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John Kitching and Marfuga Iskandarova

Freelance workers, defined as independent own-account workers who provide goods and services alone (or with co-owning partners) but do not employ others, are the most common form of small business. Freelance working reflects, in part, a desire to enjoy greater control over working life, including hours of work. Using qualitative data from interviews with 25 high-skilled freelance workers in two professional sectors, architecture and publishing, this chapter investigates freelancer control of working time. Freelancers vary in their capacity to control work-time, conditional upon their bargaining power relative to clients which, in turn, rests on a variety of client and project characteristics. Freelancers engage in a range of practices to preserve and extend control of work-time scheduling and duration, and to resist client colonisation of non-working time. The chapter recognises the occupational heterogeneity of freelance work and its impact on struggles for work-time control.

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John Kitching and Susan Marlow