More freelancers, fewer office parties

An astonishing statistic this week: nearly one fifth of Londoners are registered as self-employed. Actually, looking at the publishing industry landscape, it’s not all that surprising. As businesses across a range of industries look to cut overheads, reducing the number of in-house staff and relying on outsourcing jobs to freelancers is an increasingly popular option.

Unfortunately, we are in something of a transitional phase at the moment, at least in publishing anyway, where the big publishing houses are getting rid of full-timers and their ex-employees are working from home, yet neither of them knows quite how to seek out the other. Hopefully, companies like whitefox are helping to solve that problem. An issue we have yet to solve, however, is what these poor freelancing souls do to amuse themselves over the festive season whilst the other four-fifths of the working population are drinking their way to merriment at the annual office party.

The main talking point of an Evening Standard article, which included the aforementioned stat, was the profound lack of Christmas parties for freelancers. This, according to the article’s author – Lucy Foley, a freelance journalist and fiction author – is one of few downsides of being a freelancer. So she clubbed together with several freelance friends and they started putting on their own cheesy office parties (though not in an office). That gives us an idea for next year… Although we’re not sure we can top Lucy’s festive shindigs which have in the past included “a magical woodland with an enchanted forest theme”, “Christmas karaoke on a friend’s rooftop” and of course the mandatory “taxidermy weasel”.

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