SURVEY: The 6 biggest complaints about freelancing!


Freelancing has many advantages such as the ability to work from home or somewhat called the “perfect work-life balance”, but it is far away from being problem-free! From managing a complete business without manpower to dealing with unsatisfied clients, there are many problems freelancers usually complaint about. The IT-project board recently has investigated in the disadvantages of the life as a freelancer and therefore conducted a survey among its freelancing users. More than 400 users worldwide participated in this survey.

Let’s have a look at the results…


1. Finding clients

More than half of the participating freelancers (51,5 %) reported that finding clients is the biggest challenge of a freelancer. You constantly must promote yourself to develop your business and to find clients. This can include cold calls, cold mails and placing ads, talking and meeting with business owners, speaking on fairs, filling your personal website with life and taking part in business networks and social media – the list of necessary marketing activities is long. And as if that were not enough, as a freelance you must acquire new clients and develop your business BESIDES your “real mission” of serving recent clients. 


2. No income when sick or on vacation

Another problem many freelancers (14,5 %) face is the lack of payments when being sick or on vacation. In fact taking a holiday as a freelancer goes along with having no income. As a freelancer, you can’t count on general benefits most full-time employees receive e.g. paid vacation, paid sick days, retirement savings or medical, dental and life insurance. Being a freelancer always means having a back-up plan when you are not available to serve your clients as contracted.


3. Round the clock coverage

Amazon, ebay and all these other famous web shops has made people think that online services are always available 24/7. And as a freelancer who is working remotely it seems that the rules are equal. Therefore, 11,9 % of the interviewed freelancers complain about the expected “Round the Clock” coverage. As an independent worker, you may receive phone calls and mails during the night, on weekends or even during your vacation, especially when your clients are located in a different time zone.

4. Unstable income

When it comes to income, a lot of freelancers (11,1 %) face problems. As a freelancer, you will encounter lean times and busy times. If your workload is varying from month to month, same will happen to your freelance income. This makes is quite difficult to predict your degree of liquidity next month. But you can rely that your bills will always come in on time, no matter if you had a beneficial month or not. Therefore, it is always advisable to have an emergency fund or a back-up plan for bad times.

5. Isolation


Working for yourself often means working by yourself, and this can lead to another disadvantage of freelancing: the feeling of isolation (6,6 %). If the computer, your coffee pot and your clients on the phone are the only social interaction during the day, working from home sometimes can go along with loneliness, sloth and dissatisfaction. Luckily, there are a handful ways to overcome the isolation! Find a co-working space and work together with your freelance fellows, form a weekly group of regulars for likeminded home workers, use the internet to connect with people though Facebook, LinkedIn and Co, remember old friends and spend time with your family!

6. No acceptance of family and friends


Another distractor that brings some of our freelancers to their limits is the lacking acceptance of family and friends (4,5 %). Whether it is because you are doing something ordinary, or because you are working from home and do not have a boss you need to report to, friends and family members often compare your life with free time or vacation. This can be very frustrating, especially when the water is up to your neck.
Although we have presented the 6 biggest complaints of freelancers according to the users at, there are a handful of further problems a freelancer can face e.g. the lack of job security, the distraction when not working form an office, the tax consequences and required insurances, the long business hours and the accountability that comes along with being your own boss. But nevertheless, we love what we do, don’t we?


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Doreen Schollmeier

Doreen Schollmeier is dealing with the international freelancing and outsourcing market for more than 5 years and knows both sides of the coin. After working as a project manager for an India based company until 2012, supporting the company to find clients worldwide, she nowadays helps freelancers to find jobs and clients.

By Doreen Schollmeier

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