The Weekly Independent: August 29, 2016

By MBO Partners |

Updated Monday, August 29, 2016


Being a successful independent contractor or a client of choice isn’t just about doing the best work or having the best perks. It also means staying one step ahead of the curve. That’s why each week we bring you The Weekly Independent, a quick-hit digest of news of note from around the web.

  • This week on the MBO blog, we discuss the hot topic of portable benefits – what they are, what key players are saying about the issue, and why MBO Partners has been offering similar benefits for more than a decade.
  • A new survey from Deloitte found that 67% of people who have worked as an independent contractor would not do so in the future. MBO dug a bit deeper into this data – which, at first glance, seems directly opposed to our own State of Independence data that shows 79% of independents are extremely satisfied with their work. The issue, it seems, is one of selection bias – this data point is based on people who worked as independents at some point, but aren’t working as independents now. In other words, this data was captured from workers who didn’t like or didn’t succeed as independents – it seems logical that a high percentage would say they would choose not to go back to work independently.  Naturally, independence is not for everyone. However, we’d point out that much of the rest of their data is positive, including the fact that nearly half of men have worked as ICs at some point in their careers, and that statistically, those who are not independent workers – or for whom independent work was not a positive experience – view independence as more risky than those who are having a positive experience working as an independent. We applaud surveys such as this that show that while independent work is a viable option for many, it is not for everyone.
  • SmallBizLabs argues that independent work is looking more and more secure as a career option (when compared to traditional employment) in the wake of some major corporate layoffs.
  • Want to make the leap to independent work? Do it. This article champions why your side hustle might be the sign that you need to quit your day job.
  • A new New York City-based ridesharing app has eschewed the independent contractor model that has made Uber and Lyft the target of misclassification cases, and elected instead to make drivers employees. The caveat? Juno drivers may only work exclusively for the company, whereas many drivers now work with Uber and Lyft simultaneously.
  • Uber is helping drivers in Boston get access to discounted individual retirement accounts, part of an expanding system of perks for the contract labor force at the heart of the ride-hailing company’s business, the Boston Globe reports.
  • The Internal Revenue Service has launched what it calls a “Sharing Economy Tax Center.” This site was launched as part of an effort to help the increasing number of ICs, both those who work as part of the “gig economy” on a part-time basis and those who work as independents on a full-time basis, understand how to pay their taxes compliantly and on-time.

Should you have any questions, we’re always here for you.

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