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All about the Freelance workforce

21 Feb, 2020 / MVS Mani

A term that is more common today than it was 10 years ago, freelance is also known as gig. It consists of people who work on short term contracts and are self-employed workers who take up specific jobs rather than permanent ones. This is a time when people no longer want 9 to 5 jobs and they instead choose to work multiple jobs with more flexible hours.

Many statistics are floating around about how the Freelance industry is growing at an exponential rate. A study by McKinsey shows that it is set to be a $20 to 30 billion industry in 5 years. A PwC report says that in the near future, organizations will have only few in-house employees and a much larger remote, virtual and networked freelance workforce.

Why Freelance?

There are many factors that contribute to the growing freelance workforce. Some of the main reasons are independence, freedom of choice and also better financial prospects. Individual freelancers do not like to relocate. For example, the highly skilled tech workforce in a city like Bangalore may not be willing to move cities, however, they might be open to working remotely.

How is it possible?

Of course, all this is possible thanks to technological advancements in the last couple of decades as most freelancers are remote workers. Due thanks must also go to co-working spaces where consultants, freelancers and even smaller companies work together in an efficient manner. The age group of this workforce vary from early twenties to mid-forties.  

Proliferation

In countries like the US freelancers contributed $1.28 trillion to the economy and in the current rate of growth, more than 50% of the US workforce will be gig by 2027. The increase of gig work is via employers such as Uber, Lyft, Turo and more. There is a gigantic shift from old-fashioned work that comes with full-time employment to Independent freelancing, part-time jobs and even contracting. About 36% of US workers are now involved in the gig economy. A study by Ernst & Young on the ‘Future of Jobs in India’ claimed that 24 per cent of the world’s gig workers are in India.

Advantages for employers

Cost

Hiring a person involves a much higher cost for any company. With freelancers, this can be reduced by a considerable level as they can be hired on a need basis. Also, since they do not work out of the office, the overhead as well as administrative cost goes down.

Tap talent

Utilizing freelancers also mean that a company can look out for talent from anywhere. The employees need not necessarily move bases, which makes it a global workplace.

Skill upgrade

Freelancers will proactively update their skills to stay marketable and this makes them a better choice for organisations.

Start-ups

Start-ups may not be able to hire the bigwigs and in order to get those specialised skills, they can look at freelancers on a short term basis. It is an advantage from both sides.

Productivity

People who work from the comfort of their homes are more productive than those who have to beat traffic and reach work every day. They are also happier and less stressed out. 

In today’s world, the youth do not want to stay put in one place. Gone are the days where you retire from the very first place that you joined. This is a generation that does not mind taking risk if it means that there is a chance that they can get what they really want.

It is still a new form of work in India and one needs to be careful while hiring. One needs to ensure that the right person is found for the right job. Sites like Freelancer, WorkIndia, Upwork and more are places where one can hire freelancers.

If you are looking for quality workforce, do check out gohls as well.

What do you think about the gig economy? Are you a part of it too? I would love to hear your thoughts.  

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