Freelancers also work long hours – 40+ hour working week


For freelancers, time is money. The cliché of lounging around in your pajamas while only doing a couple of hours of work a day couldn’t be farther from the truth.

How many hours do freelancers work per week?

To get a better idea of how much work freelancers really put in, we asked our community to share details about their freelance working week with us in our freelancer survey.

“How many hours do you work per week?”. Here are the results:

Working hours freelancers 2017

In 2017, the average amount of hours a total of 1,386 survey participants spent working weekly was more than that of the average employee – approximately 47 hours/week. Just around a quarter of the members of our community spent less than 40 hours a week on their job.

Freelancers take their work seriously and invest a lot of time into their projects.

In fact, over 60 percent of our survey participants worked more than 40 hours. A quarter even worked more than 50 hours a week!

Assuming they only work from Monday to Thursday, that’s a minimum of ten hours a day spent on freelancing projects! Around seven percent of participants are really pushing their work to the limit and hitting over 60 work hours a week.

Average freelance working hours (2017): 47 work hours a week

Lounging around in pajamas? Quite the opposite.

We ran our freelancer survey again in 2019 and asked our freelancers the same question. This time, 1,645 freelancers shared their working hours with us.

Did something change in the last couple of years?


Freelancers work hours in a week

Our results show that even in 2019, 57% of all participating freelancers admitted to working over 40 hours per week – down by about 10% compared to 2017. Freelancers are working fewer hours and the average working week lowered down to 43 hours/week.

Luckily the number of freelancers pushing themselves to work over 60 hours a week dropped to 4% (compared with 7% in 2017).

Average freelance working hours (2019): 43 work hours a week

The good news is that we are slowly starting to see a tendency towards shorter working hours. If we analyze the data together, we see that more freelancers moved towards a working week under 40 hours.

Here’s a comparison graph: 

Freelancers work hours in a week

A 40+ hour working week? Freelancers also work long hours!

It’s obvious why work-life balance is such an important issue for freelancing communities.

Freelancing is about honing your skills and ideas, and turning them into a business – this can be very demanding.

But remember, it’s not just about working long hours. It’s about doing so in a smart way. As any freelancer knows, organizing your time and spending less time on secondary tasks is how you ensure your time is being used efficiently! 

Are you intrigued to learn more about our survey results? You can get a free copy of the results here:

Download your free copy of our freelancer study

How many hours do you put in every week? How do you handle the pressure? We’re here to listen if you want to share – leave your comment down below!

Viktor Marinov

Viktor is the voice behind the freelancermap blog. Every week he comes up with helpful hints, checklists, and guides for freelancers and independent workers. If you would like to know how to find remote jobs online or how to niche yourself as a freelancer, don't miss his freelancer tips!

By Viktor Marinov

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