Darren Cronian

About the author

This guide was written by Darren Cronian. Over the last six years, he has landed numerous remote jobs and built a freelancing business. If you have any questions, please ask them here and receive a direct response from Darren.

Thinking about escaping the office to become a remote worker? Unsure if to focus on being a freelancer or work for a company as an employee?

There are pros and cons of both, and this article will help you make an informed decision. Before taking the leap into a remote job or freelance work, you should start by asking yourself, why are you wanting to escape the office?

Making an ill-informed decision can have an effect on you financially.

The Pros And Cons Of Freelance Work Vs a Remote Job

Freelance Work vs a Remote Job, which will you choose?

Freelancing

Pros

For those looking for flexibility in their life, then this is the option for you. You set the hours you work each day. You decide the rate of pay you are paid. Being a freelancer gives you complete control of your life and future.

As a freelancer, you have unlimited earning potential and can decide who you work with. Independence is an advantage of building a freelance business, including being able to offset business expenses against your tax bill.

Freelancing gives freedom to work from anywhere, as long as the job is completed to a high standard, and you meet deadlines. Access to the internet is less of a concern. If you want to spend a few days on an island, and the WiFi connection is slow, that is not a huge problem, providing you can meet work deadlines.

Cons

The biggest challenges as a freelancer are not knowing when your clients are going to pay your invoices. You’ll find yourself chasing invoices, and that can lead to additional stress. Continuously marketing your freelance business and searching for new clients can become tiresome, especially when you’re first starting out.

You will need good money management skills to survive because income is not regular. You’ll need to make sure you save a percentage of your income for taxes, and also access to ‘emergency’ money should work freeze up, or, clients do not pay on time.

Sadly, it happens, so you need to prepare for this.

As a freelancer, you will not get paid for any time off you take for vacations. Don’t forget to think about the future, and have a pension plan. Make sure you have healthcare insurance, so you are not financially impacted.

Isolation is a problem for all remote workers but especially for freelancers because the only people they interact with are their clients from time to time.

Remote jobs

Pros

For this article, we’re going to assume that the remote job is with an employer, rather than contracting. As a contractor, the pros and cons are the same as a freelancer, other than most companies will pay monthly like employees.

Unlike freelancing, you will receive a regular income, and be entitled to company benefits like sickness pay, vacation leave, pension and healthcare. For many people, this is an advantage over freelancing that is impossible to live without.

Since you are working closely with a team, there is more human interaction with video calls, and also annual team gatherings.

Cons

You will have less flexibility because most companies want you to work a specific shift and timezone. This might result in working unsociable hours, depending on where you are in the world compared with the location of the company.

You must have reliable internet access at all times. Otherwise, you will struggle to get work completed, and it will result in you losing your job.

With an employer, it is easy to feel that you have to be switched on to work at any time and work more hours than you are paid for. Taking time off might be problematic depending if other team members are away.

Additional thoughts

Freelance Work vs a Remote Job. With both options, you will have all the benefits of working from home: no commute to the office, spend more time with loved ones and time saved not commuting will allow you to work on your passions.

Another solution, which you might not have thought about is working part-time as an employee in a remote job and also freelance.

This gives you the best of both worlds.

At the time of writing this, I am working 15 hours per week, as an employee and 15-25 hours, building my online business.

Do not let the cons put you off from either of these remote working options because there are solutions. These will be covered in future articles so please subscribe to my free weekly email, so you’re notified when new content is published on this topic.

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