Freelancer vs Remote Worker : How to Choose the Right One for You

There are 2 major ways to work online in the west, one is to become an independent freelancer and two is to become a remote worker – as a soft landing from your 9-5. If you find yourself overthinking both work online options and almost giving up because you can’t seem to choose one, breathe…because I got you! 


You’ve probably read other articles online about the best way to work online which is nice, but in this blog post, I promise to give you some perspective to make choosing – either freelancing or remote work – a breeze for you. After reading this blog post, you’ll understand:


Who a freelancer or remote worker is

The pros and cons of being a freelancer or remote worker

Questions to ask yourself to choose the best option, that’ll give you more freedom and hopefully no regrets in the future (fingers crossed).


Without further ado, settle in as we explore freelancer vs remote worker, to help you choose wisely. Let’s roll!


Table of Contents

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Who is a freelancer?


A freelancer is a self-employed person who runs their own online business, working from anywhere they choose. Imagine yourself working from your couch as a social media manager/marketer, counting your coins. #boss


With regards to how freelancers work which is on a ‘gig’ basis, they usually perform tasks for multiple clients across different industries. These tasks vary and require the freelancer to use a variety of skills from their skillset and experience box (mostly learning on the fly).


For example, a freelancer could copywrite for clothing brand in one project and simultaneously design websites for a travel personal brand.


The projects freelancers take on are often short-term or part-time in nature. This means freelancers have a flexible work schedule with 100% control over their time.


For services provided, a freelancer charges based on hourly rates, per project or ongoing contract terms. Freelancers often work with freelancer platforms like  Fiverr or Upwork and get paid via third party online platforms like PayPal, Payoneer or Stripe etc.


The pros of being a freelancer rock! Like:


  • Being the boss of your time and running your own show
  • Sweet freedom to work from anywhere you choose, at the times you set based on project deadlines
  • Opportunity to learn new skills on a daily basis and be pro-active
  • As a freelancer, the more projects you take on, the more you earn. This presents multiple income streams
  • Saving on commute costs and time
  • Opportunity to work with clients from around the world, which provides global work experience and exposure.
  • More time to spend with loved ones or binge Bridgerton whenever you feel like it
  • Immense personal growth in terms of self-discipline, accountability, drive and self-discovery.
  • Ability to upskill and earn more for your time.
  • The reward that comes from building a business and fending for yourself 100%
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But alas! Life isn’t always rainbows and chai tea and everything has it’s good and bad sides.


Downsides to becoming a freelancer:

  • No employee benefits like; health or pension plan, or paid sick leave and you’re responsible for handling your taxes (yikes!).
  • When working with a freelance platform like Fiverr or Upwork, lead generation could be affected by a late delivery or low-ranking gigs – this could mean less work and less money.
  • Most freelance platforms that drive leads to your freelance business will take a commission for each transaction which ranges from 20%-30%.
  • The third-party payment platforms freelancers use to receive funds, charge fees that ranges between 3.5% and 5%.
  • Work-loads vary due to competing deadlines and priorities. Also, there can be busy months and meh months that affect net income.
  • Tendency to overwork due to the expectation from clients to provide service around the clock.
  • Initial cash investment, depending on how you choose to start your freelance career.
  • You carry the burden of all administrative requirements for your work online.

Who is a Remote Worker?


On the other hand, a remote worker is someone who works full time for one employer/organisation, but is free to work from anywhere they choose (tempting I know)


Unlike freelancers who can perform tasks as a copywriter and then as a web designer, a remote worker has a clearly defined role according to their employer needs.


Remote workers often have a long-term contract with the company they work for, with a fixed schedule as per company work hours.


Besides being paid a fixed salary which is guaranteed every month (freelancers can only wish), there are numerous advantages to being a remote worker.


There are 2 ways to transition into a remote worker; 

1. By negotiating remote work options with your current employer or 

2. By applying for remote jobs online with platforms like OutsourcelyWorking nomadsIndeed jobs



Advantages of being a remote worker include:

  • Kicking commute time and costs to the curb.
  • Better work-life balance, with more time to spend with family and friends.
  • Higher productivity levels
  • Employer aka the company you work for provides employee benefits like a health scheme, leave allowances and bonuses.
  • Employer is responsible for handling your taxes which is awesome.
  • Salary is paid on a specific date by direct bank deposit or cheque.
  • General feeling of security knowing that come rain come shine, you get exactly $1500 in your bank account.

[To kickstart your remote work career, the blog post How to work remotely; a beginner’s guide will help you!]

However, downsides for remote workers include:

  • Increased need for meetings which could lead to mental exhaustion from video calls
  • Not possible for jobs that require the use of specialised equipment
  • No colleagues to gossip with aka isolation and a lack of social interaction
  • Prone to distractions while working from home, especially for people with kids
  • Confidentiality risks as other people may overhear company information
  • Has a fixed work schedule which limits time spent socialising  or impacts ability to be present in the moment
  • Tendency to get stuck in a routine and not learn new skills
  • Dealing with company rules and ever changing regulations

Should I become a freelancer or a remote worker?


To help you choose which way to work online between freelancing and remote work, get comfy, sip some wine and ask yourself:


  • What is my preferred lifestyle?
  • Do I have a cute baby girl to take care of or am I a single boss babe? Basically what are your routine responsibilities? 
  • What skillset do I have? Do I have enough experience or maybe it’s time to learn something new?
  • What are my financial responsibilities? 
  • How will this affect my mental health?
  • What are my long-term goals?
Answering these questions will give you perspective so you can choose what works best based on your priorities. 

[Ready to kickstart your remote work career, the blog post How to work remotely; a beginner’s guide will help you!]


Online work is not the future, it’s happening right now. It’s up to you to evaluate your motives, goals and decide if you want to join the bandwagon as a freelancer or a remote worker. The most important thing to remember is that you can choose, so choose wisely!


To recap:



– self-employed person who works from anywhere.

– usually performs tasks for multiple clients.

– projects are often short term

– has a flexible work schedule with 100% control over their time.

– is responsible for their own health insurance, tax, future financial plan.

– offers a variety of services based on their skill-set and experience.

– charges services based on hourly rates, per project or ongoing contract terms.

– gets paid via third party online platforms like PayPal, Payoneer, Stripe.


Remote worker

– works full-time for one company, but is free to work from anywhere

– has a clearly defined role(s) according to employer needs.

– has a long-term contract and works on long-term projects.

– has a fixed work schedule as per company hours

– employer handles taxes, health insurance and pension plan.

– usually performs a specific type of work.

– has a fixed salary plus benefits.

– gets paid by direct bank deposit or cheque.


And it’s a wrap! Did this blog post help you? Told ya!


Would you rather become a freelancer or a remote worker? Spill the beans in the comments below!


[To kickstart your remote work career, the blog post How to work remotely; a beginner’s guide will help you!]

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