Writer Rant: Four Employment Perks the Freelancer Doesn’t Get

Posted on July 10, 2015 by Sarah S

lonelyWelcome to Writer Rants–where every Friday a writer just lets loose on whatever the heck is bugging them this week. Enjoy.

Four Employment Perks the Freelancer Doesn’t Get

Most people realize freelancers have to foot the bill for their own insurance and don’t get paid time off, but what about the that many traditional employees often don’t think about?

Free coffee? Not unless you and your laptop spend the morning posing as a guest in the local Doubletree hotel lobby. Paid breaks? Nope–if you’re not typing, you’re losing dollars…keyboard time is money for the freelancer.

Here’s a look at four other perks you might find in the workplace that you won’t find on your laptop-laden, chocolate-stained office…er…couch.

FMLA Protection

In a traditional workplace, many employees are protected by the Family Medical Leave Act. Have to take a few weeks off for surgery? You might not be paid for all of the time off, depending on your PTO accumulation, but if you’re protected by FMLA, you know you come back to an equal-paying job. Not so in the freelance world—your clients may or may not wait around for you, and while you’re out getting cut open and sewed up, hundreds of other freelancers are available to do the work you left behind.

The silver lining? You can probably work from your hospital bed. Or you own bed. Or your secret basement panic room—whatever makes you most comfortable.

Housekeeping

You know what my home office really needs? A good dusting. And maybe a wipe down with some of those lemon-scented things office cleaning staff use in the war against flu germs.

You know what my home office is going to get today? Probably some tea spilled on the desk and cookie crumbs in the carpet. When you work in a traditional office—and you aren’t the cleaning staff—you don’t have to take time away from either your work or your personal schedule to clean your space.

Silver lining: I don’t have to take time to get dressed in the morning. It probably evens out.

Water Cooler Socialization

No one really hangs out around the water cooler anymore…I haven’t been in an office in years that actually had a water cooler. But in a traditional workspace of any kind, you do get socialization. The friendly banter over the production line, the idle talk at the break room soda machine, and the commiseration of those stuck in overtime on a Friday evening.

As a freelancer, you mostly talk to yourself. If you’re a work-at-home parent, you might talk to the children. Sometimes you go to the coffee shop for wireless access and a few seconds of interaction with an adult.

The good news is that you can find awesome “coworkers” online. Writers get inappropriate, though. Hilariously inappropriate—so, save your personal Facebook page for creative hijinx and use your freelance writing website for drawing clients.

Writer Appreciation Days

When I worked in a corporate office, the year was peppered with appreciation days and weeks. Leadership provided breakfasts, lunches, prizes, or just an ice cream sandwich on a hot day. Little things really do matter, and a free scoop of ice cream still gives this adult a fuzzy feeling.

Since I work for myself now, appreciation days only happen if I buy myself an iced tea and a chocolate chip cookie at the library coffee shop. Or if my husband brings home a candy bar and a soda—but technically, that came out of the same coffer as my cookie and tea. It’s not the same.

The only silver lining here is that, while I don’t have someone to appreciate me with free pizza, I also don’t have a boss directing my daily actions. I probably win big in that particular trade.

Writer Bio: Sarah S spends her days creating content, participating in online hijinx, and wishing for chocolate bars. She doesn’t always work in her pajamas, but when she does, it’s for days at a time.


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