Meet YunoJuno, the platform powering the freelance revolution. They are one of the founding members of our brand spanking new Bermondsey office. We chatted with their founder Shib Mathew about the Future of Work, the power of freelancing, and, erm…pink gin.
Can you tell us a little bit about YunoJuno and how the company got started?
We started YunoJuno from a place where many ideas are formed – from a place of frustration. There was something about the way the current process of finding a great freelancer didn’t make sense to us, and we knew there could be a better way – even if we had to build it ourselves.
In the Summer of 2012, we decided to do just that. We left our jobs in the creative and tech world to build a community and platform by which quality freelancers and great employers could connect with each other in a direct, transparent and cost-effective way.
And what initially started as a small group of believers and an even smaller group of users, is now becoming the way that the creative and tech industry resource their businesses and manage their workforce and we’re incredibly proud of what our little (yet disruptive) idea has become. Whether it’s building a new department for one of the most awarded creative agencies or building an enterprise human resource solution for the world’s largest communications network, we really believe YunoJuno is powering the freelance revolution.
What do you mean when you call yourselves ‘the Future of Work’?
The world is going freelance. We’ve seen it with our very own eyes and no longer are individuals and businesses hiding from this reality. We believe that freelance will be the dominant working force within our industry.
So we have pioneered a platform to best serve freelancers and businesses. We’re redefining what work means and empowering independence.
We’re doing all of this to unlock the true potential of freelance.
Or, as we call it: The Future of Work.
Why is there such a trend towards freelancing, and do you think it’s going to continue?
Skills and knowledge continue to become more specialist and less generalist. This has fragmented the global workforce. This combined with the need for businesses to be as efficient as possible and continue to turn a profit mean that they are turning to specialists to not just get the job done but apply a very specialise mix of skills developed from a variety of previous experiences.
The trend continues at a global level. Nowhere more so than in the creative and tech space.
What can employers do to embrace the Future of Work and support freelancers?
YunoJuno’s member employers are, by their very nature, forward thinking businesses. And so this trend towards freelancing is something they have embraced for a while. But we are seeing more and more business find their way to YunoJuno and realise that it is, in fact, an easier way to connect with the best freelancers in town and a place where value is being added rather than extracting when it comes to the hiring process.
Can you tell us the story of the pink gin…?(!)
Here we go.
There once was a time when YunoJuno was just three. During this time we thought we knew a thing or two about how to get our name out there. I think we even used the words “cut-through” in a sentence once. One of our attempts to show the world we were here (and deliver said cut-through) has now been forever immortalised at YJ as the Pink Gin Incident (PGI).
PGI was when we decided to produce YunoJuno Pink Gin and deliver to the handful of clients we had back then. But we had overlooked a minor point that if not done properly, home-brewed Gin would ferment, and if a bottle of fermented pink gin were to be opened in an open-plan office, people would need to leave said offices sharpishly due to the smell. We cannot confirm that anyone was hospitalised.
Needless to say, we decided to abandon PR initiatives from that moment and stick to building a good product.
What’s your favourite story from one of your members?
So many, how do we pick one?
Our first ever booking has to be one of the most exciting stories for us. It was four years ago but it was a lot of fun. The day after we launched in February 2013 we made our first ever booking. Us being us, knew there was a lot riding on this first freelancer getting to his booking on time and in one piece. So decided to wrap him up bubble wrap to ensure safe delivery. After being fed, caffeine-d and wrapped, we got him to his contract and he smashed it like we knew he would.
Why did you choose to join us at Work.Life?
Having spent the last 2 years in a traditional managed office and outgrown it, we were looking for our next move to be a place that we could call home – somewhere that reflected our own values and provided us with a creative environment where people felt comfortable, supported and inspired.
What’s next for YunoJuno and how can people get involved?
We’re very proud of what we have managed to achieve with the help of our community. We’ve grown to a community of nearly 10,000 industry validated freelancers and continue to see and hear amazing feedback about what we’re doing. That drives us even more.
So 2017 is simply going to be about pushing that growth on. To have more freelancers in a YJ booking so that more people can benefit from all of the perks that a YJ booking has to offer.
It’s a very big year for us, with lots to achieve and we’re confident we’ve found the right place to call home for this exciting stage of our growth.