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The Freelance Economy Provides Flexibility But Results in Fewer Relaxing Vacations According to New Report from HoneyBook

New data reveals that 43% of solopreneurs have felt the need to hide their vacations from clients because they don’t want to appear unreliable


HoneyBook, the leading business and financial management platform for creative entrepreneurs and freelancers, today released the first report dedicated to examining the vacation habits of self-employed Americans. This report comes at an important time since the number of individuals who choose self-employment over traditional “nine-to-five” jobs continues to grow. Key data from HoneyBook shows that, regardless of age or gender, a whopping 92% of freelancers work on vacation, a symptom of our “always-on” work culture. 

Moreover, nearly half of freelancers surveyed hide their vacations from their clients and 41% hide work from friends or a partner because they feel they should “be on vacation.” Also revealing, the data shows that men are most likely to spend time on a hobby when taking time off for reasons other than vacation while women are more likely to spend non-vacation time off taking care of a child --- further highlighting the challenges women face when it comes to balancing personal and professional life.

Drawing from a survey of more than 800 creative entrepreneurs and freelancers conducted from May 23 to June 9, 2019, HoneyBook uncovered the following findings.

The majority of freelancers work on vacation because they feel they must.
According to the research, 92% of freelancers work on vacation, and the majority do so not because they want to, but because they feel obligated. Furthermore, 43% of respondents have, at some point, felt the need to hide vacations from clients. 

“Our mission at HoneyBook is to support the rise of the creative economy by providing business management tools that give freelancers back the time to do the things they love and the confidence to take a break when they need it,” explained Oz Alon, co-founder, and CEO of HoneyBook. “The fact that 65% of surveyed members say they’re more comfortable taking time off from work now that they use HoneyBook, tells us that we’re moving in the right direction to create a solution for creative entrepreneurs.”

Millennials are the most likely to take “real” vacations.
Working from anywhere is the “new normal” -- a trend largely credited to millennials who favor work-life integration. However, new data from HoneyBook reveals that millennials aren’t the only ones who take work with them on vacation. In fact, 24% of Baby Boomers always do some form of work on vacation as compared to only 11% of millennials and 9% of Gen Z. 

HoneyBook’s data also shows that Gen X is less likely to fully unplug on vacation compared to millennials despite being the poster generation for demanding “work-life balance.” In fact, only one in four Gen X “usually” or “always” unplug on vacation, compared to one in three millennials. These findings show that digital technology empowers people to work from anywhere -- whether on vacation or not -- no matter the age.

“Unlike corporate America -- where co-workers help pick up out-of-office slack -- solopreneurs must rely on themselves, leaving them hesitant to take any downtime. Can they really ignore their email and rely on a vacation responder when they have multiple clients in their pipeline?” continued Oz Alon, Co-founder, and CEO of HoneyBook. “That’s a big issue because taking time off helps replenish creative juices and boosts productivity when you return to work. By creating tools that streamline and automate administrative tasks, HoneyBook helps give freelancers the freedom to take a holiday and recharge.”  

Female freelancers can’t catch a break from gender norms when it comes to time off.
The data reveals that almost 65% of female freelancers say that they have felt the need to hide that they are working on vacation from their significant other and/or family, compared to only 41% of men -- further evidence that women may feel more pressure than men to deprioritize their careers to be fully present for their families.

Furthermore, when not taking a vacation, men are most likely to spend time off on a hobby while women are more likely to spend time off caring for a family member, be it a child, parent or relative.  

Savvy freelancers can automate many of their procedures enabling their business to continue running even while on vacation. Managing inquiries, on-boarding new clients, sending brochures and proposals, processing payments, sending reminders and many more processes are made easy with HoneyBook. To get expert tips on how to take time off as a freelancer and see the full report from HoneyBook go to (Coming Soon!)

HoneyBook surveyed 808 creative entrepreneurs and freelancers to better understand the vacation habits of the self-employed in an “always-on” culture. The survey was fielded from May 23 to June 9, 2019.

About HoneyBook
HoneyBook is the leading business and financial management platform for solopreneurs and freelancers. Over 75,000 creative entrepreneurs connect through its platform to manage their business, collaborate and book clients -- all in one place. HoneyBook enables creative entrepreneurs to focus more on doing what they love and less on administrative tasks like invoicing and payments. From the first reply to the final payment, HoneyBook makes it easy for people to book their ideal client faster, more frequently, and with less legwork. Founded in 2013, HoneyBook is based in San Francisco and funded by Citi Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and Aleph. Learn more at

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