If you’re like most small businesses in this country right now, you’ve had to handle a massive shift in public opinion due to the COVID crisis. With the exploding demand for remote workers, many businesses had to completely reorganize their infrastructure. At this point, most companies have fallen into a groove and have things mostly figured out; surprisingly enough, that groove has included freelance employees.
Things didn’t really change much for freelancers. Most of us already work remotely, accepting jobs and projects from small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the private sector. When the businesses we are hired by started to realize the value of diverse, remote work, most of us saw an uptick in project requests. Depending on the type of work you are looking to outsource, you can usually find a freelancer pretty easily – and you are under no obligation to work with them after the project is completed.
Freelance Work Has Been on the Rise Since Before COVID
According to Freelancer’s CEO Matt Barrie (in a comment for CNBC), “while Covid-19 has been the trigger of the already upward trending freelancer movement, this exponential growth can also be attributed to the strong demand for individuals to finally start their own freelance enterprise, work on their own terms and supplement their income.”
Given the choice, most of us would prefer to be self-employed, pay ourselves, and have time left over for the family. As a result of COVID, I think we’ve all whetted our appetites for remote work, and freelancing is really the best of this world. Unfortunately, you have to have the client base to support you if you want to make a living doing freelance work; however, if you’ve ever considered freelancing, now is really the time to get your feet wet and start rocking it.
If you’re interested in how to get started, read my post on how I got started with freelance writing and editing!
Freelancing Isn’t Going Away
Even if we somehow get COVID under control, I don’t think we’re going to see the numbers of remote workers plummet. We’ve entered a new online market where business owners have started hiring for projects rather than an ongoing job. This benefits both the business and the freelancer – rather than hiring for a position that is only necessary for the short term, the owner can hire and pay a freelancer without commitment.
According to Forbes, “freelancers offered a cost and expertise efficient alternative: buy as much or as little help as needed “on-demand”.” This is exactly what I’m seeing from my side of the coin – certain businesses are booming and need additional help. At the same time, they want to protect their payroll in case they need to hire full-time employees. The very concept of company employees is shifting under our feet.
LinkedIn: “As small businesses embrace the gig economy, owners and managers can hire freelancers to take on specific scopes of work in specified timeframes. When you assign your contracted worker to a pressing short-term project, it eases the stress and workload of your staff. It also brings more flexibility and agility to your budgeting. When you need to scale up or down, your hiring can reflect that without the traditional overhead that comes with employees.“
What are your thoughts on the massive boom for freelancers during the COVID crisis? Do you use freelancers? If so, how has your experience been?