Australians who work from home wore a different kind of suit this morning.
As part of Work in the Nude Day, an initiative of Flying Solo, freelancers and sole operators got their kit off to celebrate the benefits and difficulties of working alone.
According to research by Safe Work Australia published in July this year, sole traders and self-employed workers are three times more likely than employees to die in a workplace accident.
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Sole operators can also face isolation and have the added stress of no one else to rely on to pick up the pieces when something goes wrong or there is an issue with cash flow.
Gabrielle Tozer, a freelance writer and author, told SmartCompany she was taking part in Work in the Nude Day this morning for a bit of fun as well as to draw attention to the isolation that can grip freelancers and sole operators.
“Anyone who works form home knows how lonely it can get,” Tozer says.
“You can go a little crazy toiling away on deadlines without any office banter to keep you going. It gets people talking, laughing and connecting even if you’re working from home.”
Tozer says she hopes Work in the Nude Day builds “a sense of community” between sole operators from all different kinds of industries and provokes a conversation or two.
“I think firstly the point is just to get people talking and laughing,” she says.
“It’s great if it gets wider conversations started about some of the difficulties facing people flying solo. At the end of the day it’s designed to just be a fun day.”
Eve Ash, psychologist and chief executive of Seven Dimensions, told SmartCompany the campaign has the potential to isolate some people who are uncomfortable with their bodies. However, she says it could be used as a springboard to have a broader discussion and conversation.
“Everything needs a starting point,” Ash says.
“When things go viral you don’t know what is going to happen. If their starting point is this and it gets them to the next point that’s brilliant. It does not matter if it attracts only a small smidgeon of small traders if the message gets across and they all benefit.”
Ash points out there can also be some “fantastic upsides” to being a sole trader or freelancer and maybe the campaign – with its fun, cheeky style – is also highlighting this.
“You’re only responsible for yourself if you have no one working for you. You can be 100% responsible for yourself,” she says.
This year marks the third annual Work in the Nude Day, with participants encouraged to post naked selfies on Twitter and Instagram.