Freelancers and Bank Holidays
Roadmap your calendar to a better work-life balance
Upcoming bank holidays
With Easter fast approaching, it brings with it two bank holidays this year – Friday 15 April and Monday 18 April. This means a lot of workers are faced with the prospect of a four day weekend.
Surprisingly, the same is set to happen in June. The Spring Bank Holiday has been postponed to accompany the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee from Thursday 2 June to Friday 3 June. This affords many workers another four day weekend.
What this means for freelancers
So, how does this affect freelancers? Well, for many self-employed workers, bank holidays are often just another working day. It provides the option for freelancers to offer their services when the rest of the world stops.
However, the lack of change to one’s schedule makes it all the more inconvenient to finish up your day and find all the shops closed. And more importantly, working consistently without a break can prove a much more taxing inconvenience. In light of these upcoming bank holidays, we have prepared this article to outline the benefits of taking breaks as a freelancer.
How this benefits freelancers
Depending on your contract, most freelancers will not have paid holidays, including bank holidays. This is why many freelancers often work through them. However, bank holidays can function as a prompt for freelancers to take some time off, and spend it with other family members whose workplaces also close on bank holidays.
Requesting bank holidays off could be something to work into your next client agreement. While you may not be paid for your holiday, taking the time to reset and relax can positively affect your productivity and thus your income.
What does this mean financially
There are many factors at play here so it’s best to start with an overview of the last few years. In 2019, research showed that freelancers took an average of 24 days off a year, which is four less than the basic entitlement. With lockdowns decreasing demand for many services, and a decrease in many consumers’ disposable incomes, freelancers across many industries have seen their pay take a substantial hit. This situation has created a decline in mental health and morale among freelancers. Many now find themselves working longer hours with very few breaks.
For non-freelancing or self-employed workers, there is an entire workforce to pick up the slack for a slow day’s work. However, when you make up 100% of the workforce you have to give priority to yourself. This means only one person’s spirit to raise. As a result, having shorter breaks dotted throughout your calendar, just like bank holidays, can greatly improve the quality of work and motivation.
How to go about it
You may be thinking this sounds like a great solution, but you’re lost on how to manage it with your responsibilities. As a freelancer, you often act as your own boss, but there are generally still clients and networks to keep informed about your time.
That’s why we have a few tips to offer to you on how to go about taking that much needed time off.
Manage client expectations beforehand
With a little foresight, longer holidays such as a trip abroad can be arranged to fall between contracts. That way you have a competitive edge when it comes to creating a contract with a client, as you will have more time to devote to the project. During a contract, arrange to take the odd day off throughout the project. This will improve your relationship with your job and make you more productive.
A useful way to do this is to create your working schedule in advance. You can organise your time and manage your client expectations by planning your work. Also, just as importantly, your time off. Once you have done this you can make it clear to your client which days off you will have and how they will benefit your productivity.
This also allows you to look forward to your days off, and functions as a motivating factor to keep productive. It also puts you on a level playing field with those who benefit from bank holiday leave. A simple way to go about this could be aligning your days off with national bank holidays. This provides an irrefutable argument to your client for having that day off.
Don’t compromise on quality
Only you know what is best for your business. Even taking one day out of the four day weekend can be a big change from working the whole week. It still affords you that much-needed rest and relaxation.
Taking time off can give you a better work-life balance, improve your relationships and enhance a creative mindset. This is essential for enhancing the quality of your work which will keep you in regular employment. You will also have scope to charge a higher rate, overall affording you that extra day off.
Before you go
Before you go, if you enjoyed this article and are looking for other ways to manage your time and increase productivity, check out our article on Implementing a Four-day Workweek. For an enhanced experience on our zero-commission platform, try Revolancer Plus free for 30-days. Did you catch the news about the exciting new client signed up to the platform? Read all about it in Revolancer collaborate with Hibernian Football Club.
Freelance marketplace: Revolancer