CAE Reading and Use of English Part 6
You are going to read four extracts from articles on freelance work. For questions 37-40, choose from the reviews A-D. The extracts may be chosen more than once.
There is no Boss
Anyone contemplating going freelance should bear in mind that to make a real go of it may well involve working harder than in an employed position. The life doesn’t suit everyone and many employed people see freelancers as a totally different breed of worker, doing something that they couldn’t do and wouldn’t want to. Freelancers can find that they have less free time than they used to and that they take on more than they should out of a reluctance to turn down any offer. Furthermore, they may find themselves working for less money as they go along, as any rise in the number of freelancers in their field can drive fees down as a result of competition – some freelancers will be willing to accept low fees just to get work. There are dangers for companies too: using a large proportion of freelancers can mean that knowledge that is crucial to the company’s operations lies outside the company itself.
As more and more people join the freelance workforce, it is perhaps time for an appraisal of this development. For the freelancers themselves, this means that a higher proportion of the working population consists of people who are free to decide on their own destinies, surely no bad thing. For companies, the development allows them ever-increasing flexibility, enabling them to adapt to changing circumstances quickly rather than having permanent staff who are underemployed at times. Freelance life, as anyone who does it knows well, is tough in some ways and to do well you need to be highly disciplined and organised, as well as hard-working and reliable – qualities that not everyone has when they are left to their own devices. A lot of employed people don’t see things that way at all, tending to assume that freelancers have an easy life in which they can ‘pick and choose’ what they do, and may choose to do little.
An interesting by-product of companies relying on a significant number of freelancers is that a gap can open up between those freelancers and the employed personnel on the premises. This can be problematic, for example with key personnel in a project not on hand immediately if something urgent comes up. On the other hand, the increasing number of freelancers has big advantages for everyone involved, in a wide range of areas including flexible hours, child care arrangements and matching personnel to specific requirements. It is common for employed people to envy freelancers their, perceived freedom compared to their own situation, but this is largely a myth. To maintain a regular and viable income in freelance work takes effort and the equation is a simple one of effort and reward – your income depends on how hard you are prepared to work.
Freelancers often take more responsibility for their work than employed staff, who can become bored and demotivated, and in this regard it can be said that the more freelancers there are out there, the better it is for companies. To ensure the smooth running of this set-up, companies need to manage carefully their relationship with the freelance workforce – a coherent and mutually acceptable attitude needs to be developed for dealing with people who cannot be treated in the same way as permanent employees. For freelancers, making a sustainable career can be a nerve-racking business, as it can largely depend on chance encounters, word-of-mouth information from other freelancers and unexpected approaches from potential clients. It is this high-risk factor that puts many employees off the idea of going freelance.
37 expresses a similar view to writer C on the consequences for companies of employing a large number of freelancers?
38 takes a different view from the others on the desirability of an increase in the number of people becoming freelancers?
39 takes the same view as writer В on the attitude of employed people to freelance work?
40 has a different opinion from the others on the extent to which freelancers are in control of how successful they become?