Working at home as a freelancer has always been a challenge for me and millions of others. Distractions abound, clients come and go almost willy-nilly, invoices are forgotten, and everything is tinged with uncertainty. It is something we chose for the other benefits: freedom of schedule, not having a boss, the ability to be at home close to family...
So now, with a very real pandemic on the world's hands and many more people working from home and trying to make connections than EVER BEFORE, many companies are stepping up to offer some of their premium services for free... for now.
I've compiled a list of the handful that are the most juicy for freelancers, especially in creative fields, or those of us who want to collaborate and communicate effectively. Let me know in the comments if you have found more. I am relieved and grateful to these corporations for doing the right thing and extending their resources when they can be of benefit to so many.
Just to get started, this is a HUGE list of artist-heavy resources, including ideas for how to book gigs online to how to get restitution if you are in the film industry, etc... https://covid19freelanceartistresource.wordpress.com/
And are you an educator or someone directly affected by a school closure? There's another (massive) list for y'all: http://www.amazingeducationalresources.com
Now to the individual links. I wish there were a lot more, but hopefully this will grow!
- Adobe Connect. This is intended to create virtual rooms for classes and seminars, web meetings and eLearning. You can get 90 days free by signing up for their trial before July 1st.
- Comcast/XFinity is offering free Xfinity WIFI hotspots all over the country, and also making their cheapest internet service free for a limited time.
- Charter/Spectrum (which serves a lot of folks who do not get Comcast...) is offering 3 months of free WiFi home internet service to anyone who has a K-12 or college student in the house. I know this isn't everyone, but it is a big help.
- T-Mobile is nuking their data limits on cellular plans for at least 2 months. Verizon and AT&T are NOT, but they are at least suspending fines and service terminations for non-payment.
- And.... hey feds... how about some sick leave? This one is still in development. There will possibly be a direct kickback to self-employed folks who are self-quarantining and can show a "typical" level of income. Unfortunately this means you do have to have typical income. If you are a brand new freelancer with minimal work thus far, no dice...
Okay, short but could get sweeter. Hit me up in the comments!