Remote working is just the beginning. The future of work for highly skilled, freelance tech talent is Elastic Teams.

Are you one of the 88% of the workforce that is planning on freelancing in the future?

Or are you one of the growing proportion of tech workers already freelancing?

With 36% of US tech employees working as freelancers, we think there’s a good chance you are.

And – frankly – we think it’s a smart move on your part.

As the world has pivoted to radical new ways of working in the past two years, new remote and hybrid working practises have spread from the tech sector out into the entire global economy – and there’s no going back.

And with freelance revenues growing year on year 78% in the US and 59% in the UK even in the last financial year before Covid, why would you want to?

Freelancing is clearly the way of the future.

As Generation Z enters a very different workplace even to the one found by their slightly older peers, 50% of new entrants to the American labour force have chosen to start their working lives working as freelancers.

It’s possible they’ll collectively decide they want the careers and lifestyles their older colleagues experienced in the long-off days of 2019 – but we wouldn’t bet on it.

The great freelance trade-off

So you’re part of a growing club. But we all know everything has costs and benefits.

Freelancing is highly flexible, in fact, 45% of freelancers say it is the main benefit, with ‘freedom’ the second most popular at 25% and arguably the same idea.

Yes, you can work for a wide variety of clients, upskilling yourself and growing your experience courtesy of a far broader range of projects and products than you’d work on if you were in-house.

Yes, you can do this from wherever you choose – whether it’s the proverbial beach in Bali, or (more likely) your spare room.

Yes, you can work at your own pace, with methods and strategies that optimise your own productivity. You can do it all your way.

But what do you give up?

Freelance work is notoriously precarious. One month can be a feast, the next famine, and it can be totally out of your control which is which.

Unpredictable income is part of the freelance deal, of course – but nobody likes it. Stability is not something our Generation Z freelancers we mentioned above may prioritise – but what if you have more responsibilities?

Career progression, too, becomes difficult, or at least more complex. You may be able to validate your skillset – indeed, in tech there aren’t really any ways to fake it – but other than making yourself capable on more platforms, in more languages, or in more tools, how can you develop your career?

Freelancing, given its inherently ad hoc, project-by-project nature, makes this transition from execution to management difficult. And if you’re confirmed in your decision to not want to move in-house, that puts you in a bind.

And moving away from the ‘hard’ areas of work, there is a lot to be said for feeling like you belong in and are valued by the organisation you work for.

Freelancers are more than a Slack thread and an occasional invoice.

Freelancing has many benefits, but it can fall drastically short of the more abstract and emotional rewards work offers other than a cheque and a feeling of a job well done.

What if there was a better way?

The best of both worlds

Distributed’s Elastic Teams platform solves this problem.

Why choose between in-house and freelancing when you could have the best of both worlds?

Elastic Teams offer the benefits of being a permanent employee, while still retaining the variety of work you want to keep things fresh and keep your skills sharp.

It offers predictable freelance income, but also all the training, mentoring and career guidance you get on-staff.

Here’s how it works.

You register via our proprietary Elastic TeamsTM platform, where you can list all your various skills, the languages you can work in (code and spoken), and the kind of projects you want to work on.

Our automated matching engine then connects you with companies looking for freelance support for a specific stage of a project.

You’ll get information on the team you’d be working with, the organisation you’d be working for, when the project starts, and what remuneration you can expect.

The interface then operates as a project dashboard, with a chat interface and a progress function notifying you of tasks to complete, what stages your teammates are at and recording project milestones.

We’ve worked hard to make the experience as user-friendly and frictionless as possible.

With opportunities for training, we believe the platform solves the issue of career progression in freelancing in one swoop.

But don’t just take it from us. This week BT invested £30m in our Elastic Teams.

We’ve now delivered more than a hundred projects for 75 clients across 11 countries. Our Elastic Team members come from 25 separate countries across five different continents.

And we want to add you to this list.

To find out more about Distributed and how Elastic Teams can benefit you, get in touch here.

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