Don’t be shy about it. Money matters. Time is money and money is most certainly time, especially when you’re running a business. You need to get things done - and fast.
You’re most certainly skeptical about the idea of a full time employee freelancing, especially the ones who are voluntarily making their days longer - not only taking away time from a freelance job, but leaving you to question their ability to balance everything on their plate.
The concern is totally understandable since productivity is typically a company’s number one concern and the idea of someone being able to balance a couple of side jobs sounds almost impossible. And quality is mostly definitely at the top of the list, especially if you’re churning out content at a high rate.
But before you knock the idea in its entirety, consider the following benefits.
- Independent Work
- Time Management
- Creative Outlet
- Industry Knowledge
- Professional Development
Okay so this list doesn’t necessarily give you the complete picture of why a full time employee freelancing benefits your company, but we’re getting there so stick with me.
Independent Work - Yes It Matters
Freelancing requires people to take control and make their own decisions throughout the work day. They don’t have someone to manage them and constantly tell them what to do throughout every project. It’s up to the individual to set goals for each project, monitor their performance and progress on tasks, and support their team in any way they can.
Taking the wheel forces freelancers to be decisive - whether or not they want to learn this particular skill. Like Eric Karovack says, freelancers have to make a number of tough decisions. Those range from what specific projects they want to focus on to what their daily tasks and pay will be. As someone grows more comfortable with making decisions, whether or not essential, they become less reliant on you - the boss who is probably extremely busy and doesn’t have time to make little decisions regarding content or how the spreadsheet should look.
Time Management - Because I Know You’re Worried About That
This is probably your top concern.
“Oh, but how, how could anyone contribute to the success of my company if they don’t put their sole focus into it?”
Newsflash: Their time matters.
You shouldn’t be worried about a freelancer’s efficiency. Chances are if they’re a successful freelancer, they know how to manage their time. And with the right planning, they don’t need to be the most organized person to get things done.
According to podcasters Kaleigh Moore and Emma Siemasko, freelancers should have ten million clients. That was totally a joke. They should be able to service as many clients as they can handle. If someone makes their income solely by freelancing, they most likely have an average of two to 12 clients at one time. Those can be long term or short term projects.
That means a full timer will know their limit to ensure their freelance work doesn’t get in the way of the work they’re expected to complete at their full time job.
Give Them Space For Tasks With Creative Outlets
Does that kill you a little bit? It shouldn't.
Sure, you don’t care about being a creative outlet, but people do care about opportunities that give them life. A passion project - or ten - can make all the difference. It’s not a bad thing to have an employee who wants to find a way to work on something that gives them a space away from their long term job.
Lots of freelancers agree this could be a major key to career satisfaction. Data from Website Builder shows one third of freelancers work in creative fields, and demand is typically high which means opportunities are boundless.
It’s not to say that the work people do at their full time job is unfulfilling, but 60-percent of people report being emotionally detached from their work. Even though the job market has been hot, experts at NBC called the data “staggering.” So if someone wants to use their personal life to turn out content that matters to them - or anything else - let them. It may just be what improves their day job.
Freelancing Expands Long Term Industry Knowledge
In general, someone is rarely an expert in any field but working in several aspects of an industry can - over time - help them achieve that status. A company and an employee may not see instant gratification, but practice makes close to perfect. Therefore, having someone who knows the ins and outs of an industry could only add value to your company.
Even if companies don’t approve, they better get used to it. Research shows that 58-percent of non-freelancers are now considering freelancing in the future. Seems like a pretty popular idea, huh?
The only way people can build on industry knowledge is if they’re exercising the skills related to their field. It’s possible to see improvement and expansion if they take as little as one hour a day to work on a task that’s in the scope of their work but not necessarily something they would typically see on a daily basis. Developing a quality skillset is essential to a successful company and a successful career. So if it’s not costing your company much – really anything – to have a freelancer work elsewhere full time then why would you be opposed to it?
It’s not exactly the same, but people who freelance full time are a great example. Freelancers who work on several projects at once with suburb productivity and time management skills and they don’t slack on the end product.
Giving anyone the opportunity to expand their skills makes them feel like they have control over their career and their future. Its arguably a major key to keeping the workforce happy, no matter how often they take on freelance work or how many hours they put into their full time job.
Its Built In Professional Development
Companies have a much better chance of keeping their employees if they keep them happy and a majority of employees want to see an investment in professional development.
There’s just one problem: that can get really expensive, especially if you have more than one employee who wants to nurture their career. Research from Clear Company shows 94% of workers would stay at their company longer if their professional growth was prioritized. Believe it or not, professional development doesn’t just include conventions and work trips, it may just mean encouraging employees to freelance or work on other tasks. Giving them this space might even optimize job performance.
Don’t knock it until you work with someone who’s trying it. As long as productivity and the quality of the end results remain the same, you should be in support of the change.