7 Benefits Of Freelancing You Don’t Get With A Desk Job : Forbes
Freelancing offers a lot of freedom and flexibility that a regular desk job can’t. Since you mostly get to choose the type of work you do, who you collaborate with, what time of the day you work and for how long at a time, the location you work from and the volume of work you take on, you’re able to make choices that suit your individual strengths and needs.
As a freelancer, you’re no longer working to fit into a company culture or work schedule that might put you under physical, mental and emotional stress. This flexibility has a lot of benefits, here are seven surprising ones you might not have realized.
1. You control your workload
One of the best parts of being a freelancer is that you get to say when enough is enough. If you have too many clients and can’t handle the stress, you can drop one. And as it turns out, controlling your workload is better for your health. Research from Kansas State University found that employees who work more than 50 hours per week suffer from decreased mental and physical health. Another study by European researchers found that working 10 hours or more every day can increase your risk of cardiovascular problems, including heart attack, by 60%.
2. You’re less likely to get sick
Most freelancers work from home. This working situation can actually keep you from getting sick because you deal with all your colleagues and clients remotely. A lot of offices are moving away from the cubicle layout and creating open plans to increase communication and encourage collaboration. According to a Danish study, these efforts also make it easier for people to get sick. The research found that the more people working in one room, the more sick days those people take. And people in fully open offices take 62% more sick days than those in cubicle offices. Working at home keeps you from getting a workplace bug and bringing it home to your family.
3. You get as many breaks and as much sleep as you want
Sleeping well is great benefit for your overall health. Research has shown that taking small breaks, even for 15 to 20 minutes, can sustain concentration and keep energy levels up all day long. Although some companies and universities have embraced this practice and created nap rooms for their employees and students, most desk job workers don’t get this luxury. Most are lucky to get two 10-minute breaks and an hour for lunch in a day. As a freelancer, whenever you need a break, you can get one. And you can take naps whenever you need one.
4. You control your work relationships
When you’re freelancing, it’s up to you how much you want to communicate with clients and colleagues throughout the day. A lot of freelancers have a policy not to check their email more than 2 or 3 times a day to help them keep on track. And as it turns out, drawing these lines is good for your health. A study from the University of British Columbia found that the less you check your email, the more you can reduce stress.
In many office environments, email is the main form of communication. Ignoring your email is like ignoring your boss. As a freelancer, you can make your own email checking policy to reduce stress and reap the benefits.
5. You can exercise at optimum times
Keeping a workout schedule with a day job can be difficult because you have to squeeze it in either before work or after. Work as a freelancer, and you can exercise whenever it works for you, even in the middle of the day. And it turns out working out in the afternoon comes with a lot of benefits: Your lungs perform better, your physical performance is usually at its highest, your muscle strength is at its peak and your risk of injury is at its lowest.
6. You’re your own boss
If you’re a freelancer and have a client who’s a real pain, you can always drop the person. Freelancers are essentially their own bosses, and can avoid all the stress that comes from working for someone difficult. Working for a bad boss can have a number of negative effects, such as depression, sleep problems, high blood pressure and weight issues. Chronic stress from a bad boss also can lead to greater risk for heart disease.
7. You avoid the long commute
Most freelancers never have to leave home to work, which is great for time management, and even better for health. One study found that a 10-mile commute by car can lead to higher blood sugar and increased cholesterol. Another study found that people who commute by bus for 30 minutes have the lowest levels of life satisfaction. The effects of a long commute even affect cyclists. Choosing to be a freelancer means you can work from home and reduce your commute to zero.