Digital, Life

Working As A Freelancer Vs In The Office



After a few years of being freelance, you settle into your attempt at a routine and kind of forget what it’s like to work in an office. I had the chance to work in an office again for the day last week, and it was definitely a nice change of scenery.

Working within the same four walls with no coworkers every day does have its disadvantages, but boy are there lots of perks. So many people say to me ‘oh don’t you miss working with people in an office’, and I’m like honestly, nope I do not. I don’t care if this makes me sound antisocial, I just like to work solo.

I thought it might be interesting to make some comparisons between my average day in the office (a.k.a) my spare room, the library, or occasionally, a cafe. I must explain that the thoughts below are all my opinion, and people who work in an office may not see things in the same way! This one’s mainly for the freelancers (and aspiring freelancers) out there. Here’s the main differences between working as a freelancer compared to an office job.

Here’s the main differences between working as a freelancer compared to an office job.


1. Dress code

Freelance – You wake up and decide whether to make the effort to wear normal clothes or some sweat pants. Most days the sweat pants win.

Office – You have to choose a new outfit every day, and often it has to be smart.

2. Socialisation


Freelance – The most interaction with a living being you have all day is with your dog/cat or the lady in the coffee shop.

Office – You have to be sociable with a selection of different personalities on a daily basis and spend around nine whole hours a day with these people.

3. Getting out of bed


Freelance – You wake up at a reasonable hour and attempt to be on your laptop by 9am if you’re feeling super motivated. You don’t bother setting an alarm most days, which makes you feel a bit guilty.

Office – You have to wake up between 6 and 8am every day without fail.

4. Commuting

Freelance – Your route to work involves a trip to the kitchen and bathroom en route to your ‘office’.

Office – You have to commute to work by train/car/bus/bike (sometimes for a good couple of hours), or walk if you are lucky.

5. Meetings


Freelance – You have lots of meetings on Skype. Most of your  in person ‘meetings’ are with your mum or friends. 

Office – You have to travel all over the country for meetings, sometimes travelling all day for a 20 minute meeting.

6. Expenses

Freelance – You have a box full of receipts which you hope to claim back on tax.

Office – You have to fork out for expenses and then wait a month to get the money back.

7. Hot beverages


Freelance – You make yourself around five or six hot drinks a day. You have far too many calorie filled beverages when working in cafes, and a ridiculous collection of herbal teas.

Office – You have to make drinks for seven other people every time you want a cup of tea, so often you just don’t bother.

8. Work parties

Freelance – You don’t get invited to leaving do’s Christmas parties or work events. You just have a party for one where you toast to another successful year running your own business. 

Office – You have to attend loads of work social events you can’t be bothered to go to.

9. Friday after work drinks


Freelance – Your Friday work drinks involve sitting on your sofa or in the bath with a glass of wine/pint.

Office – You get dragged out every Friday for end of week drinks when all you want to do is go home.

10. Cashflow

Freelance – You get paid in several installments throughout the month. Although you might have occasional cash flow issues (when clients don’t pay you), you generally have a steady flow of money, even if it’s not a lot. 

Office – You get paid your entire monthly salary at the end of the month, once you have spent it all you have to wait a whole month before getting your hands on some money again.

11. Lunch breaks


Freelance – Your lunch break can involve absolutely anything, a yoga class, a dog walk or massage, and it is often extended.

Office – You have one set hour to get out of the office, or sit at your desk and browse the web.

12. Working hours

Freelance – Your working hours change every single day. You might work really early in the morning, late at night, or do a few bursts throughout the day. You can do other things throughout the day, as long as you somehow get your work done.

Office – 9 to 5.30 every darn day. You can’t do anything during work hours.

13. Sick days


Freelance – Sick days aren’t a thing. Working in bed on your laptop dosed up on medication is. You don’t work, you don’t get paid. Plus, you can’t miss deadlines.

Office – Feeling a bit bunged up? Call in sick. Get paid still.

14. Advice

Freelance – Need to ask someone for advice? Drop an email or ask on social media.

Office – Got a question or need to run some ideas by someone? Just ask your colleague.