If you’re a new parent, or you’ve ever had to juggle a job with a baby or a toddler, you’ll know just how much of a hassle it can be.
If you’ve ever worked freelance, had last-minute jobs land on your lap and chase clients for payments, you’ll know how much hassle that can be too.
If you’ve ever done both, it may have surprised you to learn that both can work perfectly together.
Is freelancing the perfect fit for parents?
Although working freelance rarely offers the security of a full-time position, it does usually offer a lot more flexibility – perfect if you have to spend large parts of your day running around after the kids.
Here are a few reasons why you might want consider freelancing…
You can work when you need to
Arguably the biggest perk of freelancing is that you can often work when you want to – if you’re a morning person, get most of your work done before midday, or if you’re a night owl, work long through the night.
And this is definitely a massive perk when you have to factor in a couple of school runs into your working day – you can choose to get up and get started before the kids get out of bed, sort them for school, then get back to it once they’re dropped off. If you have a newborn, you might even be more inclined to get back to work sooner if you’re a freelancer, as you can spend time at home with baby and still do your work.
Working from home also means you can fit errand running in between your day job – but be careful of such distractions, that pile of ironing can suddenly become more appealing than those spreadsheets, and before you know it your house is spotless but you’ve not done a bit of work.
You don’t spend as much money
Working from home means you avoid the morning commute, which can save you a lot of time, hassle and money. And if you’re working from home, you’re less likely to splash out on expensive coffees and lunches as you’ll be making everything at home.
And because you can fit your daily chores around your work more easily, there’ll be no need to hire a nanny or a cleaner (if you’re in a position to do so). When it comes to school holidays, you’ll also not have the stress of arranging childcare, as you can just stay at home with them all day anyway.
You’ll not be discriminated against
You may or may not realise it, but discrimination is alive and well in the UK workplace, particularly against women returning from maternity leave
A recent study from the Equality and Human Rights Commission estimated that around 54,000 new mothers are losing their jobs across Britain every year – almost twice the number identified in similar research undertaken in 2005. It also found that 10% of women were discouraged from attending antenatal appointments by their employers, putting the health of mother and baby at risk.
If the kids are ill, you’ll not have the hassle of ringing your employer for time off, nor will you have the issue of negotiating flexible working, as you’ll most likely be working your own hours anyway.
Keep in touch with a conference call
Even if you work from home, you’ll still have to hold meetings with colleagues and clients, but if you just can’t bear the thought of going into work, or you really can’t get there for any reason, then keep in touch with a conference call – you can simply set up a call in minutes, for up to 100 participants, anywhere in the world.