So our beautiful British Summer is drawing to a close and what a fabulous one it has been with many of us getting to enjoy the not-so-typical sunny Bank Holidays. But is this the same for the world of Freelancer and Contractor? With the thoughts of losing a day’s pay and working while your family and friends aren’t, Bank Holidays have become a real bone of contention. To answer my questions, I had a chat with some of our regular Freelancers to see their thoughts.
Ruth Cooper is a Designer that has worked with Blue Skies for a number of years. She explained that “even though it can be frustrating to lose a day's pay, as a freelancer you get a higher fee than a full time designer which is supposed to take in to account that you don't get holiday pay etc. which I think is easy to forget.” Agreeing with this, Mark Whittingham, who is also a Designer, likened Bank Holidays to other “holidays or days off when you're ill. Unfortunately, the necessary perils of being a freelancer. That said, a freelancer usually earns more per hour than a full time employee. Swings and roundabouts!”
Dave Smyth, a Freelance Web Designer for 5 years said that in his experience, “it requires a bit more planning to block a solid period of time off, but you can’t put a price on the flexibility you have in day-to-day work.”
And Ruth agreed stating that for her “this is the most important aspect, the element of choice and how much (hopefully) or how little you wish to work. I've actually found I take less holiday now by choice.”
It seems that Bank Holidays are a factor that is accepted when you make that leap to Freelance. However, if this was your first Bank Holiday ‘season’ and you found it slightly trying when attempting to get invoices processed or concentrate while everyone else is sunbathing, then here are a few tips to help:
- Factor in extra days work when quoting for how long a project will take, so that you can take the time off with everyone else. After all your clients won’t be working either.
- If you do have to work plan to get all feedback or admin done from those holidaying clients in advance so you’re not stuck in work limbo.
- Consider only working part of the day so that you can enjoy time off with family and friends. Remember that phrase ‘all work and no play makes jack a dull boy’?
- Just take the time off. You’ve probably earned it!