It's not employment. It's not freelancing. It's something else.
Look at the major costs of running a creative or strategic services agency. It comes down to two big items: people and offices. When times get tough, as they do in increasingly regular cycles in our business, adjusting these two items is difficult and expensive. Imagine a structure where those two costs are vastly minimised.
Consider the most important element that our clients really value: the people they work with. But people working in a structured and co-ordinated way together, with common systems, tools and standards.
AT UP THERE EVERYWHERE, we decided not to have any employees – we have members. We have a Leadership Team that meets weekly by Skype, eight people from three countries and two continents, who give a weekly business update and take key decisions. Like a traditional bricks and mortar organisations, you can’t just join us.
Over the past three years we have developed strict recruitment routines, systems and contracts that work for our model of e-ployment. We’re not talking about crowdsourcing either – a long way from it. Crowd sourcing is closer to outsourcing and, in our opinion, just a short sighted way of shedding costs that does not add long term value to the creative industries or even the clients.
A new way of working
So the future we believe is one where individuals will take responsibility for themselves, their lives and their own employment. These community organisations will provide structure, tools and a brand presence. People will work within teams that are globally connected and provide many aspects of the support of traditional employment, with the freedom of being an independent worker. It's e-ployment instead of employment.
All this is enabled via cloud based productivity tools. People will work within these global communities that will help them win work, and invest in ever more sophisticated tools that improve productivity as well as track admin efficiently.
They are not employed — they are e-ployed.