Freelance vs office. What to choose


Each field of work offers not only its own unique career oppor­tu­ni­ties, but also dif­fer­ent ways of work­ing. Today we will talk about one of the most promis­ing areas — IT. Infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy pro­vides huge oppor­tu­ni­ties for choos­ing the way of work­ing — from a stan­dard office or co-work­ing to free­lanc­ing. We will try to com­pare the office and free­lanc­ing, as well as find out the advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages of each option.

Portrait of a specialist

The por­trait of a spe­cial­ist large­ly deter­mines his way of work­ing. Usu­al­ly, extro­verts pre­fer live com­mu­ni­ca­tion and rhythm, so they are prone to office work. In turn, intro­verts like calm­ness and silence, which allows them to bet­ter focus on work. It is nec­es­sary to pro­ceed from the indi­vid­ual needs of a per­son and make a choice between an office and free­lance based on them.

Work organization

Orga­ni­za­tion of work is anoth­er impor­tant fac­tor. When choos­ing to work in the office, you need to under­stand that, most like­ly, the sched­ule of the day has already been thought out. Accord­ing­ly, the spe­cial­ist will not be able to influ­ence him. The rea­son for this may be dai­ly stand-ups, phone calls with clients and brief­in­gs.

When work­ing as a free­lancer, the sched­ule is almost com­plete­ly depen­dent on the employ­ee, with the excep­tion of sched­uled calls with clients (clients can live in dif­fer­ent time zones). Some free­lancers pre­fer to work in the evening and at night, while there are those who like to work in the morn­ing. For peo­ple with non-stan­dard time pref­er­ences, free­lanc­ing is the best option.

Office work


1. Med­ical insur­ance

Most com­pa­nies pro­vide health insur­ance to their employ­ees. The com­pa­ny pays all or part of the employ­ee’s health expens­es. For some peo­ple, this can be a very big plus.

2. Sta­ble income

With a full eight-hour work, a per­son can count on the fact that he always has a salary. The same amount of mon­ey is received every month, so the employ­ee does not have to wor­ry about any­thing. Regard­less of the amount of work done in a month, the rate remains fixed.

Mon­ey in free­lanc­ing is com­plete­ly depen­dent on the free­lancer him­self, so less moti­vat­ed peo­ple are always eager to get a safe office job. A lot of peo­ple just want some sta­bil­i­ty so they don’t have to wor­ry about pay­ing their bills.

3. Pro­fes­sion­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion envi­ron­ment

In the office, a spe­cial­ist is part of a team of work­ers who prac­tice their skills on a dai­ly basis. In the process of work, peo­ple exchange knowl­edge with each oth­er. In a sense, the employ­ee cre­ates his own net­work of peo­ple. This results in con­stant devel­op­ment.

4. Spon­sor­ship of mov­ing to anoth­er coun­try

Choos­ing large com­pa­nies with offices around the world, a spe­cial­ist can count on the pos­si­bil­i­ty of mov­ing to anoth­er coun­try. Com­pa­nies such as EPAM or Lux­oft trans­port employ­ees at their own expense. How­ev­er, in this case, it is impor­tant to decide in advance where there is a desire to move, since there are dif­fer­ent visa require­ments for mov­ing to dif­fer­ent coun­tries. For exam­ple, for a US L‑1 visa, you need to work for at least 1 year in an office in anoth­er coun­try. And to obtain a visa to Ger­many, you need to check the edu­ca­tion received in oth­er coun­tries. You can check whether a par­tic­u­lar uni­ver­si­ty is on the list of edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions rec­og­nized by Ger­many on the web­site of the Ger­man gov­ern­ment.

5. Teach­ing Eng­lish

Since the main offi­cial lan­guage is Eng­lish, many com­pa­nies offer their employ­ees cours­es to improve their lev­el or even train­ing from scratch. Today, lan­guage require­ments are much high­er than 5 years ago. This, in par­tic­u­lar, is due to the desire of for­eign clients to com­mu­ni­cate direct­ly with spe­cial­ists.


1. Work on sched­ule

The lack of flex­i­ble hours is a huge dis­ad­van­tage. If a spe­cial­ist falls ill, he will need a doc­tor’s note to take sick leave. Also a minus is a clear work sched­ule from 9 to 6. This makes it dif­fi­cult to plan events for the day, such as vis­it­ing the den­tist.

2. Lim­it­ed vaca­tion options

Paid stan­dard leave can be from 1 week to 1 month, depend­ing on the inter­nal pol­i­cy of the com­pa­ny. This is not always enough for a qual­i­ty hol­i­day.

3. Dress code

Some com­pa­nies prac­tice a dress code cul­ture. This is not the biggest dis­ad­van­tage, but it can affect a per­son­’s right to self-expres­sion.



1. Abil­i­ty to live and work any­where in the world

Unlike an office, free­lanc­ing allows you to be any­where, as long as there is an Inter­net con­nec­tion. This may be the opti­mal solu­tion for peo­ple who love to trav­el and tend to move fre­quent­ly. You can work near the ocean, in the moun­tains or near the pool.

2. Free work sched­ule

The very con­cept of free­lanc­ing comes from the word free­dom. Accord­ing­ly, this is the free­dom of sched­ule and action. A spe­cial­ist can plan his work­ing day as he likes.

3. No dress code

The spe­cial­ist does not need to look for­mal. It is enough to wake up, make cof­fee — and work in paja­mas all day long. In some cas­es, this can sig­nif­i­cant­ly save mon­ey on the wardrobe.

4. Abil­i­ty to com­bine mul­ti­ple projects

When work­ing as a free­lancer, you can take on 1 large project or sev­er­al small­er ones. Every­thing is lim­it­ed only by the desire of the free­lancer him­self. Work­ing in an office dic­tates the order of tasks and the amount of time allo­cat­ed to a project. In free­lanc­ing, the work­er decides every­thing him­self.

5. No trav­el to and from the office

Work­ing from home saves a lot of time trav­el­ing to and from the office. This allows free­lancers to sleep 1–1.5 hours more com­pared to office work­ers. Extra time can be devot­ed to home and fam­i­ly: take the child to school or kinder­garten, walk the dog, or just take care of house­hold issues. Free time in the morn­ing can be spent on sports, when exer­cise is most pro­duc­tive.


1. Irreg­u­lar income

Earn­ings on free­lanc­ing are unpre­dictable, since no one guar­an­tees a job for a spe­cial­ist. Mon­ey drips only as long as the client needs an employ­ee and has a job for him. The nor­mal state of a free­lancer is either thick or emp­ty in terms of orders, with the excep­tion of those who have already set up a con­stant flow. It can hap­pen that a free­lancer makes a ton of mon­ey one month and then the next month can’t find a sin­gle project. This fac­tor is impor­tant to con­sid­er, since many spe­cial­ists, espe­cial­ly begin­ners, do not expect this.

2. Lack of ben­e­fits

The free­lancer him­self bears all the addi­tion­al costs asso­ci­at­ed with both the place of work and the main­te­nance of health. This includes cov­er­ing expens­es in case of ill­ness, sports, reg­u­lar inter­net bills. When a spe­cial­ist is on vaca­tion, he does not receive any­thing. There is no paid mater­ni­ty leave for women. How­ev­er, if you make enough mon­ey, these expens­es should eas­i­ly pay off.

3. Self-orga­ni­za­tion

Since no one tells a free­lancer what to do and when, it is very impor­tant that he plans his day cor­rect­ly and sticks to dead­lines. It is impor­tant to take care of a sta­ble Inter­net and a qui­et work­place for bet­ter con­cen­tra­tion.


When choos­ing a job in the office or free­lanc­ing, a spe­cial­ist must take into account his own goals and indi­vid­ual char­ac­ter­is­tics. Regard­less of the choice, becom­ing a good employ­ee takes a lot of effort and dis­ci­pline.

Author: Olga Bagae­va







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