When Coronavirus Quarantine Is Class Warfare

from NYTs It’s been a big week for what I refer to as “Hermit Tech.” Stock in technology companies that facilitate working from home have soared in a spiraling market otherwise anxious by an impending coronavirus pandemic. Netflix is preparing for the server strain of the bored but quarantined masses. Expensive Peloton stationary bikes and streaming workout services are seeing substantial spikes in interest. Tech guides are popping up suggesting everything from noise-canceling headphones, Wi-Fi signal boosters, and productivity hacks for families who’ll need to make close quarters work and life livable. As a Hermit Tech aficionado, this makes sense. […]

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Labor Dept. Says Workers at a Gig Company Are Contractors

from NYTs The Labor Department weighed in Monday on a question whose answer could be worth billions of dollars to gig-economy companies, deciding that one company’s workers were contractors, not employees. As a result, the unidentified company — whose workers, it appears, clean residences — will not have to offer the federal minimum wage or overtime, or pay a share of Social Security taxes. And while the decision officially applies only to that company, legal experts said it was likely to affect a much larger portion of the industry. The move signals the Trump administration’s approach to the way gig […]

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The Online Gig Economy’s ‘Race to the Bottom’

from The Atlantic You can buy almost any thing you want online—toothpaste, books, plastic devices that allow you to lick your cat. On digital work platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com, you can also buy nearly any service—often from someone halfway around the world, sometimes for just a few bucks. On Fiverr, one of the most popular of these platforms, you’ll find offers for someone who will write an e-book “on any topic”; a person who will perform “a Voiceover as Bernie Sanders”; someone who will write your Tinder profile for you, and someone who will design a logo for […]

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Leveraging The Gig Economy The Right Way

from Forbes The rapid rise of the gig economy has been stunning. Companies like Lyft and Uber have achieved enormous valuations – and the growth continues to be robust. Of course, none of this would be possible without smartphones, cloud computing and even AI (Artificial Intelligence). All of these technologies have converged – leading to disruptive changes. To put things in perspective, about 35% of the US workforce and 16% of the entire population is a part of the gig economy.  Yet this should be no surprise as gig economy workers have the benefits of earning money on their own […]

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This Hot Trend Could Make Freelancing A Lot More Fun — And Meaningful

from Forbes Bill Joy, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems once noted, “No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else.” Today, more leaders are waking up to the fact that many of those smart people are freelancers and contractors — who work for themselves, according to the 2018 Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report “The Rise of the Social Enterprise.” And that could be good news for freelancers who wish their careers weren’t just a random set of assignments and yearn to work with clients who can connect them with meaningful projects that have a common thread. […]

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53 Million Americans Are Freelancing, New Survey Finds

from Freelancers Union Freelancing is the new normal — and we have the numbers to prove it. More than 53 million Americans are doing freelance work, according to a new, landmark survey conducted by the independent research firm Edelman Berland and commissioned by Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk. That’s 34 percent of the entire workforce. The old way of working isn’t working, More than 53 million workers are showing a new way — and tens of millions more will likely follow. The new economy is already here — and it’s driven by freelancers. More here.

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The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself To Death

from The New Yorker Last September, a very twenty-first-century type of story appeared on the company blog of the ride-sharing app Lyft. “Long-time Lyft driver and mentor, Mary, was nine months pregnant when she picked up a passenger the night of July 21st,” the post began. “About a week away from her due date, Mary decided to drive for a few hours after a day of mentoring.” You can guess what happened next. Mary, who was driving in Chicago, picked up a few riders, and then started having contractions. “Since she was still a week away from her due date,” […]

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Working For Free (But Working For Yourself)

from Seth’s Blog Freelancers, writers, designers, photographers–there’s always an opportunity to work for free. There are countless websites and causes and clients that will happily take your work in exchange for exposure. And in some settings, this makes perfect sense. You might be making a contribution to a cause you care about, or, more likely, honing your craft at the same time that you get credibility and attention for your work. But just because you’re working for free doesn’t mean you should give away all your upsides. Consider the major publishing platforms that are happy to host your work, but […]

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Forget Coding—Here’s The Skill You Need Most When You Start Your Career

from Fast Company It used to be that the only way to climb a career ladder was to pick up more skills. Learn how to do X, get paid more for it, and earn job-title Y. Up you went. Each new capability you mastered got you to that “next level,” either inside your current company or at a different one. Today, many of those ladders have fallen and shattered, with just a few left standing. Lately there have been efforts to hammer together some new ones, with new skills—usually tech-based—like cybersecurity or coding expertise held up as the new keys to staying competitive in the future […]

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Tax Tips for Those Who Make Money in the Gig Economy

from NYTs Since losing her job in advertising during the financial crisis, Dina Scherer has spent her days helping women cultivate their own personal styles — finding flattering color palettes, editing closets and taking customers on shopping excursions. As a one-woman enterprise, she can be considered a card-carrying member of the so-called gig economy, receiving about half her client leads through Thumbtack, an online marketplace that connects consumers with an array of service providers, whether wedding photographers, music teachers, plumbers or organic cleaning services. But there’s a reason the gig economy is also known as the 1099 economy, with the number […]

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Defining ‘Employee’ in the Gig Economy

from NYTs There is a long history of businesses that try to deprive workers of the protections and benefits they are entitled to under the law by wrongly treating them as independent contractors, rather than employees. Now, some workers and regulators are accusing companies like Uber, which connects cars with passengers on mobile apps, of doing the same thing to the thousands of drivers, couriers and others who work for them. Agricultural businesses, textile mills, construction firms and other enterprises have often classified workers as contractors to lower their costs by, for example, not paying workers the statutory minimum wage […]

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