The Benefits of Remote and Contract Work for the Chronically Ill
Last updated: December 2021
Chronic illnesses can be debilitating. You could be thriving, agile, and able-bodied one day and unable to get out of bed the next. It's an unpredictable experience. But this isn't about pain, it's about the benefits of having a remote job or a freelance contract when in pain. At the beginning of my media career, I realized finding a remote/freelance job would help me to supplement my income when I was disabled. Some days physical ability wasn't my biggest problem. There were days I wasn't capable of being present mentally. Thus, I was not fit to be in a work environment with others.
I can take better care of myself working remotely
Freelance and remote work allowed and still allows me to take care of myself without the in-office bureaucracy. The way I started making money as a freelancer was honing in on a skill I could market as a service. Writing was my first choice. Over time, I developed additional skills to generate income. In the beginning, there were challenges with negotiating my rate. I was a new writer and needed more experience. Once I gained that experience, I raised my rates to support my lifestyle. My path isn't the only path, but it’s a good example of what can work.
Freelance and remote work gives me the freedom to visit my doctor or get important procedures done without having to answer to anybody. Working remotely might require checking with a supervisor first, but freelancers can make their own hours. One thing to keep in mind is that freelance work doesn't usually come with healthcare benefits so purchasing a healthcare plan may be required depending on if you have a 9 to 5 job alongside the freelance gig. Remote jobs can be freelance gigs and vice versa. Usually, remote jobs are full-time gigs that can come with healthcare benefits. So, this kind of work might be ideal for someone who can't leave their bed.
Freelance work is hard!
Freelance work comes with a lot of hustle and bustle. Some months you might have more contracts than you can keep up with, and other months, nothing. It's not by any means an "easy" route, but with the right tools and resources, it can be lucrative. It's worth the freedom. Out of the two, I think I like freelance work more because of the freedom it provides in my schedule. I always have to couple it with a 9 to 5 though just to afford healthcare benefits. Both can have tremendous benefits depending on what you're looking for.
Do you have trouble paying for your healthcare costs?