I have worked from home for the vast majority of my career life. What I save in gasoline and automobile wear and tear makes up for the annual self-employment taxes I pay. I am actually far more productive in this environment, have more hours in the day to devote to work (by avoiding the southern California freeway commute) and I am able to do more for my family working from home. Toss in a load of laundry, defrost tonight’s dinner. It’s the best situation for me, but I acknowledge not for everyone.
Self-employed workers must be highly disciplined, able to prioritize and work with minimal to no supervision. The clients scope of work and deadlines should serve as “supervision” enough for the properly motivated, successful freelancer. Freelancers who continually perform “as agreed” or better are sure to snag additional work and potentially more new clients. My enthusiasm for this set-up and clear enjoyment of being self-employed finally won over my husband. He’s established an LLC (very inexpensively and the topic for a future post) and in 5 years time has developed his clientele and reputation to where he’s steadily earning more than he has in years.
Employers, especially in light of the current employee benefits quagmire, should take a long serious look at what they can gain by contracting freelance workers instead of direct employees. Have your CFO or Accountant do a careful evaluation of the cost and savings ratio contrasting employees and independent sub-contractors. The IRS has specific guidelines for this working arrangement that must be followed, but they are easily satisfied for most Employers and Freelancers.
There are interesting “matchmakers” for Employers and Freelancers. One I’ve run across is called 3desk.com . And please be sure to do your own due-diligence. I am not recommending anything other than you check resources out for yourself.
Ask any employer and he’ll tell you that a self-motivated, happy, satisfied worker is the most productive and offers longer-term commitment. The “employment” world has not been too successful for the past several years. Why not seriously give this a try? Then come back here and share your experience.