Productivity hacks for contractors and freelancers

Productivity Hacks

When you only have to answer to yourself, it’s easy to slip into an unproductive rut. Some days, Homes Under the Hammer is just too tempting. Others, you just can’t settle until the room has been dusted.

At Kingsbridge Contractor Insurance, we’ve spent years chatting to contractors and freelancers and productivity is often an issue that comes up. We’d like to share some of the advice we’ve picked up during that time and share it with you so you can be the most productive you’ve ever been.

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Why a home office spring clean can be essential for contractors and freelancers

Spring Cleaning

Despite appearances (until recently, at least) spring really is here and that means one thing: spring cleaning.

You’ve probably already given a thought to spring cleaning your home, getting your garden into order and perhaps even giving your car a thorough scrub inside and out. But have you really given any thought to your home office? Obviously, you’ve probably considered giving it a dust and a vacuum, but what about a proper, honest-to-goodness spring clean where you clean, tidy, organise, throw out stuff you don’t need and replace things that require replacing?

We’ve put together a list of reasons why you should bother.

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How have IR35 reforms affected contracting?

IR35

It’s been almost a year since the UK government’s controversial reforms to IR35 in the public sector and, with rumours of similar upheaval coming to the private sector in the future, we’re beginning to see the effects of the changes.

What were the reforms?

If you’re not a contractor working in the public sector, or if you’re a freelancer and haven’t had to deal with IR35, you may well have missed the finer details of the reforms. If you don’t know what IR35 is, first read our quick guide to bring yourself up to speed.

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APSCo 2018 ‘Aloha’ Hawaiian Charity Ball

APSCo Charity Ball

We’re delighted to be the headline sponsor of this year’s APSCo Charity Ball. For 2018 APSCo are heading north to Manchester, where the Ball will take place at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate on 7th June. The event is designed to raise vital funds for St. Ann’s Hospice in the city.

The theme is an appropriate one for summer – ‘Aloha Hawaii’. Although the weather in Manchester might not quite match the weather in Honolulu, plenty of fun is sure to be had. Think flower garlands, grass skirts and palm trees. Elvis in ‘Blue Hawaii’. Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘Romeo + Juliet’. Surfing in Oahu.

Here at Kingsbridge, we’re very much looking forward to spending some time with our key partners in the north, and it’s great to see the good people at APSCo move away from London and bring a fantastic night out to a powerhouse city where a number of recruitment professionals do some excellent work.

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Weekend Reading 13/04/18

Weekend Reading

It’s that time of the week again. See below for a few stories to read curled up by the fire / sitting out in the porch (delete dependent on weather) this weekend. We’re taking a look at the automotive and oil and gas industries, amongst a few others:

Jaguar Land Rover ‘to cut 1,000 jobs’ in Solihull

“Jaguar Land Rover is to shed 1,000 jobs and cut production at two sites, according to reports.

The carmaker said it would make an announcement to employees on Monday regarding its production plans for 2018/19.

It added: “In light of the continuing headwinds impacting the car industry, we are making some adjustments to our production schedules and the level of agency staff.”

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Weekend Reading – 06/04/18

Weekend Reading

Improved digital connectivity is essential to the growth of freelancing and contracting in the UK. That’s why this week’s 5G auction, and the ensuing bidding war, is good news for all concerned. We take a look at that, and some other topics of interest, in this week’s Weekend Reading.

O2 splashes £500m in 5G spectrum auction to remove obstacle to blockbuster float

“The mobile operator O2 has spent more than half a billion pounds to bolster its network and prepare for the introduction of 5G technology, in a vote of confidence by its Spanish owner Telefonica viewed as essential to plans for a blockbuster stock market float.

The telecoms regulator Ofcom said an auction of mobile airwaves had raised a total of £1.4bn from Britain’s four main operators.”

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How has the Gig Economy Changed the Working World?

Gig Economy

There have been few economic debates in recent years as fevered and corybantic as the one surrounding the status of the gig economy.

Does it mark a new dawn of employment, a step-forward in individual autonomy which gives workers previously untold freedoms? Or is it little more than an unwelcome pariah, consuming entire industries and doing more harm than good?

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The Inexorable Growth of Self-Employment in the UK

Self Employment

Uncertainty in and around the UK economy has been brewing for some time now. Whether it’s the looming prospect of Brexit, the fear of jobs moving abroad, or the rise of automation and AI, the news in recent years hasn’t been particularly positive.

However, one thing is often ignored – the growth in self-employment. With the nature of work in a state of flux, we’ve seen contractors and freelancers come in and redefine the previously linear notion of employment.

According to data from the ONS, by May 2017 there were 4.8 million self-employed people in the UK – 15% of all people in work. But what does the future hold?

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Weekend Reading – 29/03/18

Contractor News

Read on for this week’s news round-up. We’re taking a look at a variety of topics, from IR35 and Brexit to the banking and finance industry:

Businesses face unanswered questions a year from Brexit – sector by sector analysis

“With only a year to go until Britain leaves the EU, a mounting backlog of unresolved problems is causing business to take evasive action – despite government attempts to buy more time with a transition deal.

More than half of large companies have already put emergency contingency plans into action, according to a survey, and in key sectors such as insurance and transport there are warnings of higher prices and disruption for customers if the fragile truce breaks down.

British and EU governments last week agreed to postpone discussions over Northern Ireland in order to provisionally agree that a 21-month transition phase could begin after March 2019, but only so long as outstanding disagreements are solved nearer the time.”

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GDPR – What does it Mean for Contractors?

GDPR Contractors

Cyber-attacks have become more prevalent than ever in the last 12 months. A recent report from the National Cyber Security Centre noted that there had been over 1,100 attacks in the UK last year, of which over half (590) were deemed significant. 30 of those attacks, a number of which were in the Financial Services Sector, required assistance from government bodies.

To put it in even starker terms, the UK deals with more than 10 significant cyber-attacks every week – and that’s only taking into account those which were reported. Unfortunately, such attacks must now be considered par for the course when it comes to business, and we need to ensure that we are all prepared to deal with them.

With the much-discussed General Data Protection Regulation (better known by its acronym GDPR) coming into force on 25th May 2018 we’re taking a look at what exactly the implications will be for contractors and freelancers. How can you make sure you’re GDPR-ready?

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