By Jonathan London on 30th September 2013

5 everyday things that drive you crazy about freelancing

Freelancing. It lets you work how, where and when you like and for whom you choose, right? What’s not to like about being your own boss and cherry picking the best clients and projects? We spoke to some of the freelancers on the Boox books and discovered that, while it beats permanent employment hands down, self-employment can have its drawbacks. In reverse order, these were the top five:

5 – You have to be a jack of all trades

You love your work, whether it’s writing, designing, number crunching or making things. You want to spend as much time as possible doing what you do best, and not filing paperwork, managing finances, writing proposals and other admin-based stuff. Non-core chores, most of which are also non-billable, are right up there among the not-so-good aspects of freelancing.

4 – Nobody to delegate to

Closely related to 5 (above), having nobody to delegate to comes into its own when an urgent, yet routine job pops up while you’re on holiday or simply enjoying a bit of me time. Particularly infuriating when, with your work approved and the ‘immovable deadline’ met, you are called upon to make changes while you’re sipping cocktails poolside.

3 – Being out of the loop

If you work remotely from your clients, freelancing exempts you from office politics, rigid working hours and compulsory dress codes. The problem is, it can also leave you out of the loop. Informal intelligence, such as that shared at the water-cooler or smoking shelter can, when used with discretion, be every bit as useful as your project brief and progress meeting minutes.

2 – Getting paid on time

Nothing puts the skids under freelancer / client relationships like constantly having to chase payments. Late payments seriously affect cash flow, which can cause chaos in your business and personal finances. Then there’s the knock-on effect on the creditworthiness of freelancers in general. We’re surprised this didn’t come straight in at number 1.

1 – People think you don’t work at all

Anyone who has ever worked from home has had a conversation that goes something like this:

You: I’m working from home tomorrow.

Your mate: Great. Let’s go for a swim in the morning, then have lunch down the pub.

Despite the fact that more and more people work from home – and get an awful lot done – the perception that you’re bunking off is hard to shift. Many freelancers also report that their partners and housemates take offence if they’re not available to clean the kitchen floor, get the shopping in or be at home to sign for deliveries.

What do you think to this list – is there anything we’ve missed?

Jonathan London Written by Jonathan London

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