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Have you ever wondered why people like being self-employed? What the advantages or disadvantages?


Being Self-Employed

Hire a Virtual Assistant or subcontractor

Being self-employed can be hard work, there are no two ways about it.  However, the rewards can be fantastic.  Let us have a look at the employment opportunities available to you in our series of blog posts – Jobs you can do as a self-employed person working from home.

What is an Employer

An employer is a person or company that offers a job to an individual and will pay for the work completed.  The employer will be responsible for paying taxes and deducting taxes from an employee’s wages.  An employer can offer work on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or project basis that has a predefined start and end date. Similarly, the employer will tell you what they require you to do.


An employee is someone who works for the Employer doing some tasks that have been set by the Employer.  The Employer controls the work the employee does and the times they work.

Self Employed

A self-employed person is someone who takes care of their taxes and who looks for work from different employers.  This work can be on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or project basis.  Once completed, they will report back to the employer/client.  The employer/client will have no control over how the self-employed person plans their day or the hours they work.  Further more, being self-employed also means that the person has the ability to refuse to undertake a job/task for an employer.

Why would Employers want to work those being self-employed?

There are many reasons that an employer may be looking to outsource some of their work to individuals that are self-employed or working from home.  The main advantage, of course, is cost.  It is often cheaper to employ someone on a contract or

Project basis, than to hire an employee.  An employer has to pay various Taxes and comply with Health and Safety Legislation.  It is important to remember that an employer still has a duty of care to their employees or contractors.

Listed below are some of the advantages and disadvantages for employers employing contractors/home workers to work for them.

Employers advantages

  • Employee retention. Working from home can keep valued employees within a business, especially working parents or those employees with older parents to look after.
  • Hidden Talent. Socially awkward, house bound people may prefer to work from the safety of their home.
  • Efficiency. Just consider the interruptions you have in the office. People dropping by for a chat, the phone.  However working from home the distraction has been removed.  Efficiency is increased.
  • Employee motivation. Employees are able to create a balanced work life and home life, that will reduce stress and sickness levels.
  • Financial benefits. Savings on office space, computer software (in some instances) and reduced utility bills.
  • Convenience. Employees can be located throughout the country and near to sales areas or clients premises.

Employers Disadvantages

  • The significant disadvantage for employers letting staff/contractors work from home is trust.  Trusting the employee is doing the task instructed to do. The employee understands what the task is and that the task will be completed in the allotted time frame.
  • Performance. Difficulty in managing contractors/home workers which could result in the quality of work deteriorates.
  • The cost of working from home. Costs of training and providing suitable equipment at each employee home.
  • Employee development. There could be an issue of maintaining employees development and upgrading skills; or dealing with issues a particular employee may face with time wasted trying to find a solution alone instead of collaborating with colleagues.
  • Loss of Intellectual Property. Company policies, data and client details could be removed without the company knowing.
  • Communication Issues. Increase feelings of employee isolation.
  • Decreased employee morale. Difficult to maintain staff morale when employees are working at different locations.
  • Not all jobs suit home working. Resentment from those who do not have the ability to work from home.

 Contractors/Home Workers Advantages

  • The major advantage is that the worker has control over what they are doing and when they are doing the job/task.  The worker also has the ability to refuse to work for an employee or conduct a particular task for that employee.
  • Save petrol money. Additionally, you can save money on the daily commute into the office.
  • Save money. As simple as it sounds, you could save up to £1000 on lunches when working from home. Also, you don’t have to buy as many work clothes.
  • Set your hours. You can set your own working hours as long as the job/task has been completed by the predefined date and time.
  • Work life/Home life balance Get some housework done during the day. Pick up the kids from school, having the ability to organise doctors, dentist appointments. Be there for the important family events.
  • No Distractions. Co-workers can distract you by chatting.  Similarly, the phone or any other irritation that could prevent you from completing your job/task.

Contractors/Home Workers Disadvantages

  • The major disadvantage for contractors/home workers is isolation and trust from their employees that the job/task is being completed.
  • Distractions. It is very easy to become distracted by household work, TV, family and friends. When working from home, the worker needs to understand that the time they have set aside for the job/task belongs to the employer and therefore they are on their time and not their own.
  • Staying Focused. When working from home it can become a challenge to stay focused on a job/task if you get stuck or confused. Additionally, there is no one to talk to about the issue, and the worker can start to feel devalued or the job/task no longer has any value.
  • Always at Work. When working from home, you can feel that no matter where they go in the house, they are always at work.
  • Feelings of isolation. Equally important is the sense of isolation as there are no colleagues to interact with. Email/instant messenger communications are just not quite the same as the ‘real ’.

In Conclusion Being Self-Employed

Being Self-Employed

Working from home and being Self-Employed

One final point that I feel needs to be made and made very clear. When you work from home or take on a task/project from an employer, the employer has bought a certain amount of your time and that time belongs to them.  In a word, it is not your time to do as you please, you have a task to be completed.

In conclusion being self-employed is all about how you organise your time.  When you work better at 11 o’clock at night, then that is your right to start a task/project at that time.  But from 11 pm to when you finish belongs entirely to the employer.  In essence, this means that you are professional, you put your best foot forward and get on the task/project at hand and do NOT spend the time in front of the television half-heartedly undertaking the task/project.


Working from home

Jobs to do Working from home

In addition to this post you may like to find out what jobs you could do working from home from our book entitled ‘Jobs to do Working from Home‘ by Julie C Farmer.


Further blog post you may find these posts interesting:

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