F50 Issue #8: October 24, 2023
The Remote Work Revolution: Good News for Freelancers!
The commute was easy that day.
No wind. No rain. No need for a jacket.
No traffic in sight.
You turn left … turn right…. Then suddenly, you hear the sound of pounding feet behind you.
Your two grandsons are approaching, tossing a football back and forth.
“See you at lunch, Grandma!” they shout as they pass you in the hallway.
“Yes, enjoy playing outside!” you answer. “I’m going to do a couple hours of work, but I’ll be here if you need me. I’ll make your favorite soup and sandwiches for lunch.”
It’s spring break, and your grandsons are spending time at your house while your son and daughter-in-law are at work.
You turn left and open the door, revealing a spacious, sunlit room with a large window overlooking the backyard.
You’ve arrived at your office.
It’s the back bedroom at the very end of the hall. You’re a freelancer, and you work from home with a flexible schedule.
Your grandsons are old enough to spend time on their own, but you organize your client work so you’re able to eat lunch together and spend time in the garden afterwards.
The Remote Work Revolution is Here
Years ago, the idea of working from home seemed unusual, an exception to the rule. If you met someone who didn’t work in a traditional office building or place of business, you might have said, “You’re lucky. I’d love to do that.”
And then you went back to your regular routine, never considering it a possibility.
But times have changed. During the pandemic, many companies adopted remote working arrangements for their employees, and the concept gained popularity.
It turns out many people enjoy working remotely, and companies are listening. According to Buffer’s State of Remote Work 2023 report, “71 percent of companies are permanently allowing some type of remote work.”
And distributed teams have become common, with 62% of people working directly with teammates who live in different time zones.
This is good news for freelancers and contractors too! An article titled “The Future of Work: Why Freelancing is a Growing Trend” explains the benefits of hiring remote workers:
But although hiring freelancers or contractors is cost-effective for clients, it doesn’t mean you’ll have a low income. The article also suggests freelancers can use technology to target niche markets and “become sought-after experts in their respective fields, creating opportunities for higher earnings and professional growth.”
Five Ways to Thrive in the Remote Work Revolution
R - Research what you need.
If you know someone who works from home as a freelancer, reach out to them and find out more about their experience. Ask how they got started and what resources they recommend.
Subscribe to newsletters like this one, and look for articles, podcasts, blogs, and courses that provide helpful information on remote work.
E - Embrace change.
If you’re used to working a 9-to-5 job right now or in a previous career, get ready for a big change. And don’t worry — it’s a pleasant one! It might feel strange at first to make your own schedule and wardrobe choices, but you’ll get used to it, and we’re pretty sure you’ll enjoy it.
Every day can be casual Friday, unless you enjoy dressing up!
M - Motivate yourself to learn.
At FreeU, we encourage freelancers to become lifelong learners. So, if you’re interested in the freelance lifestyle, motivate yourself to keep learning and growing. If you’ve been an employee in a company, chances are your employer arranged professional development for you.
The difference with freelancing is that it’s up to you to arrange your own professional development. And the good news is that you can find resources and training that suit your interests and learning style, right at your fingertips in the comfort of your home.
O - Organize your workplace.
If you’re considering freelancing, take a look at the space in your home and determine where you might be able to set up a home office. You’ll want it to be a place where you can avoid interruptions and distracting noise.
A spare bedroom with a door is ideal, but if you live in a smaller space, be creative and brainstorm how you can carve out a cozy nook where you’ll feel comfortable working.
T - Try out new technology.
As we mentioned above, technology has made remote work possible, and it can help lead you to success as a freelancer.
If you’ve been retired for a while, technology may have changed, so be open to trying out new online tools and apps. They’ll ultimately make your work (and life) easier.
And if technology makes you nervous, don’t worry. Find someone who can help you set it up, and take advantage of free trials so you can decide what works best for you before purchasing anything.
E - Enjoy the journey.
Above all, enjoy your journey of discovery, and if you decide to take the leap into freelancing, enjoy that journey too.
It’s a wonderful way to experience life and work, especially when your office is a quick commute down the hallway!
Did You Know?
According to an article titled “One skill that doesn’t deteriorate with age,” our ability to speak, write, and learn new vocabulary doesn’t necessarily diminish as we grow older.
In fact, it may even improve:
The key is to keep reading and writing. Using these skills will help ward off cognitive decline.
So, pull out your favorite novels, news articles, or anything that keeps you immersed in language. And find opportunities to write, even if it’s simple notes to your friends and family.
Speaking of words, The Grammar Girl podcast is a great resource with articles and references that can help keep your language skills sharp. It’s also entertaining and interesting as host Mignon Fogarty includes humor and historical context while explaining grammatical concepts.
Since language changes over time, it's good to stay up to date on how words and grammar are being used in writing and speaking. Some rules that you learned from your high school English teacher may no longer be needed in today’s writing.
The Grammar Girl Podcast is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips network, where you can find other podcasts on topics like fitness, nutrition, and financial management.
And now, from the comfort of our home office, we wish you much success as you explore the possibilities remote work can offer and imagine how it might fit into your lifestyle!
Until next time,