When most people think of the standard working schedule, they think of 9-5, 5 days a week – however, outside of the most conventional office jobs, many workers work very different hours. Whether it’s weekends on the shop floor or evening shifts at the bar, a lot of people in other forms of employment have already had to embrace more varied schedules – and now, with the rise of freelancing, there’s a whole new group of workers finding that the modern ‘working week’ has changed immensely.
This is certainly the message that’s being pushed by sites such as Mashable, who have not only declared this ‘the age of the freelancer’ (and with good reason), but also begun to analyse how this significant shift in employment practices is beginning to change the entire working landscape.
One of the most important factors affecting this change is the new type of relationship that freelancing forges between employer and employee. When you’re contracted to work on a specific project, you’ll often be given a clear overview of the aims and deadlines as a whole, which translates into more ownership of the individual role that you play in making it happen.
Although in some respects this brings more responsibility, it also gives a lot more freedom, since rather than a specific set of hours to work through, you’re given a set of goals to achieve before the deadline. As a freelancer, you can choose when this work is completed – so long as it is all done in plenty of time to not only hit the due date, but also to ensure that there’s enough room to make revisions and edits where necessary.
This new type of business relationship, in which contractors feel more involved with the overall project that they’re hired to work on, has also led to a lot of freelancing professionals feeling happier putting in evening and weekend hours – because they have a genuine interest in seeing the complete venture become a success.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Generally speaking, these shifts can be seen as a positive change – they allow you to set hours based on your own lifestyle and ensure that you can make time for other commitments, whether that means childcare or an online learning course.
However, it’s important to set yourself a few parameters to ensure that you don’t fall into the common trap of letting work take over. While getting involved in a project to the point that you start to think of little else can be somewhat exhilarating, it isn’t necessarily healthy: if you find that you’re failing to take breaks or make time for family, you need to make sure that down-time is integrated into your schedule.
Using online bookkeeping software and having a specialist accountant such as ICS can help to reduce the number of hours that you need to spend on admin and accounting related tasks, which in turn can free up time for those all important breaks – or allow you to be more flexible when it comes to your new ‘9-5’.
Within our monthly fee you receive inclusive access to FreeAgent, an online bookkeeping and accounting solution which is so easy to use. Contact ICS today to talk to a friendly member of the team about exactly what we can offer you.