Yardzen is a rapidly-growing landscape design business that is now recruiting remote freelance designers to work on a contract basis.

Expected pay: $15,000 – $20,000 (est. for 3-months)

Husl$core: $$$

Commissions & fees: NA

Requirements: Experience; knowledge of 3D landscape design software; interview and screening process

Where: Nationwide

Yardzen review:

Yardzen is a rapidly-growing landscape design firm that has recently opted to fuel it’s growth with remote designers. Freelance designers work under 3-month, renewable contracts. The site expects applicants to have previous design experience and be adept at designing with 3D software. Yardzen does not indicate how much designers are paid. However, Glassdoor estimates the range at around $75,000 annually.

Because this is a new initiative, at a relatively established company, most reviews of working for Yardzen don’t speak to the attractiveness of the site’s remote positions.

Employee — rather than contractor — reviews also indicate that the site is going through some growing pains. Recent reviews cite rapid hiring and some internal chaos. Some of the employee reviews may indicate the challenges that freelance designers could face here.

Expectations

For instance, Yardzen’s pitch to freelancers includes the expectation that you’ll work for Yardzen at least 20 hours a week. The site also expects that you’re skilled at “time management and can easily switch from one task to the next.” Immediately after that, Yardzen emphasizes that designers must meet “challenging deadlines and juggle multiple projects at once.”

Among the more prevalent complaints from current employees that they’re overworked and underpaid.

Notably, too, landscape design is traditionally locally-focused. That’s because weather, zoning and terrain can all play an important role in good landscape design. And, where 3D mapping software may be able to provide accurate elevations, soil composition and local fire regulations could impact the type of flora and fauna advisable in any given area.

Recommendations:

Yardzen may be worth a shot, if you need project work. However, you might do equally well — or better — seeking work through a social media site, such as Nextdoor. You can also advertise your landscaping services on TaskRabbit, where you set your own pay and availability for work.

What their designers say (from Glassdoor)

I found the workload unmanageable. Most days consisted well beyond 8 hours to accommodate the 5 scheduled client meetings and associated follow up work. The company is firmly a technology company with a focus on landscape design as opposed to a landscape design company with technology as a means to support the business. This is not inherently a bad business model but it does put the role of Principal designer in a difficult position to both perform work duties and serve as a sort of catch all for design related issues that other staff do not have the education or experience to easily handle. This is not to take away for the great staff at Yardzen but experience in the landscape design field is obviously important to help resolve certain issues that arise.