Access to remote work has changed the definition of work and workplace dramatically. More and more people are working from home or off-site, and more and more people are working as consultants or contractors.  The rise of the freelance nation has largely been a win-win from both sides of the desk. Employers experience financial savings with independent contractors and lower their risk.

Workers use freelancing to tide them over between jobs, to add to income, and some are in it for the flexibility. It’s hard to underestimate the power of perks like the ability to work around family and schedules, travel, and of course, not having to wear shoes to work. Companies typically hire freelance developers, programmers, designers, and writers.

Full-Time Employee Vs. Freelancers

Why pay someone hourly who may not be consistently productive when you can simply pay for the actual work completed? Like all other aspects in business, there are both pros and cons to hiring freelancers.

Pros

Cost

Even at a higher hourly rate, expect to save 20 to 30 percent annually with a freelancer when you factor in not having to pay for benefits, like health insurance and retirement. Most importantly if your worker is remote, you also reduce the need for office space and lower your office supply costs.

Expertise

Freelancers run their own business, which thrives on repeat work and repeats customers. They strive to turn in their best work, every time, to maintain the relationship. While staff members’ performance may have peaks and valleys, freelancers know the contract can be terminated based on poor performance or delayed delivery.

Risk Reduction

There is no need to spend money on training the employees. No need for performance evaluation in the probation period. With a freelancer contract, it’s a lot easier to terminate and replace if they’re not working out.

Global Reach

Companies look to freelancers to find talent outside their geographical limits. Expansion or an understanding of new markets can be made with a finite budget outlay. Using a freelancer may open the door to growth while minimizing risk if things don’t work out. 

Cons

Difficulty to Reach

They may be great when they’re accessible, but be prepared with a Plan B if they’re not. Many companies recruit a team of freelancers, so they always have a backup.  You need to make sure they’re available on your schedule, not theirs.  A freelancer might choose to perform the work outside of normal business hours when you’re not able to monitor their progress.

Data Security

Freelancers are associated with multiple companies in a similar industry. So there are chances that he might be working on a similar assignment of our competitor. Plus most of the freelancer has their own business so that could be a factor to consider before hiring them.

Training and Supervision

Even though they are experts in their field, training is required for most of the assignments. If there is a long lead time for them to get up and running, using that investment on a full-time employee might be a better option. And if the position requires oversight, hire an employee.

The gig economy is irreversibly changing the landscape of the workplace. Hiring an independent contractor isn’t the right call for all positions, but a freelancer is a perfect solution for short-term projects, one-off tasks, infrequent work or work that needn’t be performed 9 to 5 or onsite. As long as you categorize correctly, there are more ways than ever to find the right mix of in-house and freelance talent to grow your company. 

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