Stay at Home or Work from Anywhere?
Two fascinating articles in the New York Times this week related in very different ways to the Freelancers Union's mission. The first was about "Location-neutrals" or professionals who can work from anywhere, and are thus choosing to relocate with their families from big cities to homier communities with lots of natural amenities. This seems like an appealing freelancers' utopia (a few bloggers think so) but according to an article I reported for this month's Psychology Today, most freelancers will continue to cluster in cities because there are still no substitutes for "face time" and in-person network building in creative industries. Maybe being "location neutral" is a privilege of the truly established freelancer. On the other hand, the Most Emailed article this week is about aging in place. More than 100 communities nationwide have formed self-help nonprofit corporations that charge dues to their elderly members in exchange for services like transportation, home repair, companionship & security. Some organizations enlist members themselves to volunteer and barter, say, a repair for a ride. This enables people to stay in their homes much longer, for much cheaper than most forms of eldercare. What does all this have to do with the Freelancers Union? Both this organization and these senior villages are forms of mutual aid--innovative nonprofit cooperative groups that provide social services not supplied by our current social safety net. Look for more on this topic in this space, coming up.