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A mental health guide for agencies when hiring creative freelancers

A mental health guide for agencies when hiring creative freelancers

by Wishu
26 May 2021

The freelance life is by no means an easy one. According to a recent survey, 61% of freelancers work five days a week or more and only 4% of our freelancers feel their employing clients have their mental wellbeing in mind.


Needless to say, something needs to be done to change this statistic for the better. 

creative freelancer mental health when working on projects for agency
iStock image

Some statistic to bear in mind from a client perspective are the following:

  • 80% state that clients never give the correct brief or clarity on a project.

  • 71% state that clients simply stop responding to them. 

This article aims to educate on and outline the possible resources available to freelancers so that clients are aware of how they may extend a helping hand. 
Here are the main causes for mental health caused by freelance work and how to help from a client perspective: 
  • Money worries
    Freelancers come from all different backgrounds and as the client, we can’t assume where or when their last paycheck came from. We suggest paying on a weekly rather than monthly basis to ease their financial worries. 
  • Imposter syndrome
    Imposter syndrome makes freelancers feel they are not ‘proper’ artists or members of the team. As if they are Other. This could be due to the freelancer’s gender, race, age, religion or other factors. The key to preventing this is inclusivity. Include the freelancer in discussions, be friendly in your approach and simply remind them that we are all human and we all feel like talentless crap sometimes!
  • Rejection
    Rejection is inevitable and we’re not telling you to say yes to everybody by any means. However, the means of rejection make all the difference here. If you can follow up and confirm that the job isn’t available that’s a great start – it’s certainly better than the majority of silent rejection. It would also be great to note pointers of where and how you were impressed by their work and how they may improve or that they simply weren’t right for this specific project. 
  • Working alone
    Freelance life can be a lonely one. For this reason, make sure to schedule meetings at least once a week and if they’re local, try and invite them to your coffee shop or coworking space for a professional update. 
  • Feeling overwhelmed
    The downside of modern tech and the 24/7 accessibility of everybody is that we can often feel bombarded with messages and feedback because we are ‘available at any hour. Be wary of how often you are contacting the freelancer. To-dos and pointers should be organised in one singular message so they are easier to find. Feedback should be given a couple of times a week and not every other day for this will most likely decrease the freelancer’s productivity,  
  • Performance anxiety
    In continuation, if the feedback is harsh and often, the freelancer will naturally become sensitive, defensive and less keen to show you their updates. Make them feel welcome and encourage their creativity along with a couple of pointers on how they could tailor the work. 


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