do you feel you have exhausted the moves in your bag of tricks concerning remote jobs?
This 2022 study showed that 25% of respondents were struggling with working from home. One of the major reasons for this obstacle in their career was the inability to balance their private and work lives.
But look away from the negatives. Remote work and freelancing might still be worth your while if you're willing to give it a few more shots.
You might be a newbie trying to pave a way in the gig economy. If not, maybe you've been on the journey and are looking for tips on scaling your brand.
It's your lucky day because we will discuss the benefits of freelancing, its challenges, and some perks that can help you succeed as a remote worker in this post.
Benefits of working from home
Upwork, an authority in providing services to drive remote jobs and freelancing, states that businesses can cut payroll expenses by 27% if they hire remote workers.
This is just one of the many benefits of remote working.
Remote work provides Better work-life balance.
We know how it feels to be at work and wonder how you'll get tasks done at home or spend time with family. Working at the office doesn't stop you from doing what you have to do at home. However, it can be exhausting and stifle you mentally.
On the other hand, if you're working at home, you'll have more clarity about how you want to complete the home tasks and still get your work done. And by being at home, you can easily make time for family.
According to a 2018 study by Flexjobs, 97% of people claim a flexible job would positively impact the quality of their lives. The lack of commuting to and from work would also help reduce stress, according to 71% of respondents, and employees can make use of their energy for more self-time.
Be rest assured that you're not the only one who feels worn out by that supervisor at work bearing down on your neck. This pressure is barely avoidable. But by working from home, you avoid this and even get more work done.
Hence, you still keep your employer happy without pressure from relentless supervision or micromanagement.
Remote working can be lonely. There is usually no one to throw your professional jargon at or the usual office banter amongst colleagues.
However, the loneliness counts for something good, as there's less interaction by the water cooler and no forced collaborations that are unnecessary.
A study conducted by Standford showed that working from home boosted employee productivity by 13%.
More so, as we've just discussed, having less pressure while you work can make help to improve productivity.
Remote work Heightens competition
Employers who don't allow for remote work in their business playbooks are missing the best talents worldwide. Having to employ workers in one location limits the quality of personnel you have access to.
While this might seem to be an achievement for businesses and their hiring managers alone, it can help freelancers keep up the good work and boost their skills to meet global standards.
Remote work is economical for both employers and employees
Employees like to save money, and so do employers. The cost of hiring and relocating talent rises daily. Nortel claims they save up to $100,000 for every employee they don't need to relocate.
Meanwhile, as a remote worker, you'll be able to save up on the cost of commuting to work as well. There is no wonder why top lead generation firms decide to hire remote workers almost as much as other employees.
Challenges you might face doing remote work
Studies show that the biggest challenges faced by over 50% of remote workers face are unplugging from work mode, loneliness, and burnout. Let's break it down.
You might find it hard to use your time wisely
Remote workers often find it hard to manage their time. Dealing with the home front while getting the job done can be a bit overwhelming. About 45% of remote workers claim they work more hours than when they worked from the office.
It's common to find some freelancers and remote workers responding to work emails during the day, even after they have clocked out.
You'll face distractions at home
The office space comes with distractions that can cause you to take breaks between your tasks. While this usually involves some professional talk, distractions at home can completely throw you off work mode.
Assaf Cohen, who runs Solitaire Bliss, a team with a remote workforce, explains, “We hear from our team that their biggest issue working from home is that family members find a way to distract them. We tell our team to set expectations on when they’ll be available to their families, allowing them to focus on work.”
Collaborating with colleagues
Collaborating with colleagues is also another challenge of remote working. Many remote workers do not receive training on the different project management software or collaboration tools. This makes communication with coworkers difficult, which affects workflow as many things get lost in translation.
Some employers try to create performance management systems for their remote workers (which can be a huge help), but its really hard to just have one standardized system for everyone when timezones are different and working environments are not fully optimized.
Other challenges that remote workers faced were feeling lonely, staying motivated, and having problems with quality internet connections.
Tips to help improve remote working conditions
If you're having issues with managing your projects while doing remote work, you should invest in the use of project management apps. Some good examples of such apps are slack, Microsoft team, Trello, Monday, Wrike and even different PowerPoint templates for your presentations. Besides managing the projects, these apps can also improve the challenges remote workers face with collaboration.
According to the study, 59% of remote workers operate in five different time zones. Since varying time zones are an issue for many remote working systems, it would be beneficial to allocate flexible work hours for team members so that they can put in the required time and effort regardless of where they are. This also helps you know when to expect them to be available. A remote employee monitoring software can simplify the entire process as it tracks the time and helps the workforce stay productive no matter where they are.
If businesses allow for social interaction between their remote workers, it could help with team cohesion. Remote work teams can carry over the bonding onto workplace projects and improve efficiency.
Notice how remote work and freelancing come with their nuances on benefits and challenges even when the idea seems so enticing. The rewards bring delight, yet the challenges may scrunch up your nose. However, there are several tips you can apply to make freelancing as easy and comfortable as it should be.
Despite the perks that come with remote work and freelancing, they won't be the ultimate solution for everyone. These days we have hybrid models where you can work from home and at the office on a flexible routine.