Freelancers need more support for remote working

A new report calls for practical measures to address the challenges freelancers face when working remotely.

Working at home

 

Freelancers who work remotely enjoy greater flexibility and are more productive, but they need greater support to address the challenges of homeworking, according to new research.

The study by IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) and People Per Hour found that freelancers overwhelmingly viewed remote working positively, with nine out of 10 (87%) working remotely at some point in the last year. Self-employed people cited many advantages to remote working. Asked to choose their top three, 55 per cent included the fact that it gave them greater flexibility, 34 per cent said it made them more productive, 43 per cent said it saved them time and 41 per cent said it improved their work-life balance.

The report also found, however, that remote working can pose some challenges, although one in five people said they had not experienced any disadvantages of self-employment. The rest, when asked to name the three top disadvantages, cited difficulties communicating with clients (27%), difficulties getting regular feedback (27%), loneliness (19%), disconnectedness (19%) and not feeling part of the team (26%).

To combat the challenges of remote working, the report recommends:

  • Roll-out of superfast broadband across the UK: 78 per cent said reliable broadband was the most important requirement for remote working.
  • Promotion of co-working spaces: 76 per cent of people said they had not used a co-working space to combat isolation and loneliness. The report says the Government should promote co-working opportunities and explore ways to incentivise the creation of new co-working spaces.
  • More client support to maintain effective communications with clients, including access to the networks and communications channels they need to work effectively off-site.

 



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