Sure, working at home sounds fun–but do you seriously know what’s ahead of you?
With a more flexible schedule and without the hassle of commuting through the hell we call EDSA, work-at-home employees can avoid some of the daily struggles that regular employees experience.
But don’t believe the lies: the freelance life is not all sunshine and roses.
Here, we shatter some myths on being a freelancer, and what you can do to make the freelance life easier for you:
Expectation: You will have more personal time within your day.
Working at home gives you the freedom to pursue leisurely activities that you can’t do when you’re in the office. (Hurray to watching and reading everything AlDub, 24/7!)
Without the pressure of the 9-to-5 setup, some adopt a really relaxed attitude towards work. This might not be the most productive work approach for others.
Since your work life is mixed with your personal life, without the right discipline, working at home can take more time than working in an office.
Using tools such as Trello and Google Calendar can help you manage your time and workload more efficiently.
Expectation: You will be saving a lot of money from staying at home.
Ka-ching! You no longer need to spend on gas and commutes going to work, or to shop for suits or dresses (wearing your pajamas for the whole day: check!).
Fewer clothing and transportation expenses mean more $$$!
Newsflash: not having an actual workplace can also be expensive. Since you’ll probably stay at home all day, utility bills will spike up and could take a chunk out of your budget.
Some freelance professionals also prefer working in coffee shops or establishments in order to become productive, which means spending money on expensive coffee or pastries.
Try apps like Monefy and GoodBudget, which can help you keep track of your spending habits.
Expectation: You finally have time to travel and take long vacations.
Because your office is wherever your laptop is, you can take those long-postponed trips to Cambodia, Maldives, Turkey, Germany, Italy…(Time to grab all those seat sales!)
While freelancing gives you the freedom from an eight-hour work structure and a fixed working space, freelancers may need to meet up with their clients to update them on their deliverables–which means they couldn’t take long vacations as frequently as they would want to.
Also, they would also need to be online regularly to connect with their clients and check up on other work opportunities. That might mean skipping destinations where the internet connectivity is unreliable.
Unstable internet connections aside, looking for work and keeping in touch with clients can be done on your mobile phone. Freelancer.com has developed a way for their users to work anywhere and anytime through their Freelancer mobile app.
The mobile app alerts you with new work opportunities, allows you to apply on the jobs related to your skills, and communicate with your clients–all on the go.
Expectation: You don’t have to put up with your coworkers and your boss.
Most of us have worked with someone we just can’t stand (like that co-worker who always rubs you the wrong way with his politically-incorrect jokes.) Being a freelancer allows you to choose which people you want to work with, and drop the ones you hate.
Sure, you might not get to deal with terrible officemates–but that might mean you’d have to deal with family members who pester you, 24/7. And unlike officemates you say goodbye to at the end of the working day, you can’t ditch your mom who keeps sending you off to do errands while you’re focused with finishing your work.
Aside from that, working from home can be a lonely experience, as you’re isolated from engaging in stimulating conversations with office mates who challenge you.
Even when you’re no longer in an office, you should continue talking to people in your field to encourage creativity and productivity. Look out for interesting events related to your profession, organized through Meetup.com or Impact Hub.