As the most unique and upside-down economy in perhaps any history continues to get more chaotic, a
pilgrimage back to the house has begun. Is this because of Covid? Actually no, it’s due to the fact that
people are quitting their jobs to work from home and make more money. Based on your skillset, there
are dozens of potential jobs that allow you to work remotely. Marketing has several as well as
administrative work, bookkeeping, accounting, customer service representation, technical support,
journalism, sales, insurance and so many more.
The reality is that if you have the skills to preform well in any of these tasks, there are potential
employment opportunities where you can work from home and make your own hours. However, many
companies are not happy with this, and they are forcing workers to choose between potentially higher
pay and benefits and either not having a job or taking a pay cut to work from home. For those interested
in making the switch, the way they can potentially make up the lost income is with contract work.
Why Are People Working Remotely?
First, the idea that employees cannot work from home is somewhat of a joke. There are plenty of
programs that monitor employee’s workflow to make sure they are putting in the hours. In fact, some
employers seem to feel that their employees are more productive when they work from home, take
fewer sick days, make up hours instead of missing them and are better on communication because it’s
digital and therefore not as social as face-to-face interaction.
Being able to work from home is a luxury for the worker for a variety of reasons. One, the workers
actually show to have more energy and be more active because they are probably getting more sleep
not having to wake up as early, have extra time to exercise and are not in a terrible mood because of the
toughness of the morning commute. Parents are less stressed about being home with their kids if they
are not feeling well or finding a sitter during the day and are able to stay more productive because they
have more hours to work, especially when it comes to contract work.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Contract Work
Because so many companies are making in-house working the requirement to receive benefits, workers
are being hired virtually under a freelance or contract situation. This means that the company does not
owe you any benefits and they simply have to honor the agreement of compensation. There are no
taxes taken out of your pay and you do not get health insurance from them. That means you pay a
higher percentage of taxes for your income, and you also have to cover your own benefits.
So, if that’s the negative’s, and yes those are very significant, then why would people give up those
perks for working at home but running the risk of not making as much money and losing so many
benefits? This is where it comes down to the actual success of the individual. There are many who have
found contract work to be higher paying. For example, let’s say you can build a website in 5 days but
because you work for an agency you have to make five a month. While the agency is paying you to build
more websites than you should, they are increasing their profits on your productivity. If you are a
contractor, you can charge individually per website and benefit from the increase in productivity. The
other negative is that you have to ensure that you can find the contracted work. Some are able to make
twice what they did or more, but they still have to take on their taxes and benefits individually.
How Companies Are Getting Affordable Workers Back
Some companies are seeing the advantages on both sides when it comes to remote and even contract
work. Instead of using contract work as a punishment, they are using it as a trial period. Making it more
affordable to process quality workers in the first three months or so of their employment. The savings
on taxes and insurance alone can be thousands of dollars per worker to determine if they are someone
you want to keep on the team or not.
Offering competitive pay on a contractor basis as a tryout, and then if the worker proves themselves
reliable you bring them on as an actual employee with benefits is a new strategy some companies are
using now, and it seems to be working. People are aware of the advantages of working at home and
they are willing to cut back on their salary requirements if it comes with the security of an actual
paycheck with reliable work, health insurance and their income taxes being managed. It’s something
that benefits both sides and could even benefit those who are trying to keep down the cost of childcare
As each business weighs the options they have based on their industry, the compromise between
working remotely or not seems to be to get back to reliable work for reliable pay in whatever way the
company and employee can agree to that. For those who prefer contract work, the added advantage is
that many institutions including health care, finance and more are adapting to their needs as well. The
pandemic has created a surge of the independent worker and that means men and women who are
making money and need to have it used to cover taxes, health insurance and retirement.
The practical thing to do is to base the decision on your field and the opportunities that are there to
work remotely. Do you have enough savings to cover three to six months of no to little income? If so, it’s
worth considering and if you create a way to make even more money than you expected, there are
plenty of options for the assistance with individual tax payments, health insurance and of course,
retirement. The other side of that coin of course is that digital workers are finding higher paying
opportunities with greater benefits working in-house because of the demand companies need. It’s a
unique and upside-down economy and everyone sees it differently.