Plenty has been said of how the pandemic has accelerated a decades-long trend of companies worldwide increasingly transitioning from full-time, in-house employees to remote-working employees, contractors, and freelancers. The reason is simple: it saves businesses time and money.
The growing acceptance of remote work will create greater opportunities for freelancers, motivating more people to become freelancers and abandon their full-time jobs.
"If remote work during times of the current crisis has proven anything is that freelancers can be a significant asset, particularly given the other advantages they represent for companies, particularly those struggling financially due to the Covid-19 outbreak," said AnyTask Head of Marketing Cathy Jenkins. "The freelance revolution is underway."
Remote work has proven highly effective for many companies globally, Jenkins added. "We at AnyTask anticipated the outcome of the virus in March and transitioned the entire staff to working remotely, which has proven to be as if not more productive than working in office."
The shift to freelance and remote work has sparked the emergence of hundreds of online freelance talent platforms globally, which can save companies time and money even compared to traditional recruitment agencies.
"Research and studies have revealed that many human resources managers are turning away from staffing agencies and are now increasing using online marketplaces for freelancers with specific skill sets they need to complete their projects," said Cathy.
"The fact that the pandemic forced many companies to adopt a remote work model means today, more businesses are better positioned to easily transition into the freelance work model than they were before the pandemic," Jenkins said.
Conversely, full-time employees who are remote working are now considering freelancing for the first time. They've experienced the benefits: less time on commutes to work and no transportation costs, among others.
Eight out of ten surveyed, say they now consider freelancing
According to a survey by Paychex, 82% of people said they are now contemplating freelancing in addition to their formal employment as a side hustle to increase their income. The study also found that only 59% of those surveyed were freelancing while also working full-time. However, 51% said they prefer only to freelance moving forward.
The study also revealed that most of the tasks freelancers take on are mostly content-based when it comes to freelancing. Paychex found that 48% of those surveyed who are freelancing do research, while 37% do data entry, 29% writing, and 20% do editing and proofreading.
Cathy Jenkins said the story on AnyTask is a bit different. The most popular freelance categories for buyers are logo design, photo-editing, social media marketing, web traffic, creative writing, blog posts, and video intros, outros, and short video ads.
"On the tech side, our most popular categories are Web, PHP and .NET programming as well as data research and scraping," she highlighted. "Because of lockdown restrictions in many countries, more people are also purchasing from our lessons/teaching category."
There is no denying that the freelance revolution is underway, as Mrs. Jenkins said, and that projections by global organizations that the online freelancing industry will grow to nearly $3 trillion in the next five years could likely be exceeded.