The workplace is changing and it would seem that we’re all shifting away from work-life ‘balance’ and towards work-life ‘integration’, and as a result, for the most part, our personal and professional lives are merging into one another.
The increased accessibility of technology allows us to work, regardless of where we are and instead of maintaining the 9-5 working model; people are increasingly expecting the freedom to work where they want, in the hours that they choose.
Whilst flexible working is not a standard across the board yet, it’s something that is or should be very much in the forefront of both employers and employees minds. I for one personally believe that the future is freelance and that flexible working and remote teams are actually more equipped to get better results. Here’s why…
Traditional agency models, especially the larger ones, can be very rigid in their structures – Regardless of their size, large agencies have established processes they need to adhere to. This makes them more expensive, as staff resource is being deployed regardless of whether it delivers direct impact.
It’s hard to recruit good staff and even harder to retain them – In agencies there’s often significant staff turnover because digital marketing is a space with increased demand. The best ones get headhunted and leave with relative frequency, making delivering consistent quality incredibly difficult, and huge amounts of time and energy are spent on recruitment as a result.
It’s not hard to find, or retain, good quality freelancers – An experienced freelancer is often very equipped with a wealth of knowledge of their market. Their reputation is what, quite literally, feeds them, so there’s a direct connection to the work they delivery that makes it quality and on time.
Continuity – For the most part, once somebody makes the jump in to becoming a freelancer, it’s for life, so as long as you continue to provide work, brief well and pay on time, you will retain that resource for as long as you want them.
Flexibility and family go hand in hand – We live in a day and age where one salary is seldom enough to sustain a family and for those of us with children, ‘sharenting’ provides a perfect solution to the increased demands that working and family life present. Most of my team have children and I am proud that I have a business that facilitates people spending more time with their family, less time commuting and as a result, delivering great work for our clients.
Just under two years ago I set up Manyminds, a digital marketing agency that is built up entirely of remote, independent freelancers. I hadn’t come across another agency like this before, so I viewed it as a bit of an experiment, my hypothesis being that ‘a group of freelancers with different skillsets collaborating will probably deliver better work’ than any agency model ever could, and so far, it seems that it’s working.