Xenios Thrasyvoulou is founder and CEO of freelance jobs marketplace PeoplePerHour. Established in 2007, PeoplePerHour is a collaborative freelancer community that can provide entrepreneurs and businesses with the skills and expertise they need to bring their ideas to life. Over the last 14 years, it has solved more than 1 million problems for businesses and paid out over £135 million to freelancers around the world. Here, Xenios Thrasyvoulou picks the six things he couldn’t do his job without
1 Chemex Drip coffee
One of the most iconic ways of making pour-over coffee is the Chemex. Using a Chemex to make coffee is simple and gives it a natural flavour. Aside from producing great tasting coffee, the process is therapeutic and helps frame my mind, which, together with the caffeine, enables me to work longer. It’s won numerous design awards and is on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
I love using Zoom to communicate with the team at PeoplePerHour. Because we are based around the world, it’s crucial to have a reliable way to communicate — and actually see one another as we do so. Zoom works consistently works well for everything from quick one-on-one check and training sessions to company-wide demos. Zoom is one of the tools we rely on most.
If we weren’t set up from the start to work with freelancers and contractors, we’d have compromised on skills and been confined to one culture and geography. Instead, the ability to scale quickly with on-demand, global talent has given us the flexibility to transform our small team into a cross-border, international one. From a practical perspective, it has allowed us to cover multiple time-zones for our clients. More than that, it has enabled us to bring together a multitude of different perspectives and build a multi-cultural, diverse and global team.
I use WhatsApp for communication threads and audio messages. It’s quick and easy to use when I’m on the go, and I can keep track of my conversations.
I started meditating in 2019 and do it religiously every day. To begin with I used apps like Calm, but then I did a course in transcendental meditation. Most of us acknowledge the importance of working out, training our body and staying healthy. Meditation is training for the mind – it trains your mind to control your thoughts and emotions, to find stillness and quiet and to clear itself of the over-information we are bombarded with, the clutter and the noise. It’s a cleansing process for the brain that gives me the headspace to think freshly and clearly.
6 Boxing gloves
Boxing requires total concentration – you have to switch off from the outside world and be fully focused. Averting worries or stress in this way, whilst also releasing toxins from my muscles, helps give me a fresh perspective on problems so that I am better able to deal with them. I also have a great sense of achievement after my sessions.
Freelancing on the side
PeoplePerHour saw its biggest rise in registrations for more than a decade during the pandemic. In the UK, 227,000 people applied to use the platform in 2020, up from 136,000 in 2019. Globally, it was a similar story, with a 61% jump in freelancer registrations. Of those who signed up in 2020, over a third said they did so because they lost their job or were furloughed due to Covid 19, while 20% wanted to switch to freelancing full-time. Four in ten (40%) said they registered on PeoplePerHour because they wanted to increase their income. This finding is backed up by a separate survey of 1,000 freelancers, which reveals a clear trend of employees turning to freelancing as a side-hustle. Almost one in five (19%) of those surveyed are full-time employees who freelance on the side; 24% said they had first dipped their toes in self-employment to add to their main income.