When I first decided to quit my job at Al Jazeera and pursue a career in freelancing, one of the more frequent questions I kept being asked by my friends and family were am I completely insane, have I lost my mind and why have I decided to completely ruin my life.
Fast forward a few years, people are no longer asking me that – they see that I have a much healthier work / life balance, that I’m fresher and more energized. I don’t work any less than I did before – I probably invest more hours now, but I get to choose those hours. No longer do I have to skip Champions League finals in order to cover presidential elections in Moldavia, and I won’t have to skip Warcraft Movie premiere just because someone has to stay in office in case any breaking news occur.
I choose my own hours, and as long as I submit my work on a pre-arranged deadline, I’m just fine. That’s probably the biggest advantage of being a freelancer, and being able to work remotely.
But the sanity-questioning attitude my friends and family had towards me in the beginning, now switched to a new dreaded question:
Still doing that freelancing thing?
Keyword here being ‘still’. People *STILL* find it unreal that a business model like this exists and that it’s self-sustainable.
I guess that attitude varies, depending where you’re located, but just in case you’re faced with similar annoyances, here are a couple of arguments to keep you encouraged and keep you doing what you love doing.
The nine-to-five is dead
TeamViewer has recently released a report which says 72 per cent of UK workers no longer find traditional office relevant, as well as that people spend 2.5 days working outside the office. Sure, you may argue that TeamViewer is a remote-working platform, and obviously as such it will try to pursuade you that remote working is the way to go. There are countless reports out there suggesting the same on freelancing and mobile working, like this one, this one, or even this one. And that’s all from the first page of my Google search results.
Whoever has the opportunity is doing it – because it works. Businesses spend less money (no need to pay for hardware, office space, heating, food or transportation, etc.). Freelancers are doing it because it gives them more breathing room, more flexibility and a better work / life balance. They end up doing more work, being more productive and overall – happier.
Businesses are adopting to change
Businesses everywhere now understand that remote working is the new normal, and that freelancing is (in many cases) – the future of business. They’re adopting, installing Freelance Management Systems, as they understand the need to formalize their management of their fast-growing non-employee workforce.
Forbes’ Jeff Wald writes: “We saw global Fortune 500 enterprises increasing their use of independent talent and the continued emphasis on talent analytics as businesses look to make intelligent, data-driven decisions about their workforce.”
2016 is going to be a great year for freelancers. So is 2017, 2018, 2019, and so on. Next time someone asks you if you’re ‘still doing that freelance thing’, feel free to ask them why they’re still wasting their life doing that ‘office thing’.
Image Credit: Flickr / Markus Spiske