This Christmas, we take you through the best parts of being self-employed with our ‘Freelance Christmas’ festive rundown of the benefits of becoming your own boss.
For many people, Christmas is the happiest time of the year and when you are self-employed this can bring extra benefits over the festive period. Being self-employed is more fulfilling, gives you flexibility and control, and can substantially increase your earnings; what’s not to like?
But you don’t have to take our word for it, of course. We’ve rounded up the facts about freelancing, and are here to take you through them with a festive spin on it. So read on for our 12 days of freelance Christmas!
12 extra lie-ins
Most employees have woken up at some point and wished they didn’t have to go to work for another few hours. If you’re a freelancer, however, you don’t need to worry about this. You can wake up whenever you want, so if you’re not a morning person just put in a few extra hours in the evening and treat yourself to a lie-in.
In fact, this is a huge benefit of being self-employed for many people. A study from the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills found that having more time or flexibility was seen as the main advantage of being a freelancer, with 46 per cent of respondents listing this as the best part of being their own boss.
11 happy freelancers
Job satisfaction is often talked about, and some people even switch careers in an attempt to achieve this. However, there’s one easy solution: remain in your current career, but become your own boss rather than working for an employer.
That’s not just our opinion either; research from the Universities of Sheffield and Exeter found that freelancer people are both happier and more fulfilled in their work than average workers. This is despite working longer hours, and having less job security due to depending on clients.
10 fewer traffic jams
Working for an employer often means a lengthy commute, with nearly one in ten Brits spending three hours or more each day travelling to and from their jobs. This adds up to approximately one month each year spent in a car or on public transport.
Compare this with the self-employed, 44 per cent of whom work from home. That means no lengthy commute, no traffic jams and no paying through the nose for train or bus fare. And, of course, it means plenty of extra time for yourself.
9 treats for yourself
This holiday period, along with all the presents you’ll need to buy for family and friends, why not treat yourself? You might think that’s a bit lavish, but if you’re self-employed then you might find you’re earning more than you think. All the profits you make go straight to you (and your limited company, if you run one), not to any bosses above you, and you’ll have fewer overheads than a larger firm.
This means that self-employed workers can command high hourly rates, as they will still be charging less than bigger businesses. A study from Kalido found that the average rate for freelancers is £50 per hour, which is significantly more than many salaried individuals make.
8 opportunities for work
Of course, the hourly rate we mentioned above doesn’t mean much if you aren’t working many hours. Being self-employed means looking for and securing clients, and often these will be larger firms that have the budget to take on freelancers. So how many companies are willing to do this?
As it turns out, a lot. Kalido found that 64 per cent of firms rely on freelancers to get through each month. This is only set to get better for the self-employed, with 39 per cent of businesses saying they expect to take on more freelancers than permanent staff in the near future.
7 freelancing colleagues
Many people have worries about becoming a freelancer, as working for an employer is often seen as the norm. If you’re the only person you know working for themselves, you might struggle to find advice and help when you come across problems. However, this doesn’t seem to be likely, as self-employment is on the rise.
Data from the Office of National Statistics shows that in 2001, there were 3.3 million self-employed workers, which equates to around 12 per cent of the labour force. In 2017, this number had risen to 4.8 million, or more than 15 per cent of the workforce. More and more people are abandoning traditional employment to become their own boss.
6 extra workouts
If you like to stay healthy, then freelancing is the right choice for you. Research has found that the self-employed get a third more exercise per week, on average, than traditional workers. This means it’s easier to lose weight, keep fit and work on mastering whatever your choice of sport is.
This is probably because of all the flexibility and extra time we’ve already mentioned. By eliminating commutes and choosing the working hours that suit them, freelancers are more able to exercise, take up hobbies and spend time with friends.
5 extra hours
We’ve already mentioned how freelancers have the flexibility to work from home if they need to, meaning you can have a lie-in or just avoid a lengthy commute. But did you know that being at your house rather than in an office actually makes you more productive? To be precise, 13 per cent more productive, according to a recent study.
If you work eight hours a day for a standard five-day week, that adds up to more than five hours of extra work completed. Or, of course, it means you can finish early on Friday and treat yourself to some well-deserved time off!
4 fewer distracting noises
Speaking of working from home, have you ever noticed that offices are full of annoying distractions? Noises are the most common; according to workplace design expert Alan Hedge, 74 per cent of employees say they deal with many disturbances due to sound every day.
As a freelancer, you have no need to work in an office. You can choose where you work and try out many different options, from coffee shops to co-working spaces to your bedroom. This allows you to find the best and most productive environment for you and your growing business.
3 goals achieved
When you become self-employed, you will probably have an ideal income in mind. Many people set themselves goals like ‘be earning £40,000 a year within five years’ in order to make sure they are making enough money for freelancing to be worth it. Luckily, it turns out many of those goals are achieved.
According to a study performed by WiseBrand, the average freelancer achieves their target income within just two years. This means you will be well on your way to earning your ideal salary, and show what a financially viable option becoming self-employed can be.
2 well-deserved holidays
After all this hard work setting up your own business and becoming your own boss, you might want to take a holiday. But self-employed people don’t have time for holidays, do they? That might be a common stereotype, but it is far from the actual truth. In fact, your increased flexibility might make it even easier to take a break abroad.
Research from PeoplePerHour found that a third of freelancers are able to take more than two holidays per year, compared to 29 per cent of employed workers. The self-employed also spend more time doing so, taking an average of 21 nights away from home per year, compared to just ten for employees.
1 person in charge
When it comes down to it, one of the main benefits of being self-employed is exactly what it says on the tin: you are employed by yourself, and nobody else. Being your own boss means having complete say in what you do, how you work and the business you choose to run.
More than 80 per cent of freelancers say that independence is a major benefit of being self-employed. It is the reason for a lot of the other advantages on this list, as it allows you to be flexible as well as giving you more take-home pay. It’s certainly our number one benefit of being your own boss.
So there you have it. Why not treat yourself to a present this Christmas by looking into becoming self-employed? You can always book a free consultation with Brookson to talk about it. Until then, treat yourself to a mince pie and have a very merry Christmas from all of us!