Diane Hall - The Frazzled Freelancer

Freelancer, Entrepreneur and mother of two...

Freelancers: so, we had a little snow last week, eh?

Freelancers have had reason to be smug this week.  As the country unsurprisingly ground to a halt through the snowfall and now freezing ice, those freelancers already working from home found their business was mostly unaffected.

As I’m one of them, I took great satisfaction when neighbours tried digging their cars out of their drive – desperate to get to work – that I didn’t need to do that.  I didn’t need to go anywhere to do my work nor did I have a boss to please.

The kids were off school from Monday – this didn’t send me in a panic like my employed friends.  I was at home anyway. (It started to become an issue when I got little work done – but that’s not weather related, more down to my husband and I producing such noisy children.)

Survival mode

I walked to the shop for bread and milk, took comfort from having a large, full freezer and a cupboard full of tins and thought, “I could cope with being holed up for a few days”.

Perhaps there were some employees who had sympathetic bosses and didn’t feel too bad about staying at home for a few days.  They’re the lucky ones.  But if this cold snap is going to carry on for the next 40 or 50 days, bringing more snow and inconvenience our way, would their bosses remain so understandable?

The lost billion

It was suggested by the media that the few days where people were unable to get to work cost the economy nearly a billion pounds in lost revenue.  A billion pounds!  Yes, I’m quite sure that company bosses would start to get itchy when their staff sit at home for days on end, unproductively and expensively.

Freelancers simply popped the kettle on, opened up their laptops, switched on their smart phones and got to work.  No different to many other days, I suspect.  They may have had kids running around in the background but at least they weren’t wasting precious holiday entitlement or foregoing pay to compensate.  Life carried on rather uneventfully.

We NEED to get this message out

Some freelancers may even have picked up more outsourced work.  Already being flexible and adept at delivering within short deadlines, some companies may have farmed work out to those with the technology and drive to be able to complete it, off-site.  It would have been expensive for the company boss to pay a freelancer whilst also paying dead money for the downtime of their staff, but if they had an order to complete or a customer to keep happy at all costs, this extra expenditure, on balance, would have proved its worth in the long run.

Freelancers should be using this cold-snap as part of their marketing at the moment. Get the message out there, in as many places as possible, that freelancers don’t stop just because the rest of the country doesWe’re superheroes.

Just maybe, if you do win work from a new client as a result of the disruption and you deliver, as always, above and beyond expectation, you may find this doesn’t go unnoticed.  Though that company boss may not be able to sack their staff by law, once they leave, they may think twice about replacing them.  You will have proved, first-hand, that outsourcing work can be a reliable practice.

Pennies are dropping….

If that company owner is any sort of businessman/woman they’ll have worked out another key benefit.  Freelancers are cheaper than in-house staff. If we get another severe weather episode next year, which we most probably will, that savvy company owner could have a workforce made up predominantly of freelancers – and their business won’t miss out on a thing when snowflakes fall.

David Cameron and Lord Sugar both recently praised freelancers, even going as far to say that they are integral to our country’s economy rising from the recession.  The severe weather we have just experienced – and will continue to endure – is proof of that claim.

Whatever gets thrown at a freelancer doesn’t matter – they’ll cope.  Not only that – they’ll deliver.

So, lots to be proud of this week, freelancers!  We’ve heavily contributed to keeping the company afloat and we’ve shown the world that we don’t stop – for anything.  Well, bar the world wide web ever exploding that is….

When the weather started to slow things down in this country, people looked to blame others.  “The gritters didn’t go out when they should, the salt supplies were too low, the government didn’t react quickly enough”…..yes, these were fundamental failures.  However, we should also look to celebrating a very important fact.  As the existence of sole traders, freelancers and solopreneurs has risen dramatically since the recession – quadrupling in numbers – we are building a workforce that are practically indestructible.  Severe weather?  Who cares?  No transport?  Don’t need it.  Disruption with childcare; schools closed?  So what?

I like to think of myself as indestructible, a superhero.  I’d be BloggerWoman!!

What would be your superhero name?!

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Written by Editor on December 7, 2010 and filed in Featured, Frazzled Freelancer, News, Opinion , , ,

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