My OFS, Julia, recently got this message from her graphic designer friend. The message is in Filipino, but it roughly translates to:

I just want to share. My client is amazing. He pays me a minimum salary even when I don’t have tasks. Thank you for introducing me to

This is a big help for me especially with today’s inflation.

I’m glad Julia’s friend has a stable job where she doesn’t have to jump from one job to another to provide for her family. This is a great message.

But I know some of you might read this and think: Oh no! The poor employer! He ran out of tasks to give his OFS, and how he’s paying her to do nothing.

Some of you might see this as an argument for freelance or project-based work. As an employer, you shouldn’t have to pay for time when they’re doing nothing.

But I understand why her employer is doing this. I do this. I’ve seen a lot of others do this.

Maybe she’s a really good graphic designer who’s a good fit for the business. He’d rather pay her to stay than risk not having her when he needs a designer. It’s just easier that way.

But I also agree that this isn’t sustainable long term. You want your OFS to work if you’re paying for their time. Otherwise, the OFS will get bored and go find work elsewhere.  Everyone needs to fill their time.

So what can you do when your OFS runs out of things to do? I will use my graphic designer, Elijah, as an example of how I deal with this issue.

The first (and easiest) thing to do is to ask them what else they can do. That’s what I did. He started out as a graphic designer but also knew how to edit videos. Now he edits all my videos and podcasts.

Next, I asked what ideas he has to improve the business.  He had a lot.

Next is to look at the other things you want to get off your plate. I sometimes ask Elijah for his input on things I’m working on because, as a creative, he has a different perspective on things. His feedback sometimes helps me figure things out, which saves me time thinking and problem-solving.

Another thing I do is to see where my OFS can help make our existing processes better or more efficient. Like when Elijah helps out our social media team with their templates and brand guidelines.

Lastly, I look at our low-priority stuff. We don’t need to do these things, but it would be nice if they got done. So when my content team isn’t busy, they would update old blog posts with new images.

What do you do when your OFS runs out of things to do? Let me know!


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