A Freelancer’s Guide To Going Back To The Office

Our lifestyles generally respond to the actions we are exposed to on daily bases. And the kinds of jobs we do are not exceptions as part of a contributing factor to the lifestyle we adopt. An abrupt change of lifestyle due to work schedule is a bizarre encounter for a lot of people. In fact, many have remained freelancers because they can no longer deal with the hassle of commuting every day – moving back to office jobs, or ordinarily having to wear pants daily, even with increased remunerations or viable opportunities to improve their careers. This sounds like something you could easily do to save a job, but the practical switch is entirely different.

It’s easier to accept new jobs and move to a different town or take up new responsibilities as a “full-time” employed worker than having to start such roles when you have been working as a freelancer. Fulltime mentioned here does not suggest that there can’t be a full-time freelancer. We would be using it to describe 9-to-5 jobs or something very similar and rigid. Of course, we understand what it means to be your own boss.

Sometimes, we even spend more time on the desk as freelancers. Yes! Our work schedule doesn’t matter while beating the deadlines. The most important thing about freelancing is to earn as much you can to support your daily life and personal improvements, perhaps career-wise or long-term personal project.

Freelancer’s Guide To Going Back To The Office

Without recognizing and accepting a lot of facts about moving back to the office while being a freelancer or remote worker, the process would become more challenging. Quartz bulletin reports in March 2017 revealed that a significant number of IBM remote workers accepted leaving the company for other jobs rather than moving back to the office when the company’s new Marketing Officer, Michelle Peluso gave them the option to hit the bricks if they can’t find a way to the office cubicles. However, some of the remote workers were excited about the development and prefer the cubicles to anything at home.

If you are a freelancer considering going back to the office, then you need a lot of preparations to make it a successful one, mostly if your freelancer career is more than a year old. Below are a few points to serve as a guide for a smooth transition as you move back to the office.

Enforce the psychological shift: taking the positive sides

While you are accepting your new lifestyle as a 9-to-5er, it’s normal to think about the pros and cons of the two routines. Some freelancers couldn’t move back to the office even when they stand to gain more as full-timers because of the psychological effect. Yes! A good number of those in this category accepted that moving from freelancing to the office depicts a failure in one’s career. But that’s totally a weird theory to accept.

For me, I think it’s essential to accept different challenges in our lifetime while building and making impacts. Moving back to the office from freelancing may be as a result of taking a different means of building your personal goals and career. It may also come as a wish to explore more options not available while freelancing, to gain experience in an area you’re trying to grow, and of course, a whole bunch of positive reasons.

Without seeing your decision of moving back to the office as a positive one in your career, you may fail like those who couldn’t make the transition. Everyone understands that this decision is personal and must have some benefits. Recounting those benefits and more as the reason why you are making the switch will help while dealing with the psychological shift.

Some of these benefits should include advancement in career, being able to access your pace and the opportunity of meeting great colleagues.

Lifestyle in the cubicles can be recognized as a means of career advancement. Yes! It provides a path to follow since it’s a platform designed with positions and assigned responsibilities. For instance, working with an office as a photographer may allow you to become a video director as you continue to develop and grow. And of course, there’s room for promotions and reassignment of responsibilities as a full-timer. But, who do you expect to promote you as a freelancer? Instead, you may decide not to accept a group of jobs.

Full-time office jobs would allow you to work at a pace that has been practically proven to be healthy and more productive. Every freelancer knows that all jobs are always in a hurry, clients always hire freelancers because they want to get the job done quickly. Even if the client does not care about how long the project is going to take you, the bargain is already done and the more time you want to spend on the project deprives you of getting other jobs done.

A typical freelancer is always rushing to finish up a project for another because that determines how much you are going to earn. This scenario is not the same as the full-time office job roles; it allows you to re-strategize as many times as possible and to plan again and again before executing.

Outline potential challenges

One major challenge of moving back to the office as a freelancer is being able to commute daily. And the frustration can be more if we have to be in traffics. Evaluating your route before starting the job is critical to help with plans on how to deal with potential traffics. It’s also essential to draw plans on how much time every movement would take you as you begin to shuttle.

There is no doubt you may lack the regular office clothing if you have freelanced for some time. Consider changing your wardrobe early enough to avoid having it as a glitch when you are ready to start the new function if the office dress code does not exist in your closet.

Consider discussing with your supervisor about arranging the equipment and training you will need. Also, visit your workspace and take inventory of the things you are going to work with before your resumption date.

Prepare to reduce the friction between work and home

Because you have been a freelancer, there’s possibility that you are running a lot of household chores. You may need to discuss with your partner concerning your new job role and how it may interfere or deprive you of completing the household tasks.

Create a plan to ensure the tasks are not neglected; if possible consider hiring a babysitter, house cleaning service or a dog walker to help relieve you from such responsibilities.

Enjoy the environment

As you resume office, one significant way to help your transition is enjoying the environment as much as possible. Yes! You must make most of by customizing your space if the office allows such. Use those favorite pictures that help you feel at home, your favorite mug or coffee cup. All these help to make you feel at home and happy instead of feeling the change of environment.

You must begin now to accept being with a bunch of people all day. Not necessarily being very friendly if that’s not your lifestyle. Take the opportunity as one that would expose you to people with varied backgrounds and working experience. Also accepting that you would learn one or two things from any of your colleagues at some point is important and help you stick around.

Priyansha Mistry
Currently editor at The HR Digest Magazine. She helps HR professionals identify issues with their talent management and employment law. | Priyansha tweets at @PriyanshaMistry

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