When I was a much younger and much more foolish web designer, I made the mistake of judging colleagues on the number of hours they dedicated to their work. My job was all I had, so it was the only metric I could use to gauge others. I worked long hours, burned out regularly (but was too inexperienced to notice), and grumbled under my breath about colleagues going home to their families. Pfft, families, they just slowed you down.
Unfortunately this limited worldview isn’t unfamiliar, and it’s entirely damaging and unfair. Our industry loves heroic tales of people nearly killing themselves to ship code. We see this in discussion forums, conference talks about burnout and self-care, and even television shows about our industry (I’m looking at you “Halt and Catch Fire”). We also see the desire for Super Employees in job postings where “willing to kill yourself for the cause” is disguised as “passionate about
It turns out there are a bunch of really talented people with lives outside of tech who just want a steady, quality job a few days a week. These are highly qualified and skilled people being overlooked and often left with no choice but to accept a full-time role or scramble for a series of short-term gigs, avoiding any sort of stability and peace of mind. They are perfectly able to do the work and positively contribute to a remote team culture, but just need some wiggle room in their working hours while they care for their parents or kids, work on healing, study, or maintain open source projects.
Simply put, not everyone can or wants to work 40+ hours a week. Conveniently, not every employer is looking to hire exclusively for full-time roles. Sometimes you just need a little bit of help or don’t have the budget for onboarding and hiring full-time employees; we get it, we’ve been there.
This is why Joni and I created Wiggle Work. Not only have we previously needed part-time, steady, remote work, but in different roles we had been responsible for hiring for this exact scenario. So over time we spoke to hundreds of professionals and discovered that many previously had a major life event to work around or wanted availability to do something else that they found fulfilling. We also knew of dozens of small companies, startups, and organizations that could benefit from having someone experienced organizing projects, creating promotional materials, writing copy, or providing DevOps support.
Wiggle Work aims to bring these two groups together. As a much older, much wiser web designer, I now know this is a great way to augment a team without blowing budgets, provides the benefit of a fresh perspective, and is an investment into more empathetic and well-rounded human beings. And it just so happens that those make for the best kind of teammates.