If you picked three Americans out of a crowd, statistics say that most likely, one of them will be a freelancer or independent contractor. With work flexibility growing along with an increase in millennial hiring, temporary workers are a thing of the future– a study by Intuit claims that by 2020, 40% of the workforce will be freelancing. It's a sector of the working world that is incredibly fast-growing– between 2009 and 2012, the number of temporary employees rose 29%. While you probably already are the best (you're in the creative industry, duh), we've got some tips on how to rock it as your office's non-full-timer.
1. Be hip to their jive.
Get it. Understand them as a company. Dress casual if they're casual, dressy if they're dressy. Spend time diving into their company policies and keep an ear to the floor to learn about the company structure. Reading up on the company mission can also be a great way to ensure your own working style reflects the goals and motives of the company.
2. Check in.
Though full-time employees often have bigger Big Picture projects in place than you, they've already proven themselves. As a freelancer, you may find yourself feeling like you have to prove yourself. You're working just as hard as everyone else, but checking in with the boss is how you're perceived as progressing in a project. It also makes you seem very attentive and considerate.
3. Chat 'em up.
Avoid the reputation of Chatty Cathy, but get to know the people you work with. If you're looking for this job to perpetuate future opportunities or if you're hoping to turn this gig into full-time, befriending coworkers is your in. Grab lunch with them, chat when you're getting coffee, show an interest in their lives. You'll be collaborating with these people, and being the friendly person is much better than "that guy who sits in the corner." Such a large weight is placed on personal compatibility between colleagues that you'd be a fool not to play the social card. Plus, it's fun.
4. Be there on time.
It's the equivalent of correct spelling - it's more noticeable when it's wrong. Arrive on time, and no one says anything. Come in late, and it'll get noticed. Being punctual for work hours as well as meetings and events shows that you repeat the workplace and you value yours and others' time. One more tally in the 'perfect freelancer' box.
5. School 'em.
Be the one who knows things that others don't. Be a resource, be a TED talk, be the one who knows keyboard shortcuts and can tell you how to get the temperamental printer to work. Go to classes, read articles, be a bridge to the outside world. When full-time employees get a new coworker, it's like a breath of fresh air, and you want to bring the air with the most knowledge. Then if there comes a time to work with you again, or even bring you on full-time, they'll remember the value you bring to the table.
Be aware of these 5 things, and you're in! Whatever you're looking for out of this freelance position, whether it's security or future opportunities, these tips will get you there.
A hot topic in social news these days is the modern working environment – it makes a difference in overall company success. It's not uncommon to see blog posts plastering the internet these days with titles like The Most Efficient Workspace for Productive Employees or Offices That Will Blow Your Mind. People want to know what'll make their workers productive, efficient, and happy employees, and there have been mixed opinions on what's the best. For every article criticizing the newest trend in office design, there's a counterargument pitching its benefits.
The two big players in the world of workspaces are the Open Concept and the Privacy Please Layout. Though the ideal spot is somewhere between them, these two have long been the heavy hitters. With a growing percentage of workers leaving the stereotypical "office" behind, two more options have emerged: co-working spaces and the home office. We’ll give you the rundown on the perks and drawbacks of each– you should figure out what'll work best for you.
Best Part: You feel cool.
Worst Part: Silence? What is that?
The open concept office layout was initially praised for the forced interactions it created. Can’t hide behind fuzzy carpet-walls, so you’re bound to be involving yourself in some interesting discussions, and that’s where the spark of innovation comes from, right? Facebook and Google were its original champions, so it was difficult for most of the world to ignore the potential staying power of workspaces that valued interaction over personal privacy.
Best Part: You can escape to your own space.
Worst Part: It’s obvious when you’re not working.
The oldest workspace in the book, Cubicle Land (Office City) is traditionally considered the most productive type of work environment. Companies with structure are thought to thrive, and an environment where hierarchy is obvious (he or she with the biggest office rules the land) will keep things in order. Combine that with the ability to choose what you do or do not listen to, and the only real downside to this layout is if you’re a chatter. People hear you, see you, and you probably can’t claim it’s a productive conversation (save that for the Open Concept).
Best Part: PJs
Worst Part: Lack of camaraderie.
Spending more time in one's house isn’t for the faint of heart, but when it comes with flexibility of work schedule (as it often does), who can complain? Home offices come with a dose of self control and communication skills, both good qualities for an employee anyway. The trouble with working from home is that you throw the baby out with the bathwater - though you eliminate the presence of pesky coworkers, the good ones are now gone, too.
Best Part: Flexibility
Worst Part: Paying
The newest workspace to hit the market is the co-working space. It’s for Home Office-turned-Semi-Open-Concept-ers. People who could work from home but want a piece of the Having a Coworker Pie whenever they want. Options, options, options: co-working spaces often have a few different environments (desks, couches, small rooms, etc) and are available to join for different periods of time and frequency, making them a pretty great solution to the worker who has varying types of needs from their workspace. Also, spending time in a co-working space puts you next to people who are potentially doing very different work from you (see above re: the spark of innovation). Networking events keep everybody friendly, and it can feel like you’re gaining a social club in addition to a working environment.
Pay attention to the type of workplace you might be entering when getting a new job– it can have more of an influence (good or bad) on your satisfaction and productivity than you think.