The Top Reasons Workers Choose to Freelance

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There's a reason self-employment is on the rise: The freelance lifestyle, though not devoid of stress and risk, holds widespread appeal because of its flexible nature. Here are the top reasons workers choose to freelance today, according to FlexJobs.

1. Work-life balance

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Many employees struggle with their work-life balance, especially in a culture where workers are expected to constantly be "on." The great thing about being a freelancer is having an easier time separating your personal life from your professional one.

2. The ability to work anywhere

Not being confined to an office lends to the balance and flexibility so many of today's workers crave. The ability to work from home, for example, makes it easier to manage household responsibilities while tackling work matters, while doing your job from a remote location could make it possible for you to travel more or do the things that are important to you.

3. The option to work when you want to

Some people wake up in the morning energized and ready to go. Others struggle to rise early but get their energy at night instead. The nice thing about freelancing is that you can design a work schedule that caters to your personal preferences and peaks in productivity.

4. Freedom

There's something to be said for not having to report to an office at a specific time, or be on a webinar when you'd rather be outdoors enjoying the weather. Freelancing delivers a unique sense of freedom that salaried workers don't tend to experience as much, and that could work wonders for your outlook on a whole.

5. Calling the shots

When you work for yourself, you don't have a boss to answer to, which means if there's a project that sounds horrendously boring or not worth your while, all you need to do is (politely) say no and move on. You don't have to justify your decisions to anyone or force yourself to plug away at assignments that won't bring you satisfaction.

6. Family

Freelancers often have an easier time balancing family commitments with work obligations than those limited to a more rigid schedule. As such, the freelance lifestyle often lends to a happier home life.

7. Not having to commute

There's nothing like a miserable commute to turn an otherwise decent job into a nightmare. The benefit of going freelance is that you don't need to spend your days wasting away on crowded highways or packed trains. Rather, you can free up that time in your schedule for more important and less stressful things.

8. Better productivity

Office life lends to a host of distractions, from chatty colleagues to disruptive background noise. Many freelancers find that because they can work where and when they want, they're more productive as a result, which makes them feel better about the effort they're putting forth.

9. More time for leisure

Because freelancing allows workers to do their jobs more efficiently, many folks who uphold this lifestyle find that it gives them more time to spend with family and friends or pursue hobbies. And that, in turn, lends to better satisfaction with life on a whole.

Let's be clear: There's a downside to freelancing, too. When you go freelance, you lose a steady paycheck, workplace benefits (think paid health insurance and time off), and the camaraderie of coworkers. On the other hand, there's much to be gained by becoming a freelancer, so if you have a healthy amount of savings and solid plan, it pays to give it a shot.

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