Out-of-office – Vacationing as a freelance developer

Even though working as a freelance developer offers incredible flexibility and autonomy in your work life, going on vacation is not as straightforward as just shutting down your laptop and heading to a road trip. So let’s find out how you can prepare for your well-deserved vacation and enjoy it to the max!

Afford to take time off

As a freelance developer, vacation days aren’t paid to you automatically. Hence, it’s important to take them into account when setting your hourly rates so that you can enjoy some time-off without needing to worry about finances. With a bit of planning, your dream vacation will soon become a reality.

If you want to enjoy 5 weeks of vacation per year, like in most traditional employment contracts, you should calculate your rate based on 47 working weeks per year instead of 52 weeks. Of course as a freelancer, it’s totally fine to count yourself even more vacation time because you have the freedom and flexibility to do so. Remember that you might also need to reserve about a week for possible sick leaves, if you don’t want to take them from your vacation days.

Organise your workload

Strategic planning skills will become handy when gearing up for a stress-free vacation. Prioritise the things on your to-do list, complete important tasks before your departure, and delegate non-critical work if possible. Most often you don’t need to get the world ready before taking some time off but it’s good to leave things organised so that you’ll have a smooth transition back to work after the holidays.

Being well-organised and proactive also makes you stand out positively in the eyes of the client. Inform them well in advance about your vacation schedule and make sure that they are aware about any pending deliverables that might be affected by your absence. This proactive approach ensures a smooth workflow and minimises disruptions, so that you can soak up the sun and explore new horizons in peace. You don’t want to spend your first few days back from vacation fixing up damaged client relationships.

Disconnect and set clear boundaries

As soon as you have let your clients and team members know of your availability, it’s time to set clear boundaries to your vacationing self. Freelance developers, as any other kind of self-employed people, might sometimes find it hard to fully let go of work and just unwind. But taking time to relax is a key part of a long and healthy career as an entrepreneur.

Set an auto-reply to your email and hide work-related apps from your phone. During your vacation, why not even limit the use of electronic devices or have phone-free days entirely. Quite a refreshing experience from the usual day-to-day work life where we spend most of our time staring at the screen. Setting clear boundaries will help you avoid scrolling through emails when you’re meant to be rechanging and enjoying life.

Ready, set, go!

In the end, taking a vacation requires a bit of planning but it pays off in spades. You will not only get a chance to unwind, relax, and recharge, but also most likely a motivation boost to unleash your full potential when returning back to work. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, grab your passport, and head to your well-deserved vacation!

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Linnea Erkamo - Head of Marketing

Linnea Erkamo

Head of Marketing