The challenges posed by the novel Coronavirus have been vexing full-time personnel for quite some while now, not to mention the freelancers who have been among the hardest-hit groups. Having been caught off guard like most professionals around the world, could freelancers find themselves in deep waters as businesses seek to bounce back from such unprecedented times?
Given the dilemma, freelancers are now left thinking, how would this affect them in the future? What measures can they take to protect themselves from future uncertainties? In addition to restoring their job security, freelance professionals face a huge task during COVID-19 to re-establish themselves. However, there is hope. Despite the grim outlook, contractual and freelance work has started picking up steam with skilled professionals increasingly rendering more and more high-end services to their clients.
The “gig economy” constituted by these self-employed workers is undoubtedly a booming market space as we speak and with the integration of social media, it has become a popular career path among many teenagers and retrenched full-time employees around the world. Could this be the spark leading up to the explosion of the freelancing industry?
Freelance Industry During COVID-19 And After
The spread of COVID-19 has increasingly highlighted the importance of financial support in terms of healthcare around the globe and as we all know, most freelancers aren’t entitled to certain privileges including sick leave and health insurance if compared to their full-time counterparts.
Although COVID-19 has caused widespread pandemonium, on the brighter side, the flexibility of the self-employed workforce has allowed them to cope up with dynamic business trends, new industry skills requirements, and emerging industries. One of the most optimistic findings from a recent report on the same theme suggests that women’s participation in self-employment is gaining momentum, and women’s average wages are rapidly surpassing the usual standards.
With tools like Zoom flourishing during the pandemic, white-collar jobs have had a more flexible approach. Subsequently, due to an increased dependence on technology, these dynamic trends are expected to continue beyond the immediate future and are likely to open up more avenues for freelancers.
As companies begin to outsource work to freelancers, the pandemic has anything but proved to be a boon for the self-employed workforce.
What does the future for freelancers behold?
With the recent gush of tailwind and enthusiasm surrounding the concept of “freelancing”, governments around the world are taking initiatives towards promotion of the culture of working from the comfort of your own homes and also providing programs that enable the working class to develop their skills online. Due to this, a steady shift has been observed and more and more full-time employees are giving up their full-time roles for self-employed roles either as a source of primary or secondary income.
Even big corporations have now started making use of digital talent platforms as they see a competitive edge in shifting from the standard full-time workforce model to a freelancing one. At the same time, millions of skilled freelance job seekers are being hired by big corporations through these platforms saving these companies ample time and money, a trend witnessed during COVID-19 led pandemic and otherwise.
Lately, websites like Fiverr, Upwork Inc, Task rabbit, People Per Hour have come up in a big way and have only gone onto promote the budding concept of freelancing. Take Fiverr for instance. The website works by letting its users bid for professional services which involve web designing, copywriting, dance lessons, and well pretty much anything you can imagine. Usually, the order is placed promptly but the date for delivery can be modified according to the seller. Fiverr takes 20% from the total order value and the rest is deposited with the professional. The emergence of such platforms gives incentive to more and more people to give freelancing a shot.
There have also been speculations stating that very soon freelancing might overtake conventional jobs only due to the sheer advantage it has over a full time role. Freedom of work is a benefit that very few individuals get, especially if you’re not among the top tier executives at your company. Freelancing not only gives you this benefit but also allows you to diversify your pay check portfolio and develop multiple sources of income and at the end of the day, what really matters is an increased satisfaction and a well balanced work life.
As this sector penetrates the job market at an exponential rate, it seems quite evident that more and more full-time workforce will be inclined towards making a shift from the rigid work structure and embrace the feeling of becoming a freelancer and working for their own self.