In today’s evolving workplace, it’s rare to find professionals that spend many years in the same organisation. Rather, it’s not unusual for millennials to have multiple positions under their belt which can come in the form of various freelance and part-time jobs.
Most traditional workplaces have rigid structures where employees have to conform to cultural norms like wearing a shirt and tie and working 9 to 5. An employees typical day looks the same week after week, months after months – they spend most of their time in the office working under a manager’s direction, and at the end of their one year anniversary, receive a performance review.
But the grass always seems greener on the other side. You should, therefore, make an educated decision before transitioning your work situation.
I have been able to experience both sides of employment – as a full-time employee at an office and a freelancer working at home. Here are some of my observations of the two.
Working From Home
It can be isolating
This is easily the biggest issue with working from home. You could be a fully-employed home office worker or a freelancer working out of your home. If you are an introverted person who can go for days without small talks, then working from home would be ideal for you. But for extroverted people who find comfort in day to day human interaction, working from home may feel torturous.
Those who spend all week working from home for long periods of time will eventually start feeling isolated and lonely. My advice would be to make an effort to meet your friends ever so frequently before you die of a heart attack at a young age.
You can save up very quickly
No lunch, no gas, no car, no train tickets. These are very small amounts of daily expenditure. However, in the long term it ends up being quite a large expense. It is possible to deduct some of these expenses for your annual tax return. However, if you are a freelancer based out of home, nearly every business expense is tax deductible.
You have flexibility
You not only save money, but also your personal time. Nothing is worse than just sitting ideally in a traffic jam every day for years after years. Those 30 mins of waiting on the road could be easily spend on a quick workout session. You can take as many clients or as little clients as possible. Go for a walk whenever you want. Feeling sleepy after lunch or the sun has started to shine – get yourself outside to get some fresh air. Had to take the kid to the doctor on Thursday? No worries, you can carry on the work on Saturday. Such flexibility is a godsend, but it also means that…
You’re permanently stuck in work mode
The same flexibility can also cause some imbalance in your work-life. It is difficult to draw a line between work and leisure time when you work from home. Since you all the flexibility it’s easy to push things off to a later day or time. You can always decide to work late at night, or on Sunday because there’s always something coming up 😉
Working at an Office
Rigid working hours
Let’s just say many people find routine boring. According to a 2018 survey by YouGov, only 6% of the working population works a regular 9 -5 jobs. The statistical evidence suggests that more and more people in Germany are opting for flexible working schedules.
Stable work schedule
Whether you are working 9-5 or 8-4, you can draw a line between work and free time. Depending on your employment situation, your weekends are strictly yours, and only yours. You can plan ahead as you know your exact working hours and holidays.
More daily expenses
You have to pay to get to work. According to a research by CareerBuilder, an employee spends an average of $3,300 going to work each year. Those who commute by car every day to work spend $1,600 per year on fuel alone. You also have to constantly update your office wardrobe, and most good quality formal wear doesn’t cheap.
Benefits and perks
Your employer pays towards your health insurance, sick days, paid vacations, pension funds, and whatnot. Annual bonuses are not uncommon in most organisations. If you are working in Germany, you may be entitled to a 13th salary too.
Full-time employees have the security of an employment contract, a predictable working schedule, and a predictable income, that helps them to plan for the future. But they also have to spend several hours away from home and family.
If you are a highly self-motivated person, like being your own boss, and want to choose the projects you want to work on personally and if find the daily office life stressful, then freelancing from home office is a better option for you. Freelancing also allows you to be geographically independent and easily relocate to a different country and carry out your business there.
If you are a freelancer considering moving to Germany, then here’s how you can get started as a freelancer in Germany.
Are you a freelancer or a salaried employee? Or did you make a transition from full-time employment to flexible work? How would you compare the two? Let us know in the comments below.