freelancing

All posts tagged freelancing

Pitfalls of Contract Work and How to Avoid Them

Freelancing is often sold as a dream job. “Be your own boss!”Set your own hours!” Although those elements are certainly part of the package, the reality is that there is a downside to independent contracting. Some of these hazards are avoidable, some are less so. But being prepared offers a freelancer the chance to live their best life. Here’s how to identify and, when possible, avoid the pitfalls of contract work.

When Demand Dries Up

In most situations, an agreement between contractors and employers will outline the expected duration for any given assignment. Occasionally, this information isn’t available, and often circumstances can change. Example: For event-related freelancers such as graphic artists, event coordinators and performers, 2020 proved to be a black hole due to the pandemic. Most of these contractors expected to earn a certain level of income throughout the year, but when on-site events disappeared, so did their work. Circumstances changed.

In a less dramatic example, an accounting contractor who expects 40 hours a week from a client may suddenly learn they’re needed for only 10. How do they adjust to this new reality? While these scenarios are sometimes unavoidable, it helps to secure work well in advance and include scenarios such as these in contracts so they are accounted for when planning bills and finances.

When the Cup Runneth Over

When trying to plan finances around freelance work, some contractors have a tendency to overcommit. Avoid putting yourself in the position of stretching your bandwidth to the breaking point – particularly if it means doing so to keep up with a lifestyle beyond essential expenses.

No judgment – we all like nice things! – but a freelancer risks a lot more than a few luxury items if they come up short on a project. Failing to deliver, or late delivery, can be a reputation-killer. It could cost you future work with that client and may even end up in non-payment, depending on the severity of the situation. Take care to commit to only the amount of work that can be reliably delivered on time and at a high level of quality.

When the Taxman Comes Around

When receiving money as a 1099 contractor or freelancer, it’s important to set aside money for the IRS and to educate yourself on tax laws and procedures. This will help avoid being stuck with a huge tax bill (plus penalties) come April 15. Paying expected taxes quarterly and putting away 25-30 percent of earned income will help prevent an unwelcome surprise at tax time. It’s also advisable to consistently track business expenses and keep documentation. Hiring a CPA can help.

When Payment Is a Problem

Freelancing comes with some risk, depending on the clients a contractor does business with. Sometimes payment arrives late and the worker must make a choice: continue working and wait for payment or cease working. Although it’s tempting to keep working to avoid losing the contract, the client has breached the freelancer agreement. Hauling the client into court shouldn’t be your first instinct, but it’s important to hold them accountable and steer clear of clients who are late or absent on payday. Chances are, it won’t be the last time.

Freelancing can be a dream job, but it’s important to watch out and prepare for the potential pitfalls of contract work. PeopleCaddie can help by making it simple to find work, structure agreements, get paid consistently and on time, and take care of taxes and insurance, allowing independent contractors to sidestep some of their toughest challenges right out of the gate.

PeopleCaddie can help you navigate the pitfalls of contract work. Contact us to find out how.

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The Unique Value of the PeopleCaddie Ratings System

The Unique Value of the PeopleCaddie Ratings System

One of the more difficult aspects of job seeking for independent contractors has been conveying the value of skill, experience and past results to hiring professionals. Creating and updating resumes and portfolios takes time and effort, which can add up for workers on shorter contracts. Companies don’t always invest in or track the performance of contractors as they would their full-timers, leaving them at a disadvantage when attempting to attract future employment. For a contractor, putting your best foot forward often feels like an elaborate game of Twister.

And it’s no picnic on the other side. Recruiters increasingly rely on algorithms to sort through the first wave of job applicants. Even the old stand-by – references – are no longer a reliable resource. The transparency of information from candidate-provided sources has always been suspect at best, of course, but companies have also become skittish over time about potential legal liability, most commonly defamation.

PeopleCaddie has an answer to the problem: a unique ratings system that helps recruiters who access our talent cloud to better understand what a candidate may provide their company after hiring. Rather than relying on the vague qualitative analysis and uncertain motivations of traditional references, PeopleCaddie’s rating system quantifies the hiring and job-seeking process, transforming crowdsourced data into insights that help both employers and employees. Here’s how they work:

Quantitative vs. Qualitative: Making Hiring More Reliable

The varied priorities and personalities among managers and supervisors might lead one to draw dramatically different conclusions about the strengths and weaknesses of an employee than another. Rather than basing the hiring process on subjective criteria and opinions – qualitative analysis – PeopleCaddie is reinventing traditional hiring using standardized quantitative measures. And because every PeopleCaddie contractor is required to accept our terms of use, all reviewers are indemnified against any liability related to their feedback, allowing them to provide ratings without fear of legal ramifications.

The PeopleCaddie ratings system covers three key areas:

  1. Quality of work
  2. Timelines of work
  3. Contractor professionalism

Contractors are rated by former employers on a scale of 1-5 stars within each of these categories, and PeopleCaddie combines those scores to assign the contractor a composite star rating. This helps employers searching for contractors to quickly identify top candidates and compare them against one another.

Trustworthy References: No More Unverified Sources

Under the traditional hiring system, checking references was a difficult, time-consuming process that often couldn’t be verified. A hiring manager might know that a candidate worked at Company X, but they couldn’t be certain who that candidate worked for or reported to directly. A candidate had the ability to cherry-pick their best references – perhaps even peers or friendly colleagues willing to speak in glowing terms.

On the PeopleCaddie platform, however, a candidate’s rating must come from a person who was responsible for approving their timesheets or directly supervised the contractor at a previous employer. Our database even indicates how many ratings a contractor has received from employers within our network, as well as who within each company provided that contractor’s rating. And if a candidate hasn’t previously worked for a company in the PeopleCaddie network, we take the necessary steps to verify the person identified as the candidate’s supervisor, leveraging resources such as our proprietary user network, LinkedIn, Zoominfo and others in order to ensure that our clients have the benefit of full transparency.

Hiring is an inexact science. The stakes are high and the success rate historically has tended to be lower than most employers care to think about. But with a quantitative candidate evaluation system and reference verification, PeopleCaddie clients have the resources to remove the guesswork from hiring to bring on contractors confidently.

Interested in learning more about the PeopleCaddie ratings system? Contact us!

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The Great Resistance Analyzed

Two years after the pandemic forced much of the American labor force out of the office and into work-from-home mode, many workers have learned something: they liked the change. No commute. More time with loved ones. Flexibility to run errands or handle appointments. The benefits of remote work are undeniable, perks that many workers had never before experienced – and are now reluctant to give back. It’s being described as The Great Resistance: workers who, after being sent home during the pandemic, are reacting to the current push from employers to return to the office by pushing back themselves.

What does it mean for business? How about labor? And, particularly, independent contractors? Let’s investigate.

Employees Hold the Upper Hand During the Great Resistance

It’s no secret that today’s workers are enjoying virtually unprecedented leverage in the employer-employee relationship. Many companies, after retrenching or completely shutting down due to Covid, have struggled to ramp up production again and are experiencing The Great Resistance. An eagerness to re-staff, combined with retirements and pre-retirement age employees choosing to leave the workforce entirely during the pandemic – also known as The Great Resignation – have created a record-high number of job openings. Meanwhile, organizations have been scrambling to offer higher salaries, improve benefits and generally bend to the will of labor in order to attract the best talent and dissuade current employees from looking elsewhere.

But many business leaders seem to be drawing a line in the sand when it comes to work from home. In May, a leaked email from Elon Musk mandating a minimum 40-hour in-office week for Tesla employees contained the stern subject line “Remote work is no longer acceptable.” (Asked to consider the stance of Tesla employees who were critical of the policy, Musk tweeted that “They should pretend to work somewhere else.”) JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has made similarly dismissive public comments, saying in one interview that “people don’t like commuting, but so what?”

No matter how impatient employers may be with the labor market’s shift toward normalizing remote work – and the logistics issues it can raise – antagonizing employees (especially in this moment) is a dicey approach. Also: It won’t do any good. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 76 percent of people with access to an office who are instead working from home say they’re doing so because they prefer it – up from 60 percent in 2020. The genie is out of the bottle. Remote and hybrid work, like them or not, are here to stay.

Opposition to an Office Return: an Opportunity for Businesses 

There are some valid reasons for employers to urge workers back into the office. Some businesses require on-site labor in order to operate, the vast majority of whom have already returned. Others simply run more efficiently when staff is able to make smoother project handoffs and collaborate in a shared workspace. A recent study even found that remote work yields fewer creative ideas than the typical in-office model.

But rather than staunchly opposing work from home, companies should consider finding ways to embrace it. In many cases, it’s possible to find a reasonable compromise even when a full remote option for every employee isn’t feasible. At the very least, offering WFH Fridays or a set number of monthly remote-work days per employee signals to workers that a company hears them and acknowledges the new paradigm. Turning a “So what?” into a “So where?” can be the difference-maker that helps a company attract  and retain the best employees.

Need help navigating the current labor market. PeopleCaddie can help. Check out how by clicking here.

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Rethinking Workplace Benefits

In today’s job market, companies are facing stiff competition for skilled, reliable and qualified employees. In the current labor climate, one of the major deciding factors for workers evaluating open positions or job offers are the workplace benefits that come with a role.

Just as the job market is changing, workers have begun prioritizing benefits differently. Here are a few important considerations for employers trying to stay a step ahead of these changes:

Traditional Employee Benefits

For many years, the typical series of benefits companies offered to attract employees was fairly standard: health insurance, vacation/PTO, sick leave, and pension/401k with possible contribution matching.

In many cases, however, employees either didn’t have the need or felt unable to access at least some of these offerings. For instance, a married worker who was already covered under their spouse’s health insurance wouldn’t benefit from a second health plan. Additionally, many employees have avoided taking advantage of paid time off, concerned that their absence might place a burden on their coworkers, company or customers.

How Covid Changed Worker Priorities

The upheaval of the pandemic turned the labor market on its head – and with it, worker expectations. After employees began working from home, weaving child care into their work days and building more flexibility into their lives, many workers began reevaluating the traditional work-life balance.

Working from home also allowed employees to eliminate their commutes, resulting in more personal time and, in many cases, healthier habits. Remote work allowed for more sleep, home-cooked meals, workouts between meetings and spending more time with loved ones. These lifestyle changes, for many workers, have become non-negotiable even as companies begin angling toward a return to the office.

Adjusting to New Benefits Expectations

Given the shift in the labor market, with employees now holding as much leverage as they have had in decades, most companies are (wisely) rethinking their benefits packages and asking questions they possibly haven’t considered in years: What do employees really want? What are competitors offering in terms of benefits?

Because work-from-home is a benefit that has climbed the list of typical worker priorities, employers willing to offer the option will want to determine its boundaries. For example, if an employee is allowed to work outside the office, is the benefit restricted to their home or can they work anywhere – a coffee shop, the beach, out of the country? How might a worker who takes a break to run a quick errand be handled from a payroll standpoint? Are these moments considered PTO or should they be treated the same as a conversation at the water cooler or a restroom break in the office?

And what about hybrid work? How does an employer determine which days a worker is required to be in the office? Should the decision be left up to the employee? If so, how will workers sync up on projects if their days in office don’t align? A hybrid model may still work when collaboration between colleagues is necessary, but employers should give plenty of advance consideration to whether and how it fits into their business.

Ultimately, today’s workforce is looking for flexibility – flexibility in work location, hours and sometimes even tasks. Until the labor market shifts yet again and jobs become more scarce, employers should continue evaluating and adjusting traditional benefits, and find ways to offer workers the flexibility they seek in order to compete for the top talent in the job market.

Need more insights on how to manage your labor force? Check out the PeopleCaddie blog.

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Part-Time Employees Vs. Contractors: An Examination

A question for employers: Are all employees created equal? Or, more aptly, should they all be treated the same? No one doubts that full-time employees, part-time employees, contractors and seasonal employees all deserve certain basic rights, considerations and courtesies, of course. But does it actually make sense for employers to approach each of these different types of roles in a similar fashion? If the objective is a well-connected, well-oiled workforce, then the answer is yes.

Consider one example: When a company hires part-time employees, they may work 20 hours every week for a full year. In the case of a contractor, they could work full time for six months and then not work for the next six months. At the end of the year, both employees have worked the same number of hours, and theoretically they have contributed the same amount of work to the company.

Why, then, are part-time employees often considered “internal,” while the contractor is considered part of the company’s external talent pool?

It’s a fundamental question framed by urgent immediate context: In the midst of the current labor shortage, more companies are looking to freelancers and contractors to supplement their workforce. But these organizations may not currently be equipped or have processes in place to properly manage this mix of traditional employees and independent contractors. Where should they begin to align?

Communication is key. In the workplace, this goes for communication about projects and work tasks, as well as human resources and employee information. Contractors often serve roles that are similar or identical to those of other employees, so failing to deliver them the same (potentially business-critical) information could actually be detrimental to the company. And in this labor market, with more businesses adopting hybrid work schedules, it’s even more important that all staff is working from the same playbook in order to complete deliverables.

Managers and employers should view all of the various worker classifications (traditional W2, part-time W2, contractors, freelancers and consultants) as essential components of a single combined workforce. This will result in improved efficiency, higher productivity, clearer communication and, not to be overlooked, a more unified workplace staffed with more satisfied employees.

Those are all worthy goals, and there are tools available to employers to help achieve them. PeopleCaddie makes it easy to get in touch with former contractors, hire and onboard whenever needed. Let’s say a software contractor has just finished a project, but it’s necessary to bring them back for modifications, enhancements or product support. A freelancer is more likely to return to an organization when they were treated well during their first stint supporting the company. When an employer treats their contingent workforce the same as the company’s other employees, they’re more likely to develop solid relationships and ensure that they cultivate a pool of reliable resources.

And what organization wouldn’t want to bring in an employee who is already familiar with their co-workers and company processes, and who has already been integrated into the company culture? That employee will undoubtedly have an easier time being brought up to speed, and they figure to make for a better immediate fit than a candidate who is completely new to the organization.

Think of contractors the same as you do full-time staff and offer them the same communication. By integrating the two talent pools and demonstrating that they receive equal consideration from management, you’re more likely to build a productive, united workforce.

Considering adding contractors to your workforce? See how PeopleCaddie can help.

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Minimize Stress in the Workplace

Stress is making workers sick. From high blood pressure to heart disease to mental health issues, employees are increasingly at risk due to stressors in the workplace. Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford School of Business, recently told the Boston Globe that more than 100,000 people in the U.S. die each year due to adverse work conditions. That figure, which doesn’t account for workplace injuries, reflects only those deaths tied to “workplace management.” As American workers push themselves harder than ever to get ahead (or just maintain their place) at work, businesses are striving to do more with less – and employees are feeling the strain. Despite this grim development, employers can find ways to minimize stress in the workplace.

Stress manifests itself in different ways in the work setting: employee absences, increased doctor visits and extreme moods or outbursts, for instance – and it’s important for employers to watch for these signs and adjust accordingly. Supervisors and business leaders control many of the factors at work that ensure a colleague’s workload is manageable and their environment is comfortable and conducive to productivity.

Let’s say a typically productive employee begins slipping – calling in sick or showing physical signs of stress, such as exhaustion – it’s a good time to check in with the employee. Tactfully, ask how they’re doing. A conversation alone can help minimize stress. Are they overloaded? Do they feel they’ve been forced to take on too much responsibility? Is there anything that can be done to help ease their burden at work or, if possible, make things easier outside the office? The nature of the employee’s difficulties may not fall within the scope of the workplace, but even just a bit of empathy can show a worker that they’re valued. Regular check-ins open a dialogue that could help a colleague manage and possibly solve their problems.

Today’s workers are under extreme pressure to produce. With post-Covid staffing shortages and increased costs of doing business, working – whether in or out of the office – can be an intense and difficult experience. Quotas and sales figures hang over the heads of many employees. And in our increasingly data-driven society, key performance indicators (KPIs) add new levels of stress for others. Under pressure to hit their numbers, employees may work extra hours, possibly foregoing sleep, exercise and down time with family.

In light of all this, employers should prioritize providing resources to help employees minimize stress. Offering a medical plan that includes mental health services can help workers seek help when needed. Offering a “quiet room” or a day off to a stressed out employee can make all the difference. In one study, doctors took blood pressure readings of employees under extreme stress and noted their elevated numbers. After a 5-10 minute break in a quiet environment, when the immediate stress had subsided, those individuals’ blood pressure readings had decreased.

Again, check in with your employees on their workload, stress levels and, if appropriate, home life. Establish a process for evaluating workers and helping to lower their stress and anxiety. These processes might include reviewing the employee’s workload, meeting with the employee to determine the sources of workplace stress or connecting the employee to healthcare resources. Reducing stress in the workplace has a cascading effect on productivity, but hopefully we’re all looking out for the well-being of our colleagues simply for its own sake. It’s up to employers to set that example.

Looking for more tips on managing your workforce? Check out the PeopleCaddie blog.

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Rethinking Hiring Habits and Norms

There was a time when college credentials held more weight in hiring than they do today. Fresh from commencement, graduates would often have more chances of obtaining a job than someone with commensurate experience. But today, particularly in the field of information technology – and especially in the private sector – skills are beginning to outweigh education. Companies are rethinking hiring habits and how they evaluate and hire employees.

Historically, degrees had been a proxy for certain capabilities. In the rapidly changing tech industry, however, companies are taking a closer look at candidates who have deep practical experience even if they don’t have a degree. For example, a prospect with four years of real-world software-development or system-administration experience might find it easier to compete for a position than a candidate who has a four-year degree and no experience.  

In rethinking their hiring habits, recruiters must also consider how an employee will fit within a company’s corporate culture. An IT professional with experience is likely to need less support from their peers to be brought up to speed than a new college graduate. This makes for a smoother transition and onboarding experience, and less strain on the company’s workforce.

The technology sector, in particular, has a high rate of turnover, as professionals are often engaged through finite-duration contract jobs, and employers are constantly competing for skilled workers. From the standpoint of both return on investment and productivity, it’s critical to minimize the time it takes to onboard,  train, and offboard an employee.

As recruiters and human resources professionals strive to make the hiring process more efficient and cost-effective, many are relying on artificial intelligence to take a first look at incoming resumes. AI models can pick up skill-specific keywords, which makes recruitment more effective. College degrees become almost irrelevant – or are at least weighted differently. Relevant skills diminish the importance of a degree as a singular criteria.

While some industries will benefit from requiring a four-year (or longer) degree, others – such as information technology – are attuned to demonstrated, relevant skills. On the bleeding edge of technology, time is of the essence, skills are quickly rendered obsolete and workers have to keep their skills sharp with real-life experience. A worker who has shown they can do the job right now brings special value to the table.

Employers and their recruiters should re-evaluate their own hiring protocols, deciding whether skills or schooling should be weighted more heavily during recruitment. The decision might mean the difference between a costly and inefficient hire who is saddled with increasingly exorbitant student-loan debt and an easily onboarded and valuable employee who doesn’t need the additional compensation to service their debt.

Rethinking your hiring habits? You might want to consider contingent labor. Contact us to find out how PeopleCaddie can help.

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Rethinking Workplace Norms to Combat Labor Shortage

Companies across the country are contending with persistent labor shortages, and customers are feeling their pain. To combat this ongoing labor shortage there are potential solutions rooted in flexibility and a willingness to consider rethinking workplace norms. 

Recent figures from Goldman Sachs indicate there is a shortage of 4.6 million workers in the current labor market. Reasons for the shortfall range from candidates and employees being sidelined by post-Covid health issues to a reticence to return to the office and leave a more flexible and family-friendly work-from-home environment. Some of these issues figure to affect labor numbers for years to come.

Many companies are adjusting to the new reality by branching out from a traditional permanent workforce model and embracing a contingent labor force made up of freelancers and contract employees – and with good reason. Organizations that hire only full-time employees can restrict themselves and create a situation where they may not have the resources they need. More and more, companies are turning to freelancers and contractors to solve staffing issues. 

There are a few adjustments employers can make to fulfill their staffing needs, while retaining existing employees.  

Redefine the concept of an employee. A growing number of workers are joining the gig economy, and to remain agile and well-staffed, companies are embracing this change. Additionally, companies are also leveraging part-time resources. That might mean allocating two part-time contractors to one FTE position, or outsourcing specific projects to contractors or freelancers.  

Offer flexibility. The pandemic reshaped the way workers think of and approach their workdays.  For example, a former 9-to-5, in-office employee may now have a healthier work-life balance after working from home much of the past two years. For some families, school and daycare situations have changed completely, and many are not willing to go back to the office full time. Employers can potentially engage this workforce by allowing employees to work remotely or work a designated number of days from home on a hybrid basis. Happy employees are productive employees, and rethinking workplace norms by accommodating the childcare flexibility needs of a working parent could be the difference between having a productive employee or an empty box on your org chart. 

Make the process easy. There is a lot of competition for labor these days. At the same time, many independent contractors struggle with juggling clients, billing cycles and collections. Streamlining all of it through a talent cloud service such as PeopleCaddie can make an employer more attractive to highly sought after independent contractors. Enjoying the flexibility of being a freelancer, while being paid like an employee can be a potent recruitment tool for companies. 

Create a community. It’s important that once a company begins to utilize contingent labor that contractors are held accountable for the quality of their work, while also affording them opportunities to learn and grow by collaborating with in-house employees. 

In the coming years, flexibility will be key for companies seeking to remain fully staffed and minimize turnover. Changing the way we look at employees is the first step. Embracing a contract or freelance model of employment for some, or even all, of their workforce will put organizations at the top of the list when it comes to competing for talent. 

Want to explore the benefits of a contract labor force? Contact PeopleCaddie here.

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Independent Contractors: Waiting Months for Your Invoice?

Freelance work comes with its own set of unique challenges. Onboarding quickly, fitting into a company culture, juggling projects, finding the next gig – they are all occupational hazards of independent contractors. But there may be no aspect of freelancing that is as difficult or unpredictable as getting paid for your work.

Imagine doing a job you love, in an industry that gets you excited, enjoying a flexible schedule – and then you send an invoice to your client. You wait. Then you wait some more. You gently remind your client that it’s time to pay, only for them to sit on your invoice a bit longer. The work is done. You’ve fulfilled your end of the deal. Yet you’re left to worry about covering that car payment or house note because, months later, you haven’t been paid for services rendered.

Although it seems straightforward, particularly when a contract is involved, taking action when an invoice remains unpaid tends to be complicated and expensive. A contractor begins to weigh being compensated less on a regular basis versus continuing to live with an unpredictable income. Worse, many freelancers can’t even afford to offload a client that pays eventually – even if they’re routinely late. It’s enough to drive a freelancer back to the traditional labor force.

In a perfect world, independent contractors would be paid every two weeks, just like their full-time counterparts. They would enjoy access to health insurance but be able to retain the freedom and flexibility of a freelance lifestyle.

Guess what? It’s possible. Today.

Through PeopleCaddie, contractors are paid every two weeks, and they have access to high-quality health insurance. As a freelancer, you don’t have to wait months to be paid anymore. Work for who you want, when you want. Get paid on time. Visit your doctor for regular checkups!

It’s this progressive model that has earned PeopleCaddie attention for helping companies adapt to a changing workforce. It goes without saying that an independent contractor who isn’t worried about paying their bills from month to month is a happier, more focused, more productive team member. Ditto for insurance coverage, which also attracts a higher quality of contractor.

For independent contractors who work through PeopleCaddie, getting paid is as easy as tracking and entering their time on our app, which ensures payment via direct deposit every two weeks. No more spending time off the clock tracking hours and creating detailed invoices, only for them to gather dust on a client’s desk for weeks or months.  

Nobody starts freelancing to spend time fighting and haggling over getting paid. Why not work in a more synergistic manner, where discussions can center around the work at hand, rather than overdue payments? PeopleCaddie combines the best of both traditional and independent work models to maintain a top-tier talent cloud that benefits both member companies and contractors.

Get paid every two weeks by PeopleCaddie by joining our talent cloud. Contact us to get onboarded immediately.

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Unretired? Try Contract Work

At the end of the 2022 NFL season, after 22 seasons in the league and seven Super Bowl wins, Tom Brady – at age 44 – finally left it all on the field, hanging up his cleats and riding off into retirement. Then, just 40 days later, he was back – unretired. He had his reasons.

“These last two months, I’ve realized that my place is still on the field,” Brady announced via his social media accounts, “not in the stands.”

Research indicates that the future NFL Hall of Fame quarterback won’t be the only retiree who opts to return to work in the months, and perhaps years, ahead. A number of factors are building behind the wave of retired workers expected to return to the labor force, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Historically, in times of a job surplus, more retirees have returned to the office. However, in 2022, with 5,000,000 more jobs than workers, the picture may look different than it has in the past. 

Many companies that went to a remote work model at the outset of the pandemic have been reluctant to shift back or may be compromising with hybrid models, citing workers’ resistance to returning to the office. Retirees with grandchildren and travel plans, who have had their fill of the daily commute and 9-to-5, may be less likely than ever to compromise at a moment when workers have a leg up.

Freelancing and contract work are fast-growing segments of the labor pool. For the unretired, they represent an opportunity to get out of the stands and onto the field – but not at the cost of a flexible schedule. With gas prices on the rise and inflation at record levels in the U.S., contract work offers retirees the ultimate peace of mind: the ability to supplement a nest egg that may now seem too small for the long haul, while allowing them to avoid a full return to the working world.

For example, consider an accountant who has hung up her spreadsheets after saving for a comfortable retirement. Suddenly, the rising cost of goods and services threatens that plan. Despite making appropriate retirement plans, she begins to question whether she’ll have enough money set aside for that summer home, the luxury car, or even a rainy-day fund in case of emergency. Independent contracting could offer a happy medium. Our accountant can now work a limited number of hours as a freelancer, keeping busy only with work that she chooses, while padding her savings and continuing to enjoy a desirable lifestyle.

Those who come out of retirement in the current market should be met by companies offering  a flexible work culture. Work-life balance is made easier by tools in the marketplace such as PeopleCaddie, an online talent cloud that can help the unretired to search and apply for open freelance positions, receive communications of employer needs and even handle invoicing. The ease of use, flexibility and availability of information detailing needs from various employers can ease the transition back to work for retirees and improve the likelihood that they’ll embrace a return to the workplace under the contractor model.

With the unique combination of employer needs and increasingly flexible contractor opportunities, the unretired will find no shortage of work – which can be done on their terms.

Thinking about unretiring? PeopleCaddie provides the perfect place to reenter the workforce. Check out how our talent cloud works.

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