Why Working from Home has Never Been Easier

In order to increase business growth within the UK, the government has recently launched the Home Business Initiative to make it easier for entrepreneurs to launch and run businesses from the comfort of their own homes.

The Home Business Initiative will ultimately reduce the amount of paperwork involved in a home business, as well as any of the red tape involved. Some of the changes are rather simple, yet they will transform the lives of home businesses up and down the country.

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The Changes

Home businesses will no longer have to be paid by the majority of home business, freeing up a company’s finances and allowing for further investment in their business. They will also not have to seek planning permission when using a spare room as a an office. It’s also a lot easier to run a business from rented accommodation, as the government has simply tweaked tenancy agreement law.

It makes sense that the government takes the pressure off home businesses, as they generate approximately £300billion per year to the country’s economy. There are also a reported 1.1million home businesses that have been trading for over 20 years, and that number will only become steadier now there are fewer restrictions.

Thanks to a range of technological developments, such as Skype, it’s never been easier to run an international company from the comfort of your own home.

Emma Jones, the founder of Enterprise Nation, recently commented: “There is a growing movement that is responding to new opportunities technology brings and entrepreneurs are actively taking control of their own destiny by starting out from home. They are hardworking people who have the capability to trade globally from their own kitchen table. They are growing through outsourcing work to other homebased individuals and as they do so, they are bringing important employment opportunities to rural as well as urban areas of Britain”.

How Freelancers Can Boost Income and Avoid Debt

Freelance work can, unfortunately, be a little unpredictable at times, as some clients cancel, cut back their workload or there can be period were you will be awaiting new work orders.

However, there are ways to ensure you’re protected if the worst should happen, so you won’t have to worry about finding helpful debt solutions.

1. Limit Your Spending

Every freelance should aim to spend less than what they earn. Easier said than done, we know, but it is essential if you want to survive during irregular work periods. By keeping a tight budget, you’ll be able to track your spending, whilst saving some extra funds for the rainy day period.

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2. Have a Dream Wage Aim

Identify how much your worth. It’s going to take time for you to build up a reputation as a quality freelancer, but once you do, you can charge higher rates for a higher quality service. Have a dream wage in mind and make it your goal to achieve it within a set time. This will ensure you consistently improve the quality of your work, and you won’t undervalue your services.

3. The Paycheck

Give yourself a handy little paycheck. After you’ve paid off your bills and debts, give yourself a disposable monthly amount to play with – which can be used on things such as going out, clothing and other luxuries. Say if you have £600 left over in your income each month after everything each month, split the amount in half, putting half in a savings account, and the other half in your pocket.

4. Retirement Fund

It is essential that we all start saving for our retirement years as soon as possible, as we probably won’t be able to rely on the state too much for a decent pension in the future. Freelancers don’t have the option to take part in a work-placed pension, which means it is essential you open up a private pension fund to ensure you don’t have to work your whole life, and you won’t struggle for money in your later years.

Freelance Wages Set to Increase Within the Next Year

According to a new survey from PCG, a freelance group, freelancers’ day rates are expected to increase within the next year.

The survey respondents claimed that they expect their rates to rise within the next twelve months, whilst a third reported that they had received an increase in their contract numbers within the last quarter.

The numbers were primarily concentrated in London and South East, as this is where half of all freelance work takes place, so the figures may not be completely proportionate with the rest of the UK.

The reason behind the increase in freelance day rates may be due to businesses aiming to fill skill gaps without hiring permanent staff members.

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George Nikolaidis, the economic policy advisor at PCG, commented: “While pay in traditional employment continues to stagnate, a widening skills shortage in freelancer-rich industries has driven strong demand for independent professionals. Businesses are increasingly utilising specialised freelancers to cover the skills unavailable in-house and this trend is expected to continue in the months to come.

“In turn, freelancers allow for further job creation by limiting the risks of expansion and facilitating innovation. As the economy grows, freelancers will continue to propel growth by offering businesses operational flexibility and the ability to manage risk”.

Freelancing is therefore seemingly becoming a more stable environment for talented freelancers, whilst many companies are finally beginning to realise the benefits of independent workers.

Frequently Asked Freelance Questions and the Answers

Become a freelance worker can be an incredibly rewarding job, as you will have greater flexibility with your career. Not to mention you can work in your pyjamas!

However, there are many questions people want to know about freelance positions but have no idea where to find the information. We’re here to change all of that – as we can offer the answer to many of the frequently asked questions asked by future freelancers.

What Should My Freelance Rate be?

Various factors will influence your freelance rate, such as the length of contract, project type, location and your market. You don’t want to charge too high – or you’ll cut yourself off from work. However, you don’t want to practically give away your services, or you’ll have all the hard work without much reward. We therefore recommend you browse the market a little to compare rates.

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What Regulations Do I Need to Know About?

You will need to make a decision to opt into or out of the Conduct Regulations. Freelancer workers are also affected by IR35 and AWR regulations.

How Does a Freelance Interview Different to Onsite Roles?

Freelance interviews will most likely depend on the company; however, they are generally more informal than in-house positions due to the relaxed nature of the job. It could be as simple as receiving the job over the phone or a company might just want to have a quick look at your portfolio before they give you the job.

Now you know what to expect, all you have to do is go out there and bag that freelance job. Good luck!

Britain is the Self-Employment Capital of Eastern Europe

Following the recent financial crisis, many UK workers have started to work for themselves in a bid to take control of their finances. According to the Institute of Public Policy Research, the amount of self-employed workers in Britain has risen by 8% – which is faster than any other Western European country.

As a result, the UK has caught up with the European Union average of 14% of self-employed workers, and it could soon surpass that level. Other EU countries have remained stagnant over the past 12 months, as France, Italy and Spain shown no increase in their self-employment levels.

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While UK residents are becoming more entrepreneurial, the levels are still lower than Slovenia, Bulgaria and Slovenia, who entered double digits for growth in the past 12 months.

The UK levels are backed up by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), as last month they reported that the number of people who registered as self-employed rose by 404,000 in the quarter. While it is wonderful news that people are making their own employment opportunities, calculating average wages will become increasingly difficult for ONS, as current official employment figures do not include self-employed wages.

The report by the Institute of Public Policy Research also found that self-employed roles made up to two-fifths of new posts since 2010; however, self-employment has fallen by an average of £2,000.

Chuka Umunna, Labour’s business secretary, recently commented: “To start out on your own and become your own boss takes grit, determination and energy. Self-employment is increasingly becoming a route people choose to fulfil their dreams and aspirations, while it also offers flexibility for those who want to balance work against other commitments, such as childcare. This entrepreneurial spirit should be encouraged, but worryingly under the Tory-led government the situation has gone into reverse, as we’ve seen self-employed people hit hardest by the cost of living crisis”.

More Mothers Becoming Self-Employed or Freelance Workers

Being an at-home mother is more than just a full-time job, as children demand our attention 24 hours a day. However, in order to provide their little ones with the best opportunities in work, more mums are now becoming self-employed or turning to freelance work in order to stay at home whilst making money for their families.

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Many are becoming freelance writers or telecommunication assistants, whilst others are setting up their own businesses that they can perform within the home. Self employment and freelancing therefore provides financial help for debt and essentials, whilst ensuring their child is well cared for.

There are so many freelance jobs out there to suit a person’s skills and needs, which can even work around their child’s schedule. So, if you want to work but don’t want to leave your child, they are definitely options worthy of consideration.

The European Freelancers’ Movement Calls for Better Working Conditions

The European Freelancers Movement has recently launched a new campaign to improve the working conditions for freelancers. The recently formed group want 10,000 independent workers to sign their five-point manifesto, which states that freelancers should receive greater recognition, have access to government services and be treated fairly by governments and businesses.

The campaign basically wants EU authorities to recognise freelancers as a legitimate employment and business category, and they plan to present their manifesto to the European Parliament in September. The campaign also sets out to ensure that businesses offer their freelance workers with better contracts and conditions.

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The campaign manager for the European Freelancers Movement, Joel Dullroy, recently commented: “freelancers are a large and important part of the European workforce, but we are ignored by politicians and isolated from each other. These simple requests are the most basic first steps politicians can take to improve conditions for independent workerts.

For more information on the campaign, or to sign the manifesto, visit freelancers-europe.org.

4 Freelance Jobs You Can Do From Home

14We all want to have a life filled with freedom, whilst having enough money to fund our lifestyles – and a freelance job can help you do both. So you won’t have to worry about a string of debt following your way without an on-site job, and can enjoy the comfort of home each and every day. Here are 10 jobs you should consider…

1. Teach

Do you have a specific knowledge or skill you can pass onto others? You might play an instrument, know a foreign language or be an amazing photographer. You can teach the talent for a living – and can even do it within your own home.

2. Social Media Guru

Do you spend a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter and more? The chances are, you probably have a good idea of how social media works – and that’s what many companies are looking for. In a world where it’s important to stay ahead of the competition, your online knowledge might be just the thing companies are looking for – with many offering freelance roles you can perform in the home.

3. Babysitter

Want to spend more time within the home? Why not become a professional babysitter. Join a reliable programme that can provide your services to families – so the work will come to you and you can pick and choose your hours.

4. Writer

Do you love nothing more than writing? Why not make a career out of it. You can write blogs for websites, create press releases for large or small companies or write off-site articles that will educate the online public.

 

Should Work Emails be Banned after 6pm?

France might be leading the way for employment. The country has just recently introduced rules that protect employees from having to look at their work emails past 6pm.

Senior man talking on mobile phoneSo, would this law work in the UK? We really don’t see why not. While the UK has introduced Working Time Regulations, this doesn’t cover out-of-office jobs that can often be taken for granted by employers

Our question is, if the law was introduced in the UK, would it apply to people who from home? There must come a point when a person says goodbye to their professional life for the day and step back into their personal one, but do home employees, and their employers, know when enough is enough?

Portable devices have made it so easy for companies to ask employees to just check their email or take a phone call. So, when it comes to home employment, do you often find that you’re taken for granted by your freelance employer?

We want to hear your home employment experiences to find out whether you ever actually get to clock-off from work.

How Home Employment Could Save Your Business Money

We all like saving money, don’t we? Of course we do – especially when it comes to business. So, you might be interested to learn that telecommuting employment is saving both companies and their employees money.

02F05693More and more people are searching for telecommunication roles in a variety of industries, and more employers are beginning to realise that most jobs don’t have to be performed in an office. It’s now easier than ever for employers to communicate with their employees who work at home, due to services such as Skype and FaceTime.

Whether you need someone to manage your website, answer calls, write interesting copy or translate documents, it can be more cost-effective to let them work from home. In fact, unless you require staff to ship and sell items in store, most jobs can probably be undertaken in the comfort of a person’s home.

Budget Cuts

If you want to cut down on your overheads, you should definitely consider home employment opportunities. As you won’t have to pay out for large office spaces, and you’ll have a wider range of employee candidates to choose from when filling a position.

Broader Range of Talent

What’s great about home employment roles is that you don’t have to hire employees that live in the same vicinity as your business. You can therefore select from the crème de la crème of talent from far and wide, so you’ll employ a candidate who can take your company to the next level.

Greener

As your employees won’t be required to travel to the workplace every day, this will tie in with an environmentally friendly image. So, on top of boosting your company’s finances, selecting from the best talent and improving staff morale, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint.

Working from home will soon become the norm. Are you going to be one step ahead of your competitors?

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