Even in an extraordinary year as 2020, we here at YJ knew we couldn't stop - because we knew a lot of you couldn't stop. Projects needed to keep moving.
At the start of the year we had an ambitious target of product and service improvements that aimed to facilitate better connections, more efficient processes and wider transparency on all things freelance.
Projects needed to keep moving.
As we see a brief light at the end of this dark tunnel we've all been in, looking back on the things we were able to accomplish during the annus horribilis that was 2020, fills me with real pride. Here's just a few highlights:
More Varied Clients
From a YJ client community perspective, 2020 was incredible. When we founded YunoJuno in 2012, we made a beeline for the industry we came from and knew intimately - advertising. But over the years we have seen more and more non-advertising clients come to YJ and find their freelance talent on the platform. 2020 saw this trend be put into overdrive - BrewDog, Google GSK and PepsiCo to name just a few!
The YJ Book Me Button
Why wait till you're in a project brief flow before you can book a freelancer you really like the look of. The Book Me button located on a freelancers public profile page is an express lane to selecting the best candidate for your project.
The YunoJuno Referral Program
In August we decided to share the love when a new client is referred to YunoJuno - to the tune of £500 for the freelancer and a 50% discount on YJ fees for the new client booking that freelancer.
Then in November, when, let’s face it, we could have all done with a pick-me-up then, we increased the referral reward to £1000 till the end of 2020!
In October we launched an official petition with the UK Government to delay HMRC's IR35 legislation changes till after COVID-19 is dealt with and within a couple of months we reached 10,000 signatures and received a formal response from the Government. You can read that response here.
But we're not stopping there. We want to push on to 100,000 signatures to have the petition debated in Parliament. So if you agree that the freelance community and those who engage them should deal with one crisis at a time, join the petition and share it with anyone you can!
2019/2020 Rates Report
The 2019/20 Freelancer Rates Report landed with a bang and we were so pleased to be able to continue to promote this level of transparency to the freelance economy. The study was based on over 25,000 bookings on the YunoJuno platform in 2019 as well as a look at the effects of COVID within the premium freelance market with data from Q1 and Q2 of 2020.
Rockin the plastic.
In June, payment options on YunoJuno got some muscle. We listened to the feedback and built a 'pay-by-card' option - accessible to all clients. It's become so popular that over 500 clients on YJ now choose to pay via this method!
2020 Freelancer Awards [COVID EDITION]
In 2020, we decided to rethink our annual freelancer award ceremony. The event has now become the largest of its kind in the world but we thought that due to the year we were all living through, we would celebrate freelancers who have done something to help their fellow human/s in the time of COVID. Whether it be a food drop, or raising awareness to the issues facing the self employed during the government's economic initiatives, or helping with a website so that your local business could stay alive during lockdown. Whatever generous/selfless/innovative thing a freelancer has done in this year of years, we chose to recognise and celebrate them.
2021 here we go.
So what’s my big prediction for 2021? Yes we have the small matter of IR35 around the corner and that is very much a focus for a lot of us right now but for me, 2021 will be about solidifying and optimising the big shift in work that 2020 uncovered - remote working.
Last year the magical combination of circumstance and technology forced the majority of the labour market to rethink how work gets done. Lo and behold, trusting a remote working arrangement is not as unproductive as a lot of organisations feared and for many companies, it opened doors to new and more competitive ways to deliver.
In my opinion, there's no greater example of how remote working gets the job done than the way the freelancer community (both the freelancer and their hirers) already operate. Things you all are already doing otherwise you wouldn't be getting this email!
And finally I want to leave you with this. In the final days of 2020, I asked a few of our community to help me create a little video of how we at YJ feel about 2021. If you haven’t seen it already, here it is:
I wish you all a great year ahead. 2021 is going to be better.