There’s an old saying that it’s an “ill wind that blows no one any good” and the current Coronavirus is nothing if not an ill wind of proportions few of us could have anticipated.
To try and contain the pandemic, many office workers, usually subject to the daily commute, are being forced to pre-emptively self-isolate and work from home. Over and above this, schools are being forced to become more creative in an effort to ensure our kids’ education continues despite the Coronavirus. There’s a growing realization (probably long overdue) that education doesn’t necessarily consist of a teacher stood up in front of 20 or 30 learners and we do have the technology to make remote learning a reality for a growing number of our kids.
Both my children (16 and 19) did formal schooling up to age 14 and went on to study the GED remotely from home. It doesn’t seem to have done them any harm.
The upshot is that we’ve had the technology to function remotely for a long time but seemed to have lacked the will and foresight to exploit it fully.
There is a growing realization that remote interaction is working (and is to be preferred under certain circumstances) and it isn’t limited purely to education as already mentioned. There’s an awakening amongst businesses too (previously fence-sitters) that remote can be good and using a freelancer can be very good!
Put yourself in the shoes of the average business for just a second and think about the cost of taking on a full-time employee:
- Salary each and every month
- Holiday pay (no work being done when employees are sunning themselves)
- Health insurance
- Sick pay
- Pension contributions
- Company car
- Expense account
- Plus, plus, plus
Imagine YOU paid for a service for 12 months of the year and only got about 10 months of value (including sick leave), would you be happy, of course not. Let alone the substantial cost of letting an employee go when work cycles down as it invariably does.
Compare this to a freelancer where you only pay for what you get, have no long-term commitment (generally) and can let a non-performer go with zero hassle.
Make no mistake, freelancing was growing at a steady pace in any case, but events are adding to the shift in working practices and this can only benefit freelancing as a career choice.
My advice is if you’re undecided about taking the plunge and working for yourself as a freelancer or any other kind of home-based entrepreneur, now is the time to take the plunge and make it a reality. I did so several years ago and have a solid business now earning a solid income.
Was it tough at first? Yes of course. Is it doable? More so now than ever before!
And let’s face it if you’re self-isolated and in control of your daily schedule, there has never been a better time to at least explore possibilities without your boss breathing down your neck…