Cloud computing is a leaner approach, a more agile approach and a greener approach, than installing stuff to hard drives and servers, keeping it updated, secure, and running smoothly. [This post] observes that “the majority of data center power use comes from non-IT companies running their own data centers less efficiently. ” and cites [google’s own report on how the cloud greens us].
For us, the principle is apt for work and employment, as well. The cloud model allows you to take what you want from software applications, which is basically just the use of the software, without it sticking you with the headaches of being the IT guy. You just want to run your business, not become a technical services provider. If we’re perfectly honest, with the PC-based model, we’ve become so accustomed to the headaches, however ridiculous they and the drain on our time and resources are, that we’ve come to accept that they’re inevitable – that to compute at all, the pain is just something we have to accept. With the cloud, we’ve offloaded that to someone who does that for a living.
In the same way, if we’re being straight up honest about it, we’ve come to believe the pain of being an employer is so necessary, with no practical, consistent, and sustainable way around it, that we don’t question it anymore. We maybe tried a staffing agency, a payroll or human resources outsourcing company, or hiring people on 1099 contracts, but we finally settled in to the concession that traditional employment is inevitable and the only practical, long-term solution to put people (and ourselves) to work.
Free agency is to work and employment what cloud computing is to software and technology. Free agency allows you to run your business without the headaches of being an employer:
- Employer payroll taxes.
- Time and cost to register each new hire and separation with state employment regulators.
- Ensure compliance with all employment regulations.
- Submit reports and pay for workers compensation insurance.
- Time sheet and payroll Processing.
- Time and cost to set-up and operate a group health care plan.
- Time and cost to set-up and operate a 401k plan.
- You can still hire from any source, but avoid becoming the employer and all that comes with that
- You can still run the company, but let each free agent outsource their own back office functions to a central source
- You can still ensure consistent benefit offerings, but let free agents bring their own benefits, without you touching the hassle
Free Agent Source is a new operating system for employment – a better platform for business. You get to put anyone you want to work, and make regulatory compliance, insurance, and payroll taxes someone else’s problem. They get they the same benefit options and employee support, with the ability to carry that with them when they change jobs, so it’s even more secure – they can relax and just work.
Like cloud computing, people worry about three things – control, security, and sustainability.
In the cloud, you don’t control your document in an absolute sense, but then you don’t lose your document (it’s got a better search engine), you don’t break your document (you can roll back to any previous version), and you don’t maintain your document (backups are automatic). It’s actually more secure, because your document as an IT security team firewalling it, instead of you fending off viruses and other hacks. And they’re in business to do one thing – continue to sustain your use of documents while, if you do it, you have to run get a hard drive and hope yours can be saved when it crashes.
With free agency, you give up control of the things you really don’t want, because you no longer need them in order to get good work from good people. The issues of regulation and liability are largely handled by someone for whom that is central. And your sustainability is rooted in your new ability to scale up or down based on the economy or business needs, without the risk or hassle of doing more than hiring anyone you like. Anyone you want to bring on can use the Free Agent Source platform to go to work for you, sparing you the employer-based drain on your business that you no longer need to take on or accept.
We’ve been conditioned by the PC to think of software as something that arrives in a box, with licenses we can’t afford to lose, upgrades we’re going to need to buy, and we install it on hard drives that get infected and crash. We’ve been conditioned by traditional employment to think of employing people as needing lots of other in-house components, and lots of thinking about how to make it work smoothly and in compliance. Just as the cloud simplifies and streamlines business use of of software – the good stuff without the hassle – free agency brings simplicity with sustainability to employing good people without the risk or the pain.