One clear winner from a year with so many lows (2020) was the distributed workforce. By so many accounts it was truly a Goldilocks year for the concept. Our hand may have been forced but we may be finally able to jettison the stigma of remote working being incompatible with productivity and see the benefits of a more progressive approach to how work is done well. And for so many of us, we just had to make it work.

But as the world finally embraces remote working in a collective way, I think it’s important to appreciate that working remotely…

What hubris, what arrogance, on all our parts, to think that IR35 tax reform was the worst thing to happen to us in 2020. The entire freelance economy — freelancers and hirers alike, were preparing themselves for an Extinction Level Event on April 6th when the UK government’s tax legislation reform was due to be implemented.

Step to the plate, the time-honoured and democratic right of petitioning those voted to represent us.

And whilst that five hour stretch of time did lead me to think I had supernatural petitioning powers, I (might) concede that the delay would have been…

The 2020 Freelancer Awards COVID Edition branding
The 2020 Freelancer Awards COVID Edition branding

In its sixth year, the YunoJuno Freelancer Awards Ceremony (or the Sweet FA’s as we affectionately call it) has been a highlight of our calendar year. We started the event because we saw a vacuum in how freelancers were recognised or celebrated — especially when they play such a pivotal role in so many of the creative and tech projects they are employed on. For so many organisations, whether the motivation for hiring a freelancer is strategic or commercially, they have become a company’s secret sauce.

But in thinking about this year’s event, we couldn’t ignore the incredible turbulence that…

If you make location an issue, it’s bound to be one.

“Did you get caught in the storm? “
“No...”

There’s a temptation to think that being or hiring ‘remote’ is a leap into the unknown and the unaccountable. Work in tech long enough and you will have your own war stories of outsourced work that never really lived up to quality expectations or heard the line sold by most off-shoring companies — “we work whilst you sleep” — only to be terrible for the work as well as your sleep. …

There comes a point in most people’s lives when your parents, guardians or educators stop being responsible for how you think. The job then falls on yourself to make sense of what you see in the world. And if something doesn’t add up, it’s up to you to figure it out. To expand your worldview, to gain a perspective through other people’s perspectives.

There’s a line in Walt Whitman’s epic poem Song of Myself —

“I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.”

I find this line so powerful as I think…

Yesterday my company (YunoJuno) just sent out an email (written by me) about a scenario we are seeing take shape in the UK freelance industry and very particularly an option becoming more attractive to organisations on YJ and elsewhere when hiring freelancers. The email was met with some pretty strong opinions. But after Linkedin kept cutting off my posts with their character limits, I’ve turned to old-faithful Medium to do a full response. And because I’m apparently a lazy sod, I feel I can now justify cutting and pasting my response from one of those threads here.

But to set…

If you combined the swagger of Mr White, Blonde, Pink, Blue, Brown and Orange in the opening credits of Reservoir Dogs and Rosie Perez’s epic opening dance moves in Do The Right Thing, that’s about the level of confidence I wanted to wander through life. But unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. Ever since my mid-teens I’ve suffered from anxiety. That single statement took me about a decade to admit to myself and probably the same again to do anything about it.

There was a time when my default reaction to mental low-points was to simply withdraw from any human…

YunoJuno’s company culture is incredibly important to me, as it is with my co-founders. When we started YunoJuno in 2012, we selfishly wanted to build a company that we ourselves wanted to work for. We had each been in companies that not only made the day-to-day experience enjoyable, but also empowered people to collectively achieve a common goal. We thought that was a pretty decent place to start in recreating that same environment for YJ. (That and Brian Chesky’s brilliantly simple advice on company culture.)

As we started to venture down this road, one of our earliest learnings was that…

Here’s a statement I hear more often these days:

“Cool platform (dudes), you’re really disrupting the recruitment industry.”

Man, I hate that statement.

I hate it mainly because of what it says of how I’ve failed to communicate appropriately what it is we’re actually trying to do here at YunoJuno.

So a few months ago, my co-founders and I decided to better articulate our vision for YJ — for us, for the people in our company, and for the community of freelancers and employers/clients who continually drive what we build and how we operate.

This isn’t meant to be a…

(But for different reasons than most people think.)

For the good part of my working career, freelancing was a dirty word. A freelancer walking the corridors of a creative or tech studio would be met with suspicious eyes usually reserved for the politically unreliable in a black & white Cold War film.

Freelancers were a studio’s lone wolf, the mercenary called in because either: a) the studio’s favourite people were away on holidays; or b) a project was due for delivery in three days and the only way of avoiding the imminent client shakedown was multiple freelance bodies working around the clock to deliver a miracle.

But this…

Shib Mathew

Founder & Chairman of YunoJuno.com. I believe the future of work is freelance. Mental health advocate. High tolerance for most things except impoliteness.

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