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Going On Holiday As A Freelancer: Everything You Need To Know

Estimated reading time: 5 mins

There are many benefits to working on a freelance basis, but perhaps the most important of these benefits is the sheer flexibility that this way of working offers. Rather than working for the same company week in and week out, having to attend the office at the same time every day, freelancers are free to pick and choose – they can work for different clients, and providing they meet their deadlines, choose their own schedule and work location. 

When it comes to the subject of holidays, the flexibility that freelancing provides seems ideal. After all, freelancers have complete control over their own schedules and when they want to work rather than having to work to a schedule as set by their boss – so it’s natural to conclude that taking a holiday must be very simple. Surely, it’s just a matter of deciding when not to work and jetting off accordingly?

Not quite. 

The reality of going on holiday as a freelancer 

Unfortunately, taking holidays is a complex subject for freelancers – sometimes to the point where freelancers simply don’t. Yes, bizarre as it sounds, the workers that have the most flexibility often struggle to take time off at all, and instead choose to work almost constantly throughout the year. 

Why is this?

While there are many reasons an individual freelancer might feel that they cannot go on holiday, there are two particular reasons that the majority of freelancers will cite as concerning. The first of these is a fear that going on holiday may potentially harm the working relationships that they have with their clients. 

This fear is, to an extent, understandable. Freelancers depend on their clients for their income; their work is never guaranteed, which means that following the advice of sites like www.webflow.com and building good relationships with every client is crucial to their ongoing success. Going on holiday, however, can often feel – to freelancers – as if that good relationship will be placed in jeopardy; that clients will be troubled by the freelancer’s lack of availability, and may perhaps decide to take their work (and all future work) elsewhere in future. This may not actually be the case (the vast, vast majority of clients will completely understand that freelancers need to take holidays), but it’s still a common concern for freelancers.

How can this concern be overcome? 

#1 – Consider the timing carefully 

Many clients of freelancers will have busy periods, when they will be most in need of assistance from their freelance workforce – for example, an accountancy firm will be busiest during tax time, or an ecommerce store will reach its peak around Christmas. It’s preferable for freelancers to avoid planning holidays around these busy periods and instead choosing times of the year when things are quieter, and their client will be less in need of their services.

#2 – Provide plenty of notice 

When it comes to informing clients of holiday plans, the more notice that can be provided, the better. Clients should be informed as soon as plans are put in place, even if the actual holiday dates are months away – the quicker they are informed, the more conscientious the freelancer will appear to be. It’s also worth providing additional reminders of the holiday period as the date approaches. 

#3 – Offer a substitute (if you can)

It’s not uncommon for freelancers to develop a strong network of people they know, often through working on projects together in the past. If at all possible, freelancers should volunteer people they know to their clients when they are planning to go on holiday. 

#4 – Choose to combine a holiday with work

As we touched on above, freelancers enjoy the flexibility to choose their own work location – so combining a holiday with work is a viable option. With a laptop and a secure internet connection that can access all the sites you usually can from home thanks to the options on www.vpnprograms.com, freelancers can work from anywhere while also consulting with, and delivering work to, their clients exactly as expected. While not necessarily a ‘true’ holiday where relaxation is the only priority, this blend of work and time away can work very well for newer freelancers who aren’t comfortable taking time off completely.

#5 – Start small 

For freelancers who have never gone on holiday before and are concerned about how their clients will react, start with a very small trip of just two-to-three days. Most clients should be able to cover this time without undue concern, and actually taking the time off will increase confidence to take longer holidays in the future.

What is the second reason freelancers avoid going on holiday?

The second concern is financial in basis.

Standard employees are usually offered holiday pay by their employers, which means that they can take time off and still receive their salary, usually for around 28 days per year. Freelancers, however, do not receive holiday pay from their clients – they are paid for the work they complete. 

As a result, many freelancers feel that they cannot take time off to go on holiday because this will mean they are unable to work – which in turn will result in a drop in their income for the duration of their time away. 

How can this issue be addressed?

The most obvious solution is one we have already discussed: going on holiday and working at the same time. This option works very well indeed, offering the dual benefits of continued income and the chance to relax and go sightseeing in their chosen destination when their work for each day is complete.

The alternative option is for freelancers to effectively become their own employers and to pay themselves holiday pay during their time away. To do this, a small amount will need to be deducted from any income the freelancer receives; this should then be saved with the sole intention of the funds being used to cover income lost due to taking a holiday in the future. 

In conclusion

The above advice should ensure that freelancers can go on holiday while also maintaining strong relationships with their clients.

 

About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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