For those of you who haven’t seen it already, there was a feature on PeoplePerHour.com on the BBC News at Six yesterday, talking about how our site is helping people and businesses in the recession. The feature was centered on two of our providers  – Edward Moss and Zoe Smith – with a short commentary from our founder in-between.

A longer interview with our founder was also posted by the BBC online in a feature titled “working from home to beat the recession

The publicity has created an unprecedented amount of traffic to our site that brought it down momentarily. We were fortunately able to revive it fast. We apologise to any of you who were trying to access the site at that moment.

We have a lot of follow –on press enquiries from regional and national press who want to hear similar stories from people like you and how you’re using the site to help your business both save cost and enhance your income.

So if you feel you have a story that is compelling and timely then please email us on pr(at)peopleperhour(dot)com.  Please be sure to state clearly the following and any other relevant information:

For Freelancers:

  • your location
  • employment status (full-time/ part-time employee/ freelancer / work for a company)
  • why you are using the site (to supplement your income  / you’ve been made redundant / you’re transitioning to        freelance / other )
  • family status
  • experience you’ve had with using the site and how its helped you: projects won / awarded / bids placed / how         much you’re business has saved by using the site

For Employers

  • your location
  • your company name
  • what kind of company you manage / own
  • how many staff do you employee
  • why you are using the site (to save cost / to avoid hiring people / to get things done fast)
  • What your experience with the site has been: how many projects posted / awarded

We look forward to hearing from you.

The Future of Work

May 22, 2009

There was an interesting article about ‘The Future of Work’ in Time Magazine this week. Seth Godin, author of Small is the New Big, contributed some particularly insightful points. Godin describes a future in 5 or 10 years, where businesses will employ only a few essential employees and outsource the rest of their work.

A growing number of businesses are already adopting this way of working. We speak to dozens of you every day who tell us how you have cut costs by outsourcing work via PeoplePerHour.com. Many are cutting costs by more than 50% a year.

For example, earlier this week we spoke to Michael Parker, founder of A Quarter Of Ltd, which is a traditional sweetshop, selling retro sweets online. Michael has outsourced PR, affiliate marketing, article writing and web site development, saving an estimated £7k every month in salaries.

Similarly, Kerchoonz, the social networking site that allows free legal music that pays the artists, saved costs by finding freelancers for their PR, Marketing, IT and sales functions, for which they’d otherwise have to hire fulltime or agency staff.  Founder, Indiana Gregg, says “we have made an estimated saving of 32% in the last year by using freelancers through PeoplePerHour.com”.

Ask-Kent, a B2B telemarketing company, founded by Richard Romaine took his entire business virtual in January 2006. It previously had 10 fulltime people in an office. As a virtual company it has five telemarketers working from home at any one time. By doing this, Richard has cut overheads by £80k a year. This kind of business model is also greener as it eliminates the commute.

Thanks to all of you who are using the site and recommending it to others, PeoplePerHour.com has grown from 4,700 to more than 30,000 in the past year.  This suggests that ‘The Future of Work’ as Seth describes it is already well on its way to becoming a reality.

After numerous requests from Employers on our site we have now introduced a feature whereby they can optionally limit their bids to UK Providers only.

Our site is now over 70% UK freelancer, and despite a constant worry by many of you that you’ll be ‘undercut’ by lower bids from abroad, over 85% of bids are awarded to UK freelancers, despite many projects having cheaper bids from abroad.

The data seems to suggest that Employers on PPH rate locality, quality and ease of communication over price. The feature we’ve just added now takes this a step further by allowing our Employers to limit the bids they get only to UK providers if they fear of being  ‘flooded’ by large volumes of bids from abroad (as they’ve often declared) many of which are excessively cheap and ‘meaningless’ in their view.

Surveys we’ve done with our users show a split: some Employers adamantly do not want to get bids from non-UK providers and in fact often find them a nuisance for the reasons highlighted above hence the feature to optionally block them. Others see it as a nice-to-have comparison even if in the end they chose a UK freelancer 85% of the time.

This is not to say that our site is entirely UK: we have multiple cases of Employers awarding their projects to providers abroad with excellent results.  Those that have taken the time and care to submit well-thought out and structured bids have been successful.
The same goes for UK providers, and we urge all our providers to do the same – as we’ve done many a time in the past – in order to win more work.

This is yet another case of quality faring higher than price in our marketplace. The geographic distinction is simply an (unfortunate) interpretation that’s been deuced from the average case. Which is why we are not taking any measures to ban or restrict usage, but rather – as we always strive to do  – give our users more choice.