4 Benefits of Being a Freelancer You Should Know About

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Thinking of going freelance? Here are some perks you might enjoy.

Key points

  • A new report reveals that freelance work arrangements are on the rise.
  • Becoming a freelancer might give you a better schedule and even result in a boost in earnings.

Going freelance is something you may have thought about from time to time. But in 2021, a growing number of workers became freelancers, according to Upwork research. If you're not sure whether the freelance lifestyle is right for you, here are some potential benefits you should know about.

1. The ability to work remotely

These days, a lot of people are working remotely due to the pandemic. But at some point, those same people may be called back to the office.

When you're a freelancer, you often get to choose where you work from. And that could include getting to do your job from the comfort of home. That means no commuting costs and less hassle. Plus, if you enjoy traveling, you may be able to work from the road since your clients can't dictate where you work from (nor are they likely to care, provided you meet all of your deadlines).

2. The flexibility to be a caregiver

You may have young children at home or older family members with mobility or health issues. If dedicating time to help care for those loved ones is important to you, freelancing may be more conducive to that arrangement. If you're able to set your own hours, you can make yourself available to the people in your life who need you.

In fact, according to Upwork, 74% of freelancers say that their jobs give them the option to be more available as a caregiver to family members. And that percentage is even higher among freelancers who do their jobs remotely.

3. The ability to address personal health needs

When you work as a traditional salaried employee, you're often locked into a schedule that makes it difficult to see a doctor or tend to matters of personal health. As a freelancer, you commonly get much more flexibility. And that could make it easier to address your health-related needs.

Upwork reports that 67% of freelancers say their jobs give them the option to tend to their own needs, whether related to physical health or mental health. Granted, one drawback of being a freelancer is having to secure health insurance without an employer subsidy. But from a scheduling perspective, going freelance could make medical care easier to come by.

4. Higher earnings potential

A good 44% of freelancers say they earn more money in their current setups than they would working for a traditional employer, reports Upwork. So if you're looking to boost your bank account, going freelance could be your ticket to meeting that goal.

That said, in exchange for higher earnings, you'll forgo the benefits you may have enjoyed as a salaried worker, like subsidized health insurance, paid vacation days, and access to a 401(k) plan. But you can buy your own health insurance (your higher earnings could make it easier to pay for), build vacation time into your schedule, and open an IRA in the absence of having an employer-sponsored retirement plan.

Is freelancing right for you? That's a personal choice. But knowing about these potential benefits may help you land on the best decision.

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