If you specialize in web design and development, then you probably know that the job outlook for this type of work is promising.
The US Occupational Outlook Handbook estimates that by 2024, there will be a 27% increase in the job prospects for this kind of expertise, due to the increasing use of mobile devices and e-commerce.
Many web developers are also able to work from home, which makes it an attractive career option for some.
Becoming a freelance web developer or telecommuting has several advantages. Let's discuss some of them.
Advantage #1. Freedom to Set your Own Hours
The main advantage of working from home is the flexibility to work when and where you want. If you are already established web developer, you can decide how many hours you would typically spend on a project each day and then pace it based on your schedule.
Note that if you are just starting a career as a freelancer, you might have clients calling on you at odd hours of the day or night. In this case, you need to be flexible to accommodate their needs especially if you are still building your portfolio and reputation in the freelancing world.
Advantage #2. Increased Productivity
Website building requires long hours and working without the distraction of an office or co-workers can increase the time you devote to creating, improving, or tweaking the site. In effect, telecommuters are more productive as they put in extra hours and are less likely to take extended breaks or days off even when ill.
Advantage #3. Ability to Balance Work and Home Life
Part of the attraction of teleworking is that you can juggle your career and personal life at the same time. Since you set your own hours, you can devote time to spend with loved ones, friends, family and even pets. You are likely to feel happier and less stressed out knowing that you still manage to spend quality time with them while getting work done. You can even save on childcare and pet sitting costs since you are at home. People who work from home are also twice as likely to love their jobs than on-site workers (Leadership IQ Survey, 2016).
Advantage #4. No Dress Codes and Stressful Commutes
Working at home does not require a dress code which can save you a bundle in shopping and dry-cleaning costs. In addition, there are no nerve-wracking commutes that can affect you physically and mentally. You might have the occasional face-to-face meeting with a client, but these days, with the reliability of tele and videoconferences, there is hardly a need to meet in person unless you must do on-site work.
Disadvantage #1. Discipline
Having no set schedule might make you slack off in many ways such as putting off that web design project you have planned in favor of playing outdoors with the kids. Hence, telecommuting requires sheer discipline to ensure you follow the schedule you make and don't succumb to distractions.
Disadvantage #2. Absence of External Pressures
It is too easy to do anything you want when you are alone and no one is watching you which can make productivity levels plummet drastically. To avoid this, make a daily or weekly plan and stick to it.
Disadvantage #3. Limited Social Life and Contacts
You might feel isolated and left out when you are in the company of Fido all day long. Social contact and relationships are harder to form when you are home all day long. To remedy this, join networking clubs, get in touch with colleagues or volunteer some free time in community projects.
Disadvantage #4. Overworking and Work Burnout
Perhaps most importantly, is the danger of becoming overworked at home. It is all too easy to work at odd hours due to client demands or sales deadlines you have to meet.
Web development instinctively lends itself to quiet and focused environments, so working at home is a natural choice. It would be wrong to say there are not many things to consider but in most instances, web developers will reap many rewards when they make the decision to work from home. Or at least work remotely for some of the business week. It is not for everyone but there is definitely money to be made in developing from home.
Are you a home-based freelance web developer? If the answer is Yes, what has been your experience on this path so far? Any regrets or everything shaped up nicely for you and your folks? Please share with us your experiences in the comment section below.