Increasingly, more Americans are choosing freelance work to sustain their lifestyles. This could be due to the decreasing number of full-time jobs available in the labor market, or it could be related to individual choice.
Either way, the decision to work from home carries many benefits with some financial burdens for the individual. On one hand, you do get to set your own schedule and decide when and how you vacation, but you also have to pay for healthcare and are more responsible for managing your own funds.
With the prospect of more Americans going into business for themselves looming on the horizon, analysts are busy trying to determine the long term effects of the freelance economy. Freelancers Cut Costs to Business Businesses stand to cut costs and avoid debt by utilizing the freelance economy. The cost of healthcare, for one, will be shifted to the individual.
This saves companies from paying benefits to workers by either reducing or entirely eliminating the healthcare option.
Full timers may also get other benefits, like a 401k, that freelancers are not entitled to. On the flip side, freelancers may pay more for healthcare, but the 401k retirement option is available to individuals and businesses to help save for retirement.
Freelancers can also enroll in an individual retirement accounts and divert some of their incomes toward long-term savings. Paying for Freelance Freelancers need a method to get paid.
With a system like PayPal, freelancers can invoice clients and receive payment, with the ability to transfer money to and from accounts. PayPal is the most widely used system, but alternatives are starting to compete with its place at the top. Independents want more control over their money, without worrying about funds getting frozen during disputes or levying extra fees to clients.
The use of 3rd party alternatives like Pay matters is becoming more popular, with the goal of helping companies build a freelance work force that can independently track and get paid for the hours they put in.Freelancers Unionize Started by Sara Horowitz, the Freelancer’s Union attempts to help freelancers organize for better benefits and work-practices.
The company offers insurance plans for qualifying freelancers, as well as help planning for retirement or life insurance. You can join the site’s community, which consists of entrepreneurs offering advice and networking, or you can share your story through the site’s blog. The union also holds events across the country, like job fairs.
Seminars on meditation and living a healthy lifestyle encourage freelancers to practice more preventative care to manage their health. Freelancers and PoliticsHorowitz has used the Union to endorse candidates for office and make appeals to government that are pro-freelance.
Horowitz herself is a member of the board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, where she lobbies for individual consumer rights. The American small business is usually a one-person affair and advocates like Horowitz want to make it easier for freelancers to incorporate and survive for the long term.
Micro Tasks Micro tasks have added a new level to freelancing, giving short term tasks a price tag. Things like making a delivery, posting to a blog, or proofreading a document now qualify for task-based billing.
Freelancers should use micro tasks to boost their incomes wherever possible. These rapid fire tasks are easy to plan, but you have to carefully measure your margins to get the most out of your work.
Try to choose tasks that you are already good at. For instance, a graphic designer might offer to fix red-eye in a photo for a small amount of money.
Individually, these tasks don’t add up to much. Do a few in a day, and you can add a few hundred to your monthly income with spare time work?