As the entire world watches news of growing vaccine availability and crosses their fingers for a swift return back to life before Covid-19, we’re all wondering:
What will the “new normal” look like?
When it comes to the workplace, it’s safe to say the “new normal” will be completely different than life before the pandemic.
Many big brands are implementing long-term or indefinite remote work policies.
Other companies are canceling their building leases and opting to save millions on overhead instead.
And in the wake of this huge revolution, freelance and contract work are at an all-time high.
Together with a surge in high-quality freelance workers and an increase in corporate budgets to hire contractors, the pandemic has created a perfect storm for the freelance economy.
This can mean big business for freelancers and companies alike. Let me show you how:
For starters, 2020 saw the largest surge in new freelance talent ever recorded.
With an estimated 400 million jobs lost in the second quarter of 2020, millions of people flocked to freelancing as an alternative to a traditional 9-5 job.
That’s why freelancing sites have taken off in the last year. At least 2 million people joined the “freelance workforce” officially in 2020.
For the most part, these are not part-time, uneducated freelancers. Many director, or even C-Level professionals who are tired of working long hours at the office, have opted for more flexible, work-at-home jobs as freelancers or fractional employees.
It’s not a huge surprise, since, in 2011, McKinsey research estimated that 58% of U.S. companies were inclined to use freelancers in high company roles in the years ahead.
And with a growing freelance industry estimated at over 1.2 Trillion dollars, it’s easy to see why more and more freelancers want a piece of the pie.
Of course, it’s not only the number of people choosing to start freelancing that is increasing dramatically as we adjust to a “new normal.”
More companies than ever before are hiring freelancers for all kinds of jobs. And that’s just one of the many “bright sides” freelancers are facing during the pandemic.
The numbers are staggering:
In the second quarter of 2020 (soon after the pandemic hit the U.S.), one report indicates online freelance job postings rose by 41%.
Here at Fiverr, we saw a 44% increase year-over-year due to more clients spending more money on freelance projects. That was just in the first quarter of 2020
We’ve also seen a major increase in companies joining the platform to hire freelancers. And we’ve seen an increase in our high-value buyers, which now represents 58% of our revenues.
So what do these growing stats mean for the freelance industry?
For freelancers, it means there’s more work than ever to be had. A talented person can make a good living working as a freelancer.
There are plenty of clients looking for freelancers to fill gaps created by lay-offs or furloughs. There are loads of new industries needing part-time support. And many of them have healthy budgets to devote to a team of freelancers.
For businesses, it means more and more companies are trusting freelancers as a viable way to get important tasks done.
Hiring freelancers means saving on overhead and reducing project costs. It involves less onboarding, fewer benefits, sometimes lower wages, and often a workforce that can get projects done while you’re sleeping.
If you still haven’t experimented with hiring freelancers, it’s time you embrace the idea. Join your peers and millions of companies around the world who use freelancers to get important tasks done and move their business forward.
This is the “new normal” and it’s going to be great.