Have you engaged the services of Freelance professionals before? Or are you a Freelancer yourself?
If you admire the supposed “freedom” that Freelancers enjoy, then you should think again…it’s really not what you think it is.
Here are 7 things that make these Freelancers flip:
1. Why the client brief keep changing one?
Brief already, then change.
Change already, change again…
Sounds familiar? Most freelance professionals, or all workers for that matter often find themselves in this predicament, especially those working in the creative field.
In order to prevent such a problem from happening, it will help if clients can know and be specific about what they want.
2. The client is so difficult to work with!
Yes, freelancers often complain and gossip about their clients who can get rather difficult to work with. Some feel like they are doing so much but are being paid little. Others feel that the client is taking advantage of them.
Freelance professionals are also workers in a way. If you can treat them with a little more respect and appreciation, the working relations can be better and more work can get done.
3. When will I get my pay?
“My pay is not in yet!”, “The client promised to pay me two weeks ago…”
Another line that freelancers complain about often. According to the Singapore Business Review, freelancers are often at the last rung of corporate payment schedules, which mean that they get paid last, after all the full-time employees are paid in the company.
4. Why is it so difficult to contact the client when I need to ask questions?
This happens when your client brief is not clear enough. Freelancers are not magicians who can create something out of nothing.
When they try to contact you to clarify certain things, they really need your help. Even if you can’t respond immediately, at least call back or reply the email as soon as you can, so that things can get done and work can progress.
5. Why does the client call me at ungodly hours?
“I need my sleep too! And 2 a.m. in the morning is not a good time to call someone for work!”
Freelancers do not have official working hours as stipulated in a contract, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t sleep at night and can be contacted in the middle of the night.
6. Stop chasing me for the draft!
“Give me some time, for crying out loud!”
Give your freelancer a reasonable amount of time to produce his/her work.
Before commencing, it would be good to agree upon a time-line to produce the draft and final product, this reduces the need for misunderstandings and confusion.
7. I am a freelance designer, but don’t expect me to write and do copy-editing!
Yes, freelancers can do the job for you, but don’t expect them to do everything for you.
If you agreed upon a certain job requirement, try to stick to it and don’t ask for more just because you are paying him/her for getting the job done.
Understanding their plight
These are just some of the pet peeves of freelancers. I’m sure there are more that freelancers have to put up with.
On top of all these, freelancers do not receive CPF contributions by employers which normal full-time employees get. They do not enjoy medical or leave benefits at all too.
And to make matters worse, they are not assured of a steady stream of income. If there is no job for them for a particular stretch of time, they don’t get paid for anything at all.
Fortunately, the NTUC is stepping in to help this group of workers. NTUC Assistant Secretary General Ang Hin Kee said in his 2013 Budget Debate speech that he hopes the government can do to help freelancers and the self-employed.
“It is important that we do more for the self-employed… With greater help and support, we can deepen their skills and enable more people to appreciate the self-employed and the work they do.”
To better help them, NTUC has also organised legal primers, talks and dialogue sessions to educate the freelancers and self-employed on the issues which they face and what sort of recourse they have to such problems.