Announcing the 2018 Kalo Best Companies for Freelancers List
Share this
26 February 2019 / Freelance Economy

Announcing the 2018 Kalo Best Companies for Freelancers List

We’re excited to announce  our annual best companies to freelance for list. The Kalo best recognizes the best companies to freelance for each year - as voted by freelancers.

2018 has been a big year for professionals, for freelancers, for consultants, for independent workers of all kinds. The growth of this workforce is stretching beyond specific industries or job roles - it’s creating careers and brand new lifestyles and forcing change at the corporate, economic and political level.

The world of work has changed - it's far bigger than just the people that sit next to you in an office and the continued rise of freelancer is indicative of the trend. Freelancers are contributing at every level of companies in meaningful ways. Here at Kalo, our mission is to enable professionals of all types to work with anyone, anywhere. We help companies remove the barriers and borders associated with work and empower freelancers to achieve their full potential.

About the List
The 2018 Best Companies To Freelance For list was built by directly surveying over 1600 freelancers and analyzing interactions between over 200k freelancers and 4,000 companies. We asked freelancers which companies they freelanced with this this year and which ones they would recommend as a good place to freelance and why (see more on our methodology). The four benchmarks are as follows:

  • Communication
  • Utilization of skills
  • Time to payment
  • Inclusion

The 2018 Top 10

  • Airbnb
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Nike
  • Washington post
  • New York Times
  • Thrillist
  • Lendingtree
  • IDEO
  • The Daily Dot

See the full list at



Why Do We Do Kalo Best Each Year?
We know freelancers are underrepresented, despite being the driving force behind some of the world’s most innovative companies. Their voice isn’t being heard and we want to change that.
Kalo empowers freelancers to achieve their potential. We want to represent the voice of every person who has carved their own path, and to provide a platform for them to have the chance to do their best work and to get paid fairly for it. We felt a new list, with benchmarks geared around freelance criteria, was needed to bring more transparency to the industry. Freelancers need to know the best workplaces that reward their unique brand of work, and companies can benefit from knowing what they can do to be competitive among the freelance workforce.

What’s New This Year?
In addition to asking about the companies that freelancers enjoyed working with, this year we extended the survey to gather additional insights into the freelance lifestyle. Some key takeaways include:

  • 40% of those surveyed said they felt the companies they worked for treated them worse than full-time employees
  • 52% who were regularly paid late reported feeling stressed and anxious as a result.
  • For these freelancers, 61% believe the freelance lifestyle is healthier than a traditional full-time position and 62% believe their mental health and wellbeing is better.

We’re looking forward to what the next year holds for freelancers and the companies that work with them. We can’t wait to see what the 2019 Kalo Best looks like.


Press Release Below


Kalo’s New Survey of 1,600+ Freelancers Nationwide Reveals Best Companies to Work for in Hot Gig Economy

AirBnB remains at the top spot, Apple moves up to second place and Amazon drops to third. The survey also showed feeling stressed and anxious plagues 52% of freelancers who reported being regularly paid late.

 San Francisco, California – February 26, 2019 - Kalo, the leading SaaS platform used by companies and freelancers in over 100 countries to work together in a collaborative, safe and compliant way from assignment through payment, today released the findings of its annual ‘Best Companies To Freelance For’ survey. 

 Kalo commissioned a survey of more than 1,600 freelancers in the United States. Data and feedback received from the respondents revealed the best companies for freelancers and what makes them the top-rated choices. The survey used four key benchmarks:

  • Communication
  • Utilization of skills
  • Payments
  • Company inclusion


AirBnB remained at the top spot this year, while Apple moved up the rankings since 2017 to take the number two spot. Amazon dropped one spot to third-best company.  Top newcomers this year include Nike, Washington Post and New York Times, with giants like Walmart and McDonalds not making the top 10 this year. 

  1. Airbnb
  2. Apple
  3. Amazon
  4. Nike
  5. Washington Post
  6. New York Times
  7. Thrillist
  8. Lendingtree
  9. Ideo
  10. thedailydot

 Freelancers working for top rated companies - Airbnb, Amazon, Apple and Nike - said their employers communicated effectively with them, utilized their skill-sets well, paid them promptly and made them feel they were part of the team.

Additionally, results revealed 61% of freelancers believe the freelance lifestyle is healthier than a traditional full-time position, while 62% reported that their mental health and wellbeing is better.

However, 40% of those surveyed said that they felt the companies they worked for treated them worse than full-time employees and 52% who were regularly paid late reported feeling stressed and anxious as a result.

 “Freelancers are the lifeblood of many of our most innovative companies globally, yet they often exist as a shadow workforce, operating without the same rights and respect as full-time workers,” said Peter Johnston, founder and CEO of Kalo. “It is great to see some truly progressive companies are treating freelancers with the respect their reputation and skills deserve, but it’s clear there is a lot of work to do for the majority. Getting paid on time is still one of the biggest pain points for freelancers but this is a basic right. Kalo will continue to conduct this survey each year to give a voice to freelancers and highlight which companies are doing well. The reality is that these professionals are being hired for their valuable expertise yet are often treated like second class citizens, often considered disposable. I’m excited that more brands are making freelancer engagement and policy a key part of their company initiatives in 2019.” 

Experts estimate there are over 53 million freelancers currently working for companies in the U.S. a figure estimated to rise with independent workers making up half of the professional workforce by 2020*. 

With this the rapid growth of this highly-productive sector of the workforce, which has a combined value to the US economy of USD$1.3 trillion, or 6.4% of the GDP which is a 30% jump from 2017**, comes its own set of new challenges. The Kalo Best survey aims to reveal what these challenges are and uncover innovative ways to improve the future of the freelance economy and those who work within it. 

Kalo currently enables over 4,000 companies to work with over 200,000 freelancers including many of the Fortune 500. With the Kalo community expected to grow to over one million freelancers by 2020, they are committed to giving freelancers a voice and a platform to share their concerns as they become an increasingly vital part of the workforce of many global brands.

Freelancer Case Studies

A  Freelance Designer from North Carolina says, “The best companies I’ve freelanced for have placed a greater value on their freelance workers. Engagements with freelancing are getting longer as companies are placing a larger emphasis on customer and user experience, which is not a quick task. With these longer engagements, some companies are offering close to the same benefits for freelancers and contractors as full timers. I've also seen a boom in remote freelance work. More companies are offering their full time employees opportunity to work remote and this has rolled over to freelance roles. Companies I've freelanced with have seen the benefit of having access to a larger talent pool with remote freelance workers.

A freelance Graphic Designer from Ohio who freelanced for over 24 companies in 2018. Says, “a good company respects and values my work as an illustrator, understands that I have experience working on successful projects and they trusts me. They pay me on time, know what they want in a project and effectively communicate to me in time. But most of all, they treat me as part of their team and takes into account my opinions.”

 A freelance writer based in Oregon says, “with larger companies, freelancers get sent down to the bottom the pack and are treated as if their livelihoods, schedules and workflows don't matter. At the start of the year, I was still chasing unpaid invoices from 2017 projects. The worst thing, by far, is getting paid on time. Chasing invoices, money and even necessary work pieces is a huge drag on time and resources. It makes the freelance lifestyle highly unreliable.“ 

About Kalo

Kalo is the leading saas platform used by companies and freelancers in over 100 countries to work together in a collaborative, safe and compliant way. Headquartered in San Francisco, Kalo is backed by PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel and Max Levchin through SciFi VC, as well as Goldcrest Capital, Kindred Capital and Glynn Capital.


Peter Johnston

Peter Johnston

Founder & CEO @ Kalo

Read More

Freelancer onboarding, management and payments made easy with Kalo.

Find out more
Kalo Platform