Self employed people are happy—but they need more securityby Josh Lowe / December 10, 2015 / Leave a comment
Published in January 2016 issue of Prospect Magazine
“Create your life’s work” intones the homepage of WeWork, an office-sharing company which caters to start-ups and the self-employed. It’s not a bad distillation of the benefits often ascribed to the “gig economy,” a voguish term for the trend towards flexible, freelance working patterns in the UK and other advanced economies.
Fans say that the gig economy affords workers the chance to build the career they want—high on creativity and low on compromise. But it comes with downsides. Comfortable places to work, the company of like-minded people and safety nets for when things go wrong are all taken for granted by office drones, but freelancers often lack them. WeWork, which gives the gig economy’s bright young things a place to lay their MacBooks and a “physical social network,” is helping to fix that. The company was recently valued at $10bn.