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The Pitfalls of Freelancing
Sep 02, 2021
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Being a freelancer has several advantages. You determine your own working hours. You get to pick your own clientele. You work alone, have complete control over your job, and can take a vacation whenever you want. Who wouldn't want a job with that many privileges? But, like any other job, there are drawbacks, primarily if you work remotely. There are potential dangers, just as there are in any other employment. And if you aren't aware of the potential risks of freelancing, your overall health will suffer as a result.

Freelancing can be a great option because it provides more freedom and autonomy than a minimum wage job. It does, nonetheless, come with significant drawbacks. The majority of freelancers are oblivious of the health risks linked with the freelancing lifestyle. Although most freelancers appear to believe that the benefits exceed the drawbacks, it is also essential to be aware of the negative impacts of the freelance lifestyle on your health.

Starting a freelance or online business requires meticulous preparation. Before making the switch from a full-time job to a freelancer, you should be made aware of the pitfalls of self-employment.

Kana Bamboo Standing Desk

SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE

Science has made no mystery of how unhealthy inactivity can be, making it an issue not only for freelancers but for anyone with a desk job. It raises the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, stress, depression, and some types of cancer. Furthermore, activity tends to decline with age, so it's critical to keep as active as possible for as long as possible.

  • Standing desks are not a radical concept, but their demand is growing. They not only prohibit you from sitting all the time, but they also provide other benefits, such as increased productivity because your body is already in the starting phases of movement and much less pain. There are numerous models to pick from, so you can find one that truly works for your workplace space.
  • You might buy an under-the-desk pedaling device, sometimes known as a desk bike, which allows you to "ride a bicycle" while working. It isn't precisely raising your heart rate, but you are active. As an added advantage, you can extend your hands at the end of the day. This is beneficial for those who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, caused by all of the typing we do each day.
  • Take brief breaks to complete quick tasks like cleaning the litter box and emptying the dishwasher. Maintain proper posture to avoid pressure on the body and the danger of repetitive stress injury (RSI). Get up and go for a walk hourly to offset the sedentary life and allow your mouse clicking side a break. Do some quick cleaning activities such as putting laundry in the washing machine, filling the dishwasher, or cleaning the litter box. It will relax your eyes and make you feel like you're keeping up with the housework, all while managing to reverse some of the adverse consequences of prolonged sitting.

REPETITIVE STRESS INJURIES

One type of RSI that freelancers may have is carpal tunnel syndrome. Aside from causing a great deal of pain, repetitive stress injury can also make it difficult for freelancers to complete assigned tasks on time. Ergonomics assists with posture and ensures that you are working with your body in the best position possible because you must sit to complete your work. This includes ensuring that you have a quality supporting chair and that your monitor distance, desk height, and other parameters are appropriately adjusted. It may seem awkward for a while because you're used to hunching all the time, but proper posture can assist reduce strain on the body, lowering your risk of repetitive motion injury. Apps are available to support you if you are having difficulty.

STRESS

Freelancers frequently face tight schedules and may have to deal with demanding clientele. Client disputes and time constraints may be stressful for freelancers, in addition to being highly disagreeable. Stress is linked to a variety of health issues, including exhaustion, sleep issues, and migraines. Stress depletes your body, rendering you vulnerable to different disorders. Optimism and adopting healthy habits might help you cope with stress.

woman holding insurance policy, man showing no gesture

BENEFITS

You do not get employer-provided benefits as an independent agent, such as vacation time, medical insurance, and other standard advantages. Misconduct or professional liability insurance is prohibitively expensive and paid sick or vacation leave is non-existent if you work for yourself. It would help if you created a contingency plan if you cannot assist your clients or fulfill deadlines due to illness, personal issues, or travels. Insurance coverage can be expensive for self-employed people because they do not qualify for the volume-based incentives provided by large corporations. Pre-existing medical problems can make it harder to acquire coverage.

JOB SECURITY

According to research, the majority of new businesses collapse within the first two years. Furthermore, if your business fails, you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits. In the initial stages of freelancing, you may wish to keep your regular work and establish your freelance business part-time until you have a solid clientele.

DEPRESSION

Because many of us work remotely, isolation is a typical problem for freelancers. Although social networking and messaging are helpful, there is no substitute for face-to-face engagement with friends. Consider joining a co-working facility in your neighborhood. It will get you out of the house at least once per month and allow you to mingle with other individuals in a similar circumstance to yours. Even if it's just to get a quick cup of coffee before returning to work, being social will help alleviate feelings of loneliness.

TAX

You must pay an additional self-employment tax as an independent contractor. Because taxes are not withheld from client checks for independent contractors, you must pay anticipated taxes quarterly if your tax due for the year exceeds $1,000. You should also keep detailed records of all your expenses.

Eating sushi for lunch meal at work

DIET

Take a day off planning nutritious snacks and meals for the week ahead. Make some things ahead of schedule on Sundays so you can scoop up, eat, and just go—set reminders for yourself to eat. Skipping meals is harmful, so consider eating something in the morning before you take a seat at the computer each morning. Then, set a reminder for yourself to urge you to eat lunch. You could also eat in the kitchen rather than at your desk.

VITAMIN DEFICIENCY

Staying inside all day can lead to a lack of vitamin D. If you don't get enough sun and don't consume enough milk, you may get vitamin D insufficiency. The body absorbs vitamin D through the skin or through vitamin D enriched food. To combat this threat, simply consume vitamin D supplemented dairy products, have a sun lamp at your desk, and spend more time outside in the sun.

SHIFTING WORKLOADS AND INCOME

Your workload and revenue may fluctuate monthly and be hard to gauge, especially if you are just starting. Large income fluctuations might make budgeting challenging. Furthermore, as a freelancer, you are not eligible for incentives, promotions, or corporate commendation. Client feedback is often positive, but it does not usually result in additional cash compensation. You may be allowed to contribute for free in exchange for visibility in a well-known blog. The publicity may benefit those just starting out in a freelancing profession to gain connections, but make sure you are not exploited by assessing the advantages and downsides before accepting the job.

At first, freelancing might be unsettling. Some personality types go in with a passion and quickly become physically, mentally, and cognitively drained. To be a successful freelancer and explore the potential benefits of freelancing, you must be aware of the negative impacts of freelancing on your health and lifestyle and be ready to handle them.