We have several full-time employees hired through Upwork who spent the first couple of months believing they are full-time freelancers.
Is This Freelance At All?
The question is: If you’re engaged in a full-time capacity, with a regular pay, somewhat standard business hours, working closely as a part of the team, equally tackling the same work problems… Is this freelance at all?
Freelance is loosely defined. There are contract jobs, fixed fee project assignments, part-time consulting gigs, full-time roles, and everything in-between.
The more the desired flexibility, the smaller the pool of available jobs.
A part-time freelance job with flexible hours is feasible for a limited scope and often not a mission-critical project. The lack of regularity or predictability can be a problem for most organizations — especially when it comes to traditional jobs already available within the company.
Support The Company’s Mission
But it’s absolutely reasonable for services that support the company’s mission without the need of bringing in a complete team of full-time hires.
- Large SEO companies tend to hire SEO experts. But creative agencies, as well as local businesses, often prefer a freelancer.
- All tech companies hire full-time software engineers. But a regular business looking for a mobile app or a simple internal system can outsource that to a freelance developer.
- Creative studios hire full-time designers — this is the core of their business. But straightforward contracts for branding, simple web design for an internal platform, images for articles or social media statuses can be delegated to freelance designers.
- Publishing companies hire full-time writers. Regular businesses in need of website content or sales pages hire freelancers and agencies.
Whenever a service is the core offer presented by a company, a full-time hire usually makes sense. If this is a side activity within a limited amount of time (or solving a specific problem), freelancing is often a preferred approach.
Theoretically speaking, most jobs can shift to freelance when you target customers who need your services without aiming to build an entire department in-house.