Self-employed; working together


A common misconception of freelance work is that it has to mean a career of working alone. Freelance collaboration is, in fact, increasingly feasible and rewarding. Many independent professionals are beginning to realise the opportunity to take on larger projects, working with other freelancers with similar aspirations. The more collaboration, the larger the scale a project can be.

Resources to enable collaboration

Several online tools have empowered such collaboration. In particular, project management apps are becoming increasingly visible in the arsenal of freelancers. Acting as online work hubs, they help teams of independents to track and manage projects together.

The innovation of such technology has allowed freelancers to realise collaboration to a degree that would be otherwise impossible. Software of this type is largely inexpensive and can be hugely rewarding. Nonetheless, free networks can also offer such collaborative opportunities.  

LinkedIn groups such as Coworking allow freelancers across different sectors to scout out talent and form enhanced services. For example, a business strategist, sales agent and PR professional can combine to attract clients that would be otherwise unattainable. By collaborating, each freelancers’ expertise can complement others’ and have their own skill gaps filled.

Below the cloud, a growing number of co-working spaces have spawned across major cities. Work.Life offers multiple locations in which remote workers can rent out work hubs, whether it be for a few hours or an entire year. Their Camden office was recently awarded Co-working Space of the Year by IPSE in commemoration of National Freelancers Day.

Spaces such as these provide freelancers the opportunity to collaborate with great flexibility and productivity as well as catering for crucial networking opportunities within the sector.  

Ensuring collaborations don’t go wrong

Not all collaborations are worthwhile, however, and there are several signs that particular collaborations should be avoided.

Explicit terms should be laid out between collaborators, citing each person’s responsibilities and payments terms, as well as a termination plan in case of unresolvable disagreements. Equity, too, should be upheld in regards to any decision making and client-communication in order to ensure healthy collaboration. Finally, it should be the case that throughout any such agreement each freelancer is aware that the agreement could end.

With this in mind, their other clients should continue to receive quality attention and work as to not be fatally neglected. Collaboration, when done right, can add huge value to freelance work.

Far from the misconception of a life working alone, it has never been easier for freelancers to collaborate and the benefits of doing so should not be ignored. 

Patrick Grady is IPSE’s policy intern. Patrick is a student at the University of Manchester studying economics and politics.

Meet the author

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