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Freelancing VS full-time remote work – what’s the difference?

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Are you considering taking your career into remote? Here are the differences between working as a freelancer and finding a full-time remote job.

Obviously, not all remote work falls into the same basket. You can choose to go down the freelance route, telecommute here and there or land a full-time remote job. Your personality type and current life circumstances are the major determining factors. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of subtleties between these seemingly synonymous terms.

Freelancing

By all means, this type of virtual career requires the greatest amount of self-control because as a freelancer you don’t even have a virtual boss to navigate you through your workday. You’re an independent contractor working for multiple clients on a per-project basis. You’re all by yourself.

Your work schedule is absolutely flexible and you can work for as many clients as you like, without breaching contractual agreements. No one even dictates the type of projects you work on. There are no fixed monthly salaries, it’s a world of invoicing; you invoice your clients based on hourly rates or project fees.

Any downsides to this ideal of absolute freedom? You bet.

Unlike with a full-time remote position, a freelance job doesn’t come with fringe benefits or any financial stability whatsoever. Sorting out your health insurance and retirement plan will be totally on your shoulders (arguably the least favorite aspect of freelance freedom).

Securing and retaining clients is a never-ending process and seasons of too much work and risk of burnout (here comes the danger of blurring the line between working time and “life time”) can be followed by the dreaded freelance drought. On top of that, you need to be careful not to fall into the traps of scammers and fraudsters when looking for new opportunities. Freelance rookies are especially vulnerable to this.

Oh, and did we mention you have to act like you’re running a small business – taking care of your marketing and constantly promoting yourself? Yep, freelancing is a little (ad)venture.

Freelancing brings a lot of freedom, but you pay for it in security.

Full-time Remote Work

Full-time remote workers have the best of the freelnce and the regular employment worlds. Their life isn’t constrained by a cubicle assigned to them and their financial security and stability is equivalent to the one of in-house staff.

As a full-time remote employe, you work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, from your laptop – anywhere in the World – for one company that pays you a fixed monthly salary. It’s like a traditional office job that’s not in the office.

In most cases, you aren’t required to attend onsite meetings or training sessions. In fact, you may never ever meet your virtual boss and co-workers in person. (That said, the very best companies fly their remote workers to some fun places every now and then, for team-building purposes!)

Full-time remote workers often live nowhere near the company’s main headquarters, whether it be 2 hours’ drive away or 6 time zones further.

Just like with freelancing, your work schedule is pretty flexible as there are no fixed office hours – most employees simply ask for a couple of hours of overlap wih the headwuarter’s timezone – and no one is checking up on you (thanks to geographical barriers). As long as you fill in your hours and complete your assignments for the day, you can “clock out”.

These positions are usually salaried, and occasionally even include the corporate employee’s “classics” like paid vacation and paid sick leave. Plus there’s less hassle during tax season.

Choose Your Own Adventure

So which one do you think would suit you best? An employee-based virtual job or a freelance/no strings attached virtual job? Fully remote or partially remote?

Either way, it needs to be said that your choice doesn’t have to be final and you may find yourself transitioning back and forth between these virtual career options. But if you want to make the commitment to full-time, have a look at our avaliable positions!