Self-employment in the UK is at an all-time high. There are more people than ever opting to work from home – 4.6 million to be exact. Freelancing gives individuals the freedom to work around home life and choose their own clients.
It has been reported that freelancers have a better work and home life balance, despite working longer hours than their nine to five colleagues. The growing number of work hubs that have popped up throughout the UK in the past year reflect the rising number of freelancers, and might make you wish you were one of them!
You could be one of the many workers who love what they do, and who they work for, but are just in need of time to spend with family. There seems to be a very distinct line between freelancer and employee, but it’s actually more blurred than you think. Millions of employees have taken the decision to work from home, but not all of them are freelance.
Telecommuting might sound like the perfect solution, but how do you get your boss on board?
Present a Plan
Start by getting organised. We’ve all seen Dragon’s Den and are aware that a dodgy pitch isn’t fooling anyone. Before you suggest the idea to your boss make sure you have a list of reasons why it’s a great move for them.
Explain to your boss that this is a better way for you to be productive that reduces their overhead. They won’t have to spend money on office space and will save on bills – think of all the times you’ve turned the kettle on in the last year! Telecommuting will also allow the business to be more environmentally friendly – an attribute which is highly marketable to customers.
Bosses may worry that you losing contact with other employees would become a problem; you should assure them you can remain in touch through phone, text, email and Skype, and if you need to, you can arrange video conference calls with clients.
You’ll Work Longer Hours
Your boss would be forgiven for thinking that you’ll laze around in your pyjamas and eat Pringles from the tube in between writing the odd paragraph or so. This stereotype of a freelancer is an image that should depict a hardworking individual who actively looks for new opportunities.
Explain to your boss how productivity levels of freelancers are higher than those of office workers, not only because you will have more flexibility but also because you won’t waste time on your commute to and from work – a commute which can be physically and mentally draining.
Less Sick Days
Working from home has been proven to reduce levels of stress and anxiety – conditions which are increased by everyday office stresses beginning with the commute. By asking to commute note to your employer the marked decrease in sick days he will witness. Not only from lower stress levels but also because it allows more time for healthy eating and exercise.
With more time to live a healthy lifestyle you will have a stronger immune system and also increase productivity by feeling less groggy and tired. People working from home are also exposed to less germs than the nine to five worker.
Do a Trial Run
Is your boss still not convinced? Don’t try to push them in at the deep end by giving them an ultimatum. Instead suggest a trial day or week to see how the logistics work and whether it is a practical solution. Make sure you choose a period when there isn’t too much pressure – and definitely not one where there is a big deadline due!
Even if your employer decides at the end it won’t work, you can rest easy knowing you did everything to try. It will still make an interesting piece for your blog posts and generate interest from other companies.
Come Up With a System
If your boss in interested in the idea and wants to go ahead following the trial, then well done – your pitch worked! However, to make telecommuting a viable long term option there’s a few things you and your employer will need to do.
Make sure you are clear about the work you will need to complete. Your boss should set you daily objectives to keep you on track when you’re working from home. These should them be reviewed on a regular basis; feedback is vital! You should also make an extra effort to keep in contact with your colleagues to keep internal communication easy.
Are you thinking about asking to work from home? How helpful were our tips? Leave a comment in the section below!