Three Ways to Improve Freelancing for the Individual & Client

When we read this post on LinkedIn, we couldn’t agree more. Tim Brown, CEO at IDEO, made a list of pros and cons of freelancing from a worker’s perspective.

Yes, freelancing is terrific in terms of creating a flexible schedule and work-life balance. As for the cons, there are very few benefits (if any), a lack of community and unstable work as well as pay.

From a company’s perspective, they save some cash by not providing benefit packages and then they can hire talent on demand as needed. It’s not all rosy for them either since there could be conflicting timelines such as wanting to hire a contractor who’s already working on a project. Factor in steep learning cuves and some legal constraints for long-term help and you’ve got a mixed bag.

By talking with his colleagues at IDEO’s Bay Area contract talent team, Brown created answers to the question as to how we may make the experience of freelancing better for both the individual and the client.

1. Change the title and get creative! Let’s ditch the notion of “independent contractors,” “temporary employees” or “contingent workers.” Instead, he proposes new titles include “social media maven,” “video auteur” or “UXpert.”

2. Treat freelancers like teammates. Their suggestion? Invite talent through company-sponsored programs like annual flu shots, office parties and community food drives.

3. Offer a robust package of benefits and financial services. In the piece he writes,Companies could share a flexible talent pool and offer workers discounted healthcare and retirement planning. And the network of businesses could pull from that pool in a more reliable way, saving them the time and expense of sifting through a slush pile of resumes or trawling LinkedIn.”