|According to the Freelancers Union, more than 53 million Americans work some type of freelance job. By 2020, some experts predict that these types of workers could make up at least half of the workforce in the United States.
These independent workers have jobs in all sorts of industries, from writing and graphic design to tech and business consulting. Freelancing can mean being a contract worker or an entrepreneur.
But with that freedom to set a schedule independently and avoid the trappings of corporate America could come a lot of stress, especially at home.
One thing that freelancers have to worry about are taxes. Most freelancers will have to pay their own taxes at least once a year, if not quarterly, as they aren’t automatically taken out of a freelancer’s paycheck.
Freelancers also need to choose their own healthcare and retirement plans, since they won’t have an employer to offer one.
But beyond economic concerns, freelancers can sometimes have trouble separating work life from personal life, especially as the hours blend together.
In the U.S., approximately 40% to 50% of all married couples will eventually divorce, according to current statistics. Having irregular hours, long commutes or an unstable income could affect a marriage.
Statistics from Edelman Berland, in a study commissioned by the Freelancers Union, found that 53% of all freelancers are female.
Women may be more likely to freelance due to a lack of opportunities in the traditional workplace, says Fast Companywriter Sara Horowitz. She points out that as women start families in their 30s, they lose time at the office. By their 40s, they’re often “hitting the glass ceiling in terms of pay and promotions,” and until retirement, they may be passed up for promotions or other opportunities.
Additionally, she points out that health benefits and maternity leave are considered “luxuries” — both for freelancers and in the 9-to-5 world.
But the news isn’t all bad for female freelancers. Freelance placement service People Per Hour found that women were securing more freelance jobs than men, at 58%, and they were earning 22% more per hour on average than male freelancers.
CNBC says that all freelance workers could still see some economic benefits. They can speak to tax accountants to determine which of their expenses can be written off for their business, including household costs like internet, computer, and office supplies.