Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Working 9-to-5 Is Less Favored Way to Make a Living

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Working 9-to-5 Is Less Favored Way to Make a Living

Article excerpt

NEW YORK * If you want an income, or you're an employer looking for help, it may be time to scrap the idea of the traditional 9-to- 5 arrangement.

For workers, it's become easier and less risky to go solo. Affordable health insurance plans, which kept many workers shackled to traditional jobs, are more accessible because of the Affordable Care Act. And companies are increasingly open to hiring freelancers and independent contractors. Many say independent workers bring fresh ideas without the long-term commitment.

An industry dedicated to serving the companies that offer freelance and contract work and the people who fill those openings is growing. Gigs can be found at a number of websites, such as Upwork.com and Freelancer.com, or through hiring services that connect professional freelancers and companies. And companies that provide shared rented office space, such as WeWork, lets freelancers mingle with fellow contractors.

In 2013, 23 million people were self-employed, according the U.S. Census Bureau. That's up 1.2 percent from the year before and up about 24 percent from 2003. That number doesn't count self-employed people who may also hire employees.

"This isn't going away," says Brooke Borgen, co-owner of Canopy Advisory Group, a hiring company for freelancers in Denver. She started the business five years ago with co-owner Griffen O'Shaughnessy. They observed that companies needed a way to access independent workers while friends and colleagues were telling them they wanted to find ways to balance their work and personal lives. "More and more people want to have ownership over their career," Borgen says.

Henry W. Brown ditched his fledging advertising career 11 years ago, sick of spending 15 hours a day at work and having "no life." Now he works 30 hours a week, juggling about four projects a year designing websites and apps. Brown has time for two-hour yoga sessions, midday bike rides around his New York City neighborhood and lunch dates with friends.

He also has more time for passion projects: He spent a month at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand this year, and he started a Facebook page called TheDogmatic, posting photos of dogs in shelters to help get them adopted. …

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