The Rise of Freelance Economy – Imarticus LearningMay 4, 2017
Swiping in and out daily at the same place for years together was already a thing of the past. We are undergoing a paradigm shift in our perception of the traditional ways of earning our wage. And that is the Rise of the Freelance Worker, the emerging trend. Rapidly growing numbers in the freelance economy are astonishing. About one-third of all workers are freelancers, self-employed or project based employees. Certain research predicts, by 2020 half of the workforce will be in the above category.
Is this good news or a doorway that is leading to chaos? Although inevitable, trade pundits forecast this to be a positive trend. They endorse, the boon in the freelance economy is here to stay and that it has a positive impact on business. Freelance economy builds a platform to bring together great, experienced talent, with the relevant expertise and skills. They collaborate on a project with a defined lifecycle, could be long or short termed, join forces with the team, which is aligned to perform the given task, where each individual is respected as they are getting something valuable to the table.
And on the successful completion of the project move on to perform other tasks. In doing so they are constantly sharpening their saw and do not feel tied up to one profession or organisation or a role, they do not have to face the rigmarole of a 9-5 job, which in many ways is viewed as the old economy.
Some argued that freelance and full-time jobs share an inverse relationship in the economy. So during times of economic downturn or recession, full-time job openings would freeze and you would see many individuals working on a freelance basis. However, this is debatable, as in recent times with the job economy being constant we are seeing a rise in the freelance industry.
Why is there a change in Paradigm? because of high wage inflation, complexity and cost that goes into training and retaining people, the fixed cost infrastructure, compliance factors like provident fund, taxes etc.., has a direct impact on the cost of doing business. A more linear approach where the rise in revenue does not have a direct impact on a rise in full-time jobs is desired. Companies can easily outsource 20-25% of their workforce by the strategic application. Trends suggest that things are already moving in this direction, where large organisations are retaining core teams and use external resources for hyper specialised skill sets that are nice and not feasible to train or build internally. It is also observed that companies during the initial phase or smaller companies outsource their core jobs as they find it hard to manage the skilled talent on a full-time basis.
Perception Change in the definition of Freelance: In earlier times Freelance would mostly translate into jobs associated with the service industry. Now, you see it penetrating in most sectors. Another mindset change is that earlier outsourcing jobs would mean low-value work like data entry there was nothing for executive roles. however, as mentioned above hyper specialised jobs are a part of high-value projects that are now outsourced to freelancers. It isn’t about temp labour anymore, there is an increased dignity in engaging in the freelance workforce.
There is an untapped pool of women and retired professionals which the freelance economy has been able to tap. Bridging this gap is becoming easier thanks to the ever increasing internet accessibility.
They’re a platform available which acts as a catalyst for the right talent to meet the right company. The digital marketplace connects freelancers with assignments in various areas, on a global platform. This further organises the freelance economy and helps work reach the right talent force. The digital platform also creates pricing transparency at the same time urges the freelancers to stay on top of their game by keeping competition alive, by putting pressure on the prices associated with services.
Is it really as lucrative and easy as it sounds? Not all this is as easy as it sounds, Freelancers are in some sense, entrepreneurs, or to put it better micro-entrepreneurs. They are not only responsible for doing the assigned task but are also responsible for getting work, managing clients, networking so that the projects keep rolling in, manage the consistency in the level of the job performed. Not only that, there are times when one person is juggling between two assignments may be from very diverse fields, it requires a lot of gumption to be focused and perform with the consistent fluidity.Discipline and commitment are intangible requirement to make a mark in the industry so that you get repeat clients.
The resources are there, the Freelance Economy is booming and leaping upward if you are a committed and focused, talented resource there is no stopping you!