Within hours, the doc had taken off. Less than 24 hours after the launch, dozens of jobs have been posted to the spreadsheet. Over a dozen job candidates — furloughed and otherwise — have listed themselves as available to work.
"Start-ups are very industrious," said Donna Harris, 1776's co-founder. Harris added that Washington is filled with talented people who now aren't being put to use.
Tim Hudak is a furloughed Agriculture Department employee who normally works on Web site analytics. A former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer, Hudak learned about the doc from the D.C. Tech Facebook group and was among the first to sign up. He's now been contacted by three employers about freelance gigs.
As many as 800,000 federal workers may be stuck at home, according to estimates — at a cost to the economy of $12.5 million an hour. If more feds take on part-time work, it could help stem at least some of the losses.
If you're a federal worker considering freelancing, you'll need to check your agency's ethics guidelines. Hudak says his employer sent around a notice before the shutdown hit temporarily waiving the requirement to report side jobs but that all other ethical guidelines were still in effect.
The doc has been so successful, it may soon be replaced by a full-on Web site, says myEdmatch's Clark. He says he's working with another developer from 1776 to launch something more polished.
Update: The folks at
1776 BLEN Corp., using 1776's data, have now hacked together a simple (but gorgeous-looking) site that makes the spreadsheet a lot easier to use. It even has a clever URL: unfurlough.us.