So, why are so many people choosing to be freelance?
More people are seeking a better life/work balance and turning their passions into paid jobs and the demand for flexible working is increasing, not just from workers but employers too. Hiring someone to do one off or part time regular freelance work is much more cost effective for a company than employing someone full time and outsourcing is becoming a more popular option for many businesses. In the UK three in five businesses say that it would be difficult to run their businesses without hiring freelancers. Not all freelancers are leaving the so called rat race and following their passions into writing, music, and filmmaking or creating art for a living. Many freelancers are adapting their high flying city jobs being stuck in one city centre company office into a location independent opportunity. Freelancers used to be limited to writers and graphic designers and while these professions still make up the majority, due to the internet and improvements in technology such as video calls, the jobs now suitable for freelance work has greatly expanded to include social media managers, online tutors and even remote GPs / doctors. Face for Business has a number of remote doctors who use their call answering to capture new clients when they’re at appointments. It’s a win-win situation – the doctor is mobile, and calls are diverted to the answering service when they’re in with a patient. Many freelancers have more than one job title, with some writers, for example, also being proof-readers, editors or marketers.
Half of UK population to be self-employed by 2020
According to a study by the Office of National Statistics and top freelance jobs website PeoplePerHour, the number of workers who are self-employed (whether full time or in addition to regular salaried work) is growing and is predicted to reach 50% of the UK working population by 2020.
Perks of being freelancers and digital nomads.
Literally ‘working from home’ has benefits such as no long commute to work, being able to be home with family and not in a crowded office all day, flexible working hours, being your own boss and not having to work for someone else (although most freelance work is doing work for someone else, just in a different way). These are all great reasons to work from home but this also brings with it issues like family members or flatmates answering the landline phone or being noisy in the background and the unprofessional image that gives clients and potential clients. Only having a mobile number isn’t great either if you want to be able to switch off from work at the end of the day or if you’re having to answer your home phone number with your business name when it’s your mum calling. Face for Business can help with this.
The definition of a digital nomad.
Working from home on your own is fine for some, but many need an external environment away from home to be inspired and productive. When working from home there is no clear cut distinction between work and home/relaxing space and you are always in work mode. Being self-employed is often described as ‘working from home’ but a large number of freelancers now work from a local coffee shop, a co-working office space or a beach or AirBnb property abroad, only requiring a laptop and an internet connection to do their jobs. A large number of freelancers / self-employed workers are what is known at ‘digital nomads’, working from different locations around the world – being location independent. Yoga and meditation are traditional ideas of a nomadic hippy lifestyle, and whilst these still factor in the daily routines of some freelancers, especially in exotic locations, it now simply means being able to work from anywhere. Total location independence, with their products and services being marketed and sold from and to anywhere.
Co-working space solutions
For many freelance workers a co-working space in a UK city is a great solution to the problems associated with working from home. A work and social hub for creatives, freelancers and start-ups, a desk in a co-working space with others who share your business goals and outlook with possibilities for collaboration and networking. There are co-working spaces in most cities now including Liverpool, Birmingham, Brighton and of course many in London. Indeed, read Face for Business’ interview with Liverpool’s Spark-Up Business Enablers.
If you look at Hubud, in Bali, it really is a true example of a digital nomad co-working space. It’s a wood and bamboo community building with an outdoor café, garden, desks, printers, wifi and all the usual office amenities, with up to 250 workers (freelancers and small businesses) and next to the forest and the beach. Imagine… (Source - Telegraph).
How Face for Business can help freelancers and digital nomads
With so many freelancers working from non-office locations, whether from the family home, city centre co-working spaces or a beach in Bali, the problem of not having a permanent business address, a reliable dedicated business telephone number or just a mobile number which doesn’t look professional, to contact your business is one that needs solving.
If you are a freelancer, digital nomad or small business owner this is how Face for Business’ call handling service can help you:-
• Virtual call answering receptionists answer your calls on your behalf in your company name, acting as though in your office with you – ensuring your customer service ethos is maintained and also capturing prospects.
• They can provide you with a virtual address, again, giving the illusion of a larger business.
• Having a professional geographical business phone number, rather than a mobile number, can encourage new business and the consistency of a reliable UK landline number makes it that much easier for potential customers to reach you (and are not put off by the cost of a mobile phone call).
• When you are in an area with poor mobile signal, your calls will automatically divert straight to our call answering service, and the call will be saved and answered! Crucial if you rely on your phone for new business.
Complementary call answering
All in all, you can still be freelance, work independently and give the impression that your business is larger and more established than it might be. You can use a call answering service to complement your business, and as an intermediary service whilst your growing. Don’t let your business calls eat into your downtime. Getting the balance right is crucial to your productivity.
Words: Katie Harris