For most businesspeople – and indeed, for most people in any sort of employment – money may not be the sole incentive for working, but it is a matter of the utmost importance, and we naturally want to ensure that we earn as much as we can. For self-employed people and contractors, there’s a real need to plan your working time and schedule with that in mind, otherwise you risk coming out far lighter in pocket than you may like. Such a situation has recently been reported on Contractor UK, with a large number of IT contractors across the UK losing out due to their long-distance commutes.
When you think about it, the issue is obvious. As a self-employed person, you are your own boss, and that means you can dictate your own working hours. However, if you’re reliant upon travelling into a workplace, then these minutes and even hours are normally blocked out as time periods when you can’t work. And when you can’t work, you can’t earn, so your working day therefore isn’t as profitable as one where you could continue doing your job through your commuting time. Stats indicate that British IT workers could amass an extra £8,000 if they were able to negate the time it took to reach work, which comes to a staggering cumulative loss of £4 billion across the wholeUK.
Putting Your Commute to Good Use
Needless to say, this issue is thoroughly worthy of consideration, especially if you’re one of the contractors who it affects. As in-demand specialists, IT freelancers are often required to travel to where their skills are requested, but this habit can be costly. Many professionals do make attempts to put their commute to good use, but it’s often easier said than done. However, there are ways to try to get around this notoriously unproductive time in your day. Here are a few tips we know of:
- Prepare yourself for your working day by putting finishing touches to presentations, making a to-do list, or otherwise planning your workload. This will let you hit the ground running.
- Make the most of technology. Facilities like cloud storage can let you check work emails, log into social media, or maybe even work on certain projects when on the move. Use them!
- You could also forget work entirely! Listening to your favourite music when commuting, running to work or spending the time doing something you enjoy can give you a real ‘wellbeing’ boost or just a break, meaning you’ll be more productive when you do start.
Saving Money by Other Means
Of course, part of the problem for IT contractors is – rather oddly – that their rates are typically too good! When they’re as high as they are, even an hour commuting can make a disproportionate dent in your pocket, so trying to work as effectively as you can is a priority for many such professionals. Making the most of your commute is only one part of that battle, though, and getting your company structure right is certainly another noteworthy concern. By joining the ICS Limited Company Service, you can ensure that your business and payment structure are as good as they can be, and if you don’t believe us, have a look at our contractor tax calculator to see how much money you could save. In many cases, it’ll more than make up for a bit of commuting time. To find out more, please get in touch with our experienced and friendly team by calling 0800 195 3750 or chat to us online.