Property prices, traffic and the rise of the remote working freelancer

Brian White our Creative Principle Consultant based in New Zealand discusses the positives and negatives of the remote working freelancer.

Here in little ole Auckland, the double whammy of traffic congestion and expensive accommodation has started to impact a lot of the creative freelancers I work with. House prices are driving many away from the central Auckland region and the prospect of up to 2 hours each way in traffic really dampens one’s enthusiasm for onsite assignments.

I am seeing some smaller businesses, starting to get into growth mode but not yet at a point where they can shift to larger premises (and larger rent) so looking to keep the perm headcount down warming to the idea of a contingent based workforce that can pop in to take a brief and then work remotely for overflow work or project-based work.

But there are numerous advantages for the remote working model for both client and the freelancer. I wrote on this topic a 2+ years ago and still is just as relevant today.

For the client

  • One less workstation to purchase and set up – especially when space is a factor
  • For project-based work like pitches and bespoke campaigns, being able to call in the resource on an ‘as required’ basis can make a big difference and help manage budgets where things are run lean and mean.
  • You save money. You’re not paying a salary for someone sitting there waiting for work to come in, so while you’ll pay a higher premium for that resource, you save in the long run.
  • Flexible hours can mean that the freelancer can do some of the work outside standard hours, so when you get to work in the morning you have some files ready for you to look at.
  • In some cases, the freelancer has a better set up at home with more powerful computers and full professional editing suites!

For the freelancer

  • Work from the comfort of your own home office where everything is set up how you like it.
  • The opportunity to make the hours work around your lifestyle – dropping off kids, going to the supermarket/gym when it’s not crowded.
  • Say goodbye to that 1 hour plus commute and spend that time working and getting ahead instead.
  • Being able to juggle numerous client/ projects.

Disadvantages 

  • not being able to ‘bounce ideas off each other’ in the workplace,
  • In some cases employing specialists for certain one-off roles, it can be a juggling act securing the availability of talent. When a few agencies are pitching for the same work, the skills can get snapped up pretty quick
  • There can be a bit of back and forth with emails/ phone calls to check in that the design is on the right track and so on, and there can be the odd miscommunication.

But  –  if from the outset we agree on determining outputs for work based on an hourly rate with client and candidate we can usually make something work for both parties. For example, it could be an expectation of ‘x’ amount of images per hour – or even quoting an estimate for the whole project, there are often a few different ways to make it work.

 

Brian has over 20 years experience in the creative industry and has a real passion for helping people realise their dream jobs and help companies secure the best talent. 

If you are looking for your next freelance role or looking for more advice on how to hire freelancers please drop Brian an email at bwhite@welovesalt.com 

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