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50,000 freelancers strike back: petition against retirement tax succeeds

The petition against Germany’s planned €350 monthly freelancer retirement tax has succeeded. More than 50,000 people signed the e-petition, forcing the Bundestag’s petitions committee to schedule a hearing on the issue. News of the plans to slug freelancers with a flat monthly retirement fee sparked a social media campaign to attack the tax. Meanwhile, it has emerged that the labour ministry will pay a million euros to the McKinsey consulting firm to write a report on how the law could be most efficiently implemented.

  • New €350 monthly freelancer tax “will kill innovation in Germany”

    The German government’s plan to force freelancers to pay a compulsory retirement tax will kill off entrepreneurship and destroy millions of independent careers. That’s the opinion of Tim Wessels, who has launched a petition against the so-called “Rewarding Life’s Work” law. Freelancers will be forced to pay a minimum of €350 a month to support the pension system.

  • Freelancers to pay more in Germany

    In Germany, from July 1st 2013, many self-empolyed workers risk enduring significant financial burdens that threaten their professional existence, especially for those who have inconsistent or precarious sources of income. The creative economy is likely to shrink as a result. Here is a petition to the German parliament urging them to review this bill.

  • Freelancers of the World, Grab Your Bills!

    According to a recent survey carried out by the Freelancers Union, 77% of freelancers - totaling just under 27 million workers - have been subject to nonpayment, having difficulty collecting money owed for services provided. Even more troubling is that at present, these workers remain unprotected by state legislation, and lack any legal means to collect outstanding dues. To address this unfair issue, The Freelancers Union today will launch the World’s Longest Invoice.

  • Coworking at Europe's biggest tech fair

    While hundreds of coworking enthusiasts gathered in Austin last week at the Global Coworking Unconference Conference to discuss all things familiar, another intrepid group of coworking missionaries entered unchartered territory. This year, a faction of the German coworking movement visited CeBIT, the biggest consumer technology fair in Europe.

  • Toronto's coworking spaces unite for one passport to all spaces

    One of the pillars of coworking is collaboration, and the Coworking Toronto collective is tossing away notions of competition and instead, are working together. The first tool to facilitate this is the Coworking Toronto Passport Program which helps freelancers and digital nomads to try out many spaces.

  • 1320 coworking spaces worldwide

    The number of coworking spaces worldwide reached 1320 at the beginning of February 2012, 88% more than a year ago. This incredible growth rate has been mostly fuelled by coworking spaces opening in South and Central America, Australia, and Africa.

  • Tell your Jellyweek story

    Two hundred and three venues in all corners of the world are gearing up for a range of events as today marks the first day of the first ever Worldwide Jellyweek. As a part of the community nature of the event, both Deskmag and Worldwide Jellyweek organisers Anni Woolf and Willi Schroll are calling out to all those involved to share their stories, serving as inspiration and a chance for collaboration.

  • Open offices: companies test out shared workspace

    The growth of the “shared economy” has been changing the way individuals transact, through a boom in shared cars, holiday apartments, and – yes – workspaces. Now a pilot project in The Netherlands will test the ability of the corporate sector to engage in resource sharing. Fifty big Dutch companies will open their offices to each others’ employees.

  • The most popular Deskmag stories in 2011

    What were the most important issues for the coworking movement in 2011? As the year draws to a close, Deskmag looks back at the most popular articles. 2011 was our first full year online, and we published exactly 120 articles. Many thanks to our guest writers, who contributed diversity to the conversation. Here’s a summary of the most popular stories from the past year.

  • Coworking Holiday Cheer

    December is the time of year when people push their laptop aside (guilt-free) and come together to share in good spirit and, hopefully, good food. Deskmag wanted to know what kind of shenanigans coworking spaces around the world were teeing up for the Holiday season in order to give back and reach out to their community. We chose two responses that we felt captured both the season and the spirit of coworking, and hope that their acts of giving will put a smile on your face at this time of year.

  • Coworking holiday contest

    The holiday season is upon us. Beyond the glitz of lights on city blocks and scurrying around the shops in preparation for our various gift needs, we also get together to celebrate with our friends, families and coworkers. Deskmag wants to know what you or your space have done, to celebrate this holiday season. To get the ball rolling on this endeavour we have decided to bribe you all with a coworking coffee mug!

  • First results of Global Coworking Survey

    Today Deskmag presented the preliminary results from the 2nd Global Coworking Survey at the Coworking Europe Conference. The study discovered a wealth of information about the benefits of coworking, including increased productivity and networks. Here’s a brief summary of the key facts.

  • Coworking Europe Conference starts

    Berlin has delivered a golden autumn week for the arriving participants of the 2nd Coworking Europe Conference, which begins in a matter of hours. Several hundred people from around Europe and the world are making their way to Cluboffice for the first of three packed days of information and interaction. Deskmag will be on stage soon to give some of the results from the 2nd Global Coworking Survey.

  • 2nd Global Coworking Survey launched

    The biggest worldwide study of coworking is officially underway, seeking a better understanding of the demographics and economics behind the movement. Who are today’s coworkers? How are the relations amongst coworker? What values do really count? How do coworking spaces stay viable? These important questions will be answered through the second annual Global Coworking Survey. Visit the study at

  • Why the Starbucks crackdown is good for coworking

    In July 2010 Starbucks started to offer free WiFi to everyone in its U.S. stores. A year later, the coffee shop company changed a part of this strategy again, and stores in New York City purposefully began to prevent mobile workers from accessing electrical outlets.

  • The slow death of the traditional office

    A new study found many large companies are adopting flexible workplace strategies to save costs and concludes: “In the future, companies will focus their strategy on a more flexible working model, where employees find their own office space… Work is no longer a place you go, it is something you do.”

  • A new look for Deskmag

    Almost exactly one year ago we launched Deskmag. Since then we’ve written more than a hundred articles about this new form of collaborative work. For our birthday we’ve updated the site according to the request of our readers.

  • The 1st Global Coworking Survey

    Between January and April 2011, Deskmag analysed the results of the first Global Coworking Survey and published them in a series of twelve themed articles, which are listed here as a summary. Through our analysis we wanted to provide coworking spaces with helpful information to better understand and serve their members.

  • Coworking in Cairo during the protests

    Ulrike von Ruecker has lived in Egypt for more than ten years. In 2007 she co-founded The Hub in Cairo and has managed it since its opening. Last wednesday night several people died at the Tahrir Square, and countless people were seriously injured. The mood is depressed: "I am completely worried and still need to sort myself out." We interviewed her under these difficult conditions and spoke to her about the current situation of coworkers in Egypt.

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