Friday, 5 October 2012

Staff or non-staff: that is the question

The balance between staff and freelancers keeps bubbling to the surface. Many moons ago we discussed freelance culture and the IR35 rules that related to people working as if they were employees of an organisation but through their own service company. MPs on the UK public accounts committee have recently complained about how many people in public service are paid through service companies but this good analysis on the BBC web site points out that it's usually the contracting company who benefit rather than the contractor. And it doesn't even go into the extra accounting costs of running a company!

The question of whether using freelancers is inherently good for business is an interesting one and brings us to another use of our term iProfessional ... as follows ...
The IPro Index is a landmark research study conducted by Monash University and sponsored by Entity Solutions about the contract workforce in Australia.
In this case the I stands for Independent rather than Interactive and the basic message is For instant productivity, engage a white collar contractor, as Entity explain on their blog. The study is wider than information technology but is definitely worth a read. You'll have to register for an email link.

Just what constitutes a 'freelancer' can be unusual as well. The most unusual I've come across is to break a software task into components that are run as competitions: code crowd-sourcing. This is the basis of Topcoder and there are currently over 430 thousand members of the community working on projects for people like DARPA, NASA and Intel.

So now not only can your processing and storage be in the cloud ... your workers can be as well!

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