Employees in most industries who don’t enjoy the company holiday are able to spread their wings and go freelance.
There’s no doubt that company holiday parties are gaining popularity among workers as an opportunity to spend a bit of time with colleagues and get away from the normal stresses of working life.
Then again, for those who don’t have the choice to take time off or don’t like the idea of working amid a flurry of beers and celebratory cake, there is the option of planning a Pareto approach to job security.
Next door to the brewery stands Zinfandel Gin. Photograph: © Jeremy deger/Ascot, www.ascotfeatures.com
That’s right. It’s back. The company holiday.
A classic for a few years when the recession saw many jobs go into decline, the annual pub crawl means employees are once again free to get together for a fun afternoon and weekend away. And, crucially, they don’t have to work.
But for those who don’t want to fork out for their own holiday (and if you’re lucky enough to have someone to chip in for your travel costs, you’re living the dream), there are plenty of alternatives to borrowing a friend’s airfare.
The boom in professional freelance living has seen new ways of tackling the space crunch among office workers. Take the web-based Fiverr, which supplies perfect office accessories to those wanting a hobby as well as a paid project. A perfect yuppie surfboard, for example, is just £15 for around two hours of work.
Another option is Pingmint, a Berlin-based growing business offering websites, graphic design and video editing at a fraction of the cost of traditional firms. Indeed, its pricing for hiring one graphic artist in London is so competitive, the company uses algorithm-based pricing to determine an acceptable hourly rate.
Other professional freelance businesses are even using craft breweries in the UK to outsource their promotional events. Next door to the brewery stands Zinfandel Gin. Sommelier Ayse Güler at Zinfandel, which was founded in London’s Belgravia, has amassed an impressive database of wineries, distilleries and breweries – including three in the UK – to supply free booze to events and family parties.
“Last year we managed to take over around 100 parties in the UK,” Güler says. “Employers and employees regularly turn to us to arrange events and events around the house. If an office wants to have a barbeque on the weekend, we’ll arrange something similar for the pub.”
For those who lack the technical know-how or the options of sharing a space with a coworking club or flexible work, there are actually a whole range of tools that can provide individualized space for freelancers to work.
Netflix by Jabber allows people to share a space and facilitate collaborative working
With regular workers naturally keen to flaunt their very own “work friends” when they’re browsing new startups, using peer-to-peer services and software can bring considerable financial value and flexibility.
Netflix by Jabber, for example, allows people to share a space and facilitate collaborative working, while Zighatron, a paper shredder-meets-creative software, is designed to be used in a collaborative way by creative industries. Like many more solutions, it allows temporary day and night space without having to pay the rent or hire a space.
“We’re using technology to really simplify the connection with freelancers,” says Katy Blackburn, head of product at Zighatron. “The days of freelancers working every day on one desk and needing their own space are gone – now we can connect all of our users at the same time across any device.”
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