You may be aware of many reasons to become a freelancer in the virtual workplace. If you’re just starting out or wondering if you should, check out these top 10 reasons to join the crew.
Note #1: This post focuses on freelancers who work from a home office or coworking space.
Note #2: This post is the first part of a series. Stay tuned for the next part about the top 10 reasons not to become a freelancer in the virtual workplace.
1. Choose Your Own Schedule
As a freelancer, you get to decide when you work. That can be the traditional 9:00 to 5:00, or you can start at 11:00 a.m. and work until 7:00 p.m. Better yet, take a big break in the middle and work later.
Better still as one of your reasons to become a freelancer, you don’t even have to commit to 8 hours a day or work the same number of hours every day. As long as you set your rates well and pull in enough work, you can choose your hours as you see fit.
2. Plan Your Vacations Without Permission
You can take a day, a week, or more off without asking someone else for permission to do so. As long as you schedule your projects strategically, take some time off as you like.
You can even fit a little bit of work in the middle of vacation if you can’t quite get a solid week off. Your clients don’t care as long as you get the work done.
3. Choose Your Clients
You can seek out clients you want to work with. And you don’t have to keep a client whose communication style, particular demands, or even spiritual aura do not jive with your own situation. Work until the end of the contract, but you don’t have to renew it or work with them again in the future.
4. Work from Anywhere
You can work from home, from a local café or co-working space, or even on the beach in Bali. And, if all you really need is your laptop and an internet connection, make plans to travel more or move to a more desirable and/or affordable area.
If you live far from your family, visiting or even moving back to your home town or region may be one of your reasons to become a freelancer.
5. You Get a Very Short Commute
Most freelancers work from home or a space that is convenient. And that convenience usually involves a decent proximity to their bedroom.
I used to live in a studio apartment in downtown Oakland, California—my desk was right next to my bed, so I literally would just have to roll over and start working. Those were the days and one of my many reasons to become a freelancer!
6. You Get to Sleep as Late as You Want
Related to choosing your own schedule at #1, you can start to balance work with your natural sleep rhythms. According to Matthew Walker, author of Why We Sleep, night owls seem to always get the shaft because the traditional 9:00 to 5:00 is more suited to morning larks.
One of the best reasons to become a freelancer is that you get to finally catch up on your sleep and work within your natural patterns for a much healthier lifestyle.
7. Choose Your Projects
Just like choosing your clients back in #3, you get to choose your projects as well. If something doesn’t seem like a good fit for your preferences, you can turn it down.
Besides, let a more suitable freelancer take the work, and make their day as one of their own reasons to become a freelancer.
8. You Can Set Up a Home Office That Suits You
Along with working from anywhere, you can also set up your office the way you like it. Of course, you have to pay for that equipment, but once you’re able, there’s no waiting on HR to approve the purchase.
Get that ergonomic mouse and keyboard or second 27-inch monitor. Sit on that exercise ball or even put your feet up on the desk.
9. You Can Get More Exercise
Working from anywhere on your own schedule can also mean that you have the freedom to go out for a run, walk, cycle, climb, or whatever workout you enjoy any time of day. I like to walk because running is not good for my knees (I wrote a little article about that).
For example, freelance editors like to go on what they call stet walks, wherein they get out to enjoy nature and tweet what they see for fellow editorial professionals. Follow #StetWalk to join the party.
10. You Can Get More Done in Both Personal and Work Life
Because of your ability to work from anywhere and your shortened commute mentioned in #4 and #5, you have more time to get both personal and work tasks done. You can start a laundry while you finish editing that video script, or make an elaborate cup of Turkish coffee.
You can even make a tuna melt for lunch without your coworkers groaning over the fish smell. And if your coworker is feline, I’m sure you’ll get appreciative purrs for sharing—definitely one of the more valid reasons to become a freelancer!
So there you have it. I hope these top 10 reasons to become a freelancer are helpful in your own virtual workplace. Stay tuned for the next part about reasons not to become a freelancer.