Design Workstyle. Freelance VS Teamwork

Design Workstyle. Freelance VS Teamwork Article considering benefits and drawbacks of freelance and teamwork in the sphere of digital UI/UX design. Based on experience of Tubik Studio designers.
Design Workstyle. Freelance VS Teamwork

Modern times and the development of technology have brought people many more ways and choices of their work style and routine. The broad availability of the Internet and its endless opportunities gave lots of workers, especially in creative spheres, a chance to be more flexible and resourceful about the organization of the work process, which is productive and convenient for all sides. However, all styles of work have not only their benefits but also drawbacks, and it’s really important for a professional to consider them before making the choice in favor of the particular working routine.

Most of the designers working in Tubik Studio have tried in practice both workstyles, which are typical for today’s designers in the sphere of web, app, and branding design: most started their path as freelancers before getting into the team. So, using the advantage of real-life experience, we would like to discuss the high and low sides of freelance or work in the studio or agency. Obviously, a lot of things have already been discussed in numerous articles on this topic, but perhaps our thoughts can also become useful for those who are considering the theme.


No doubt, due to the new technological horizons a couple of decades ago, freelance became the new and broad perspective of organizing work routines. It opened wide opportunities for talented people who could not leave their homes, such as the disabled or parents of babies and toddlers. This kind of workstyle brought easy solutions for a lot of problems and let the people realize their abilities against all the odds, so very soon, it was taken over and improved by a huge number of professionals in different spheres. The accents moved a bit: a lot of people made the choice of freelancing not because they didn’t need to go to an office but first of all because they could work for themselves and be the only people responsible for their own decisions, choosing the partners or customers and depending on themselves. Freelance workstyle gave them the feeling of freedom.


  • You are free to choose the projects and customers you want or do not want to work for;
  • You make your own choice of place and time of work;
  • You do not depend on other people and are able to estimate your own productivity;
  • You decide what kind of tools to use for any stage of the project you work on;
  • You don’t spend money on transport and other costs obvious for those who work in the office;
  • You control your workload and decide on the flow and priorities of projects;
  • You are totally responsible for your creative decisions and are free to stop working on the project whenever you want.


  • Less (or absent) guarantees of successful payment;
  • Less (or absent) guarantees of steady workload;
  • No support for creative blocks and problematic issues;
  • A great amount of time is spent on communication with customers, which can be not only time-consuming but also highly stressful);
  • Work under pressure of responsibility 100% of the time;
  • Absence or lower amount of live communication with colleagues on a regular basis;
  • No financial support in cases of sickness or holidays.


  • You are the person responsible for communication at all levels;
  • You are the person in the business controlling the financial flows, income, and expenses;
  • You set the deadlines and have to control them by yourself;
  • You work from home or any other place and should control the influence of the conditions on your productivity;
  • The scope of work you can supply is limited by your personal abilities and talent;
  • You have to be strong-willed and highly organized to efficiently separate your work time and personal time.

Bottom line
This way of work demands a high level of total and absolute responsibility in case the person wants to become really successful rather than just make a living. In the sphere of design, you have to become a “Jack of all trades,” being able to organize an efficient workplace, have fast and easy communication, keep deadlines, control finances, and improve as a professional all at the same time.


Talking about the design sphere, teamwork usually means that you become a part of a design studio or agency. Certainly, this style of work is different from the one described above, not only in terms of workflow itself but also in terms of process organization.

tubikstudio teamwork


– In most cases, a team consists of diverse professionals in design, and this gives a broad space of creativity and high chances of getting involved in complex design projects;
– Working in a team has a higher level of stability in workload, planning time, and finances;
– In many cases, it gives a faster way of successfully presenting yourself as an international design community as a result of the accumulated efforts of all the team members;
– Teams include not only designers but also managers who are a real and important support in terms of communication with customers, including the cases of solving conflicts and misunderstandings that are unavoidable in full-time creative work; moreover, it saves your time, which you are able to devote to pure creativity instead of organizational and communication issues;
– Team has a great advantage of brainstorming and collective mind that can become very supportive, especially in case of creative block or complex task;

project management discussion

– Team can take big and complex design projects, splitting the parts of it to the designers who are the most capable of producing final results good for all the team productivity;
– Team provides regular communication both with designers and managers, which is good for self-improvement and building social relationships;
– You have a clear separation of your working space and personal space, which is a vital condition of personal comfort for many people;

tubik studio

– You have a feeling of somebody to back you up that can give you more confidence;
– The team has more variants of promotion and presenting its members. In the case of the design sphere, it is sometimes a less time-consuming and faster way to get involved in the community and take the support and popularity of being a part of the team;

tubikstudio designers

– The flow of information exchange and circulation is much faster and more efficient increasing the level of general team productivity and problem-solving potential;
– Team can bring good friends into your life as well as inspiration and live energy absorbed from the other people around.

tubik studio designers

– You have to organize your routine according to the schedule of work with a team, whichever flexible could be the variants offered to you;
– You have to get ready to be a part of a group. It’s vital to know that even presenting yourself as a designer, you are working in the team and for the team;
– You are working in a set of restrictions, and in many cases, you are assigned the projects, not choosing the tasks but getting them for your consideration and accomplishment.

– You have to be aware that you are part of the team, but as well the team is an integral part of your image;
-You are always involved in more or less active communication flow, which is natural for any kind of work. That means that you should take into account the interests, habits, characters, and thoughts of other people around you;
-You have to consider not only your personal interests and prospects but also the interests and prospects of the team.

tubik studio brainstorm

Bottom line
Teamwork has its own responsibilities and seems more than freelance, although in most cases, it is an illusion. Teamwork provides the chance of taking the best from delegating responsibilities between the people who are the best for the role, so a designer has more time for pure design and creative work as well as professional self-improvement, not bothering so much about management and organizational issues.

tubik studio ceo


Definitely, none of the benefits or drawbacks are absolute: as all people are different, the methods of workstyle for their best productivity should also be various. No secrets or tricks; just one man’s loss is the other man’s gain. Some of us are amazing team players, while others prefer full responsibility and decision-making only on their own shoulders. None is bad or good; all those things are extremely individual.

tubik studio brainstorm

Inside the studio, we have gathered people who are consciously keen and able to take all the advantages of teamwork. It never ever means that any of them has lost their freedom, as all people in the studio have enough of their own private space and the chances of work not being disturbed. However, this kind of freedom is always supported with all the team who are invisibly behind you and ready to back up any moment it’s needed. So, we think that teamwork organized wisely and thoughtfully doesn’t take away designers’ individual space or freedom – vice versa, it adds to it the power of solid support and prospective ways for bigger and more complex, therefore more interesting and challenging projects and tasks.

Originally written for Tubik Blog.

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