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Freelancers Expectations from Online Platform

Few years back only start-ups used to hire freelancers, but nowadays, large MNCs are following this trend. The corporations have realized that gig economy is equally relevant as any other type of employment and they also know how this is can considered as important lever for future growth. The primary reasons consultants opt for freelancing is that it offers flexible models of working, new age technology projects and much more challenging work. Lot of credit goes to the online platforms which work as bridge for both, organizations seeking talents and individuals seeking challenges and right compensation for their talent.

The rise of freelancing platforms can be more eased by providing global marketplace for businesses to help them outsource work at affordable price and help freelancers build their livelihood on their terms and by doing what they like to do. These platforms can provide global marketplace for project execution and consulting giving a boost to the gig economy, but the freelancers look for some important factors in these platforms

Quality of projects

As a freelancer one prefers to join an online platform only when there are enough projects and quality ones to help them work whenever she wishes to work on. Freelancers like any entrepreneur prefer a good pipeline of projects to ensure continuity with good challenges. Most freelancers register on multiple platforms like Freelancer, Upwork and FlexC for their livelihood. The market is full of potentials and so, the need for steady flow of demand is expected. The online platforms providing quantity, quality and relevancy are appreciated by these solo entrepreneurs.

Payment Protection

One of the biggest problem freelancers face is timely payment for the projects they work on and sometimes they even never get the payment. So, when the individuals sign up for the online platforms, the first thing they prefer payment protection. Also, whether they will be rightly paid for their labour or not. Platforms need to make sure right contracts with organizations to block the payment through multiple means. Once the project is executed with satisfaction, the payment can be released to the freelancer. Also Organisations look for Warranty of deliverables which platforms need to ensure contracting with Consultants as well.

Respect and recognition

There is a perception that those who don’t get jobs opt for freelancing. This is changing because work flexibility, location, new challenges are driving people to opt for freelancing and hence, good performers in companies are moving towards this alternative. Organisations are moving towards the virtual and networked workforce with experienced and skilled freelancers. People are respecting them as Solo Entrepreneurs and most of them mature to start their companies instead of working as a freelancer throughout their lives. Not only this, Organisations realise that most of these individuals have location preferencesand  willingly explore for flexible working schedules fitting in so that to have the corresponding talent they are looking for.

Community Experience

Working with online platforms also help eradicate the feeling of isolation that most of the freelancers face while working from home. Most of these platforms need to have their forums or chat system where one can interact with clients and co-workers. Factors like technology forums, mentors , upskilling, cross skilling and training path will be good value adds for Freelancers to move from Solo-entrepreneurs to small start-ups as well.

Right Pricing

One cannot deny the fact that there is huge economic disproportion when it comes to paying freelancers. Online platforms need to offer work opportunities at a nominal percentage of charge. Freelancers look for right balance of compensation, quality and flexibility and these platforms provide fine balance of compensation, freedom and challenges as well as future to them. As far as the monetary inequality between West and India is concerned, it is believed that as the quality expectations will increase, so will the compensation.

Attracting Millennials

Recent surveys show that many millennials and GenZ are embracing the self-employment, independent freelance lifestyle than traditional single employment. The autonomy gives them individuality, purpose and freedom from compulsive work schedule. Online platforms need to built in experience – gaming, amazon like , ready environments etc. to engage millennial workforce on the platform

To sum it all, the space of freelancing platforms is about to be disrupted. This can actually be a good platform for individuals to become entrepreneurs.. The future of online platforms and freelancers in India is bright. One can expect an upward swing because India is already in the list of top 10 countries for freelancers.

Factors driving GIG trend in India

The term freelancing has been the latest buzz on internet especially during the present time when people are staying home to stay safe from COVID. Factors like digitalization, advancement in information technology and increase in online platforms like FlexC, Upwork, Freelancer and many others which specifically facilitate freelancing options have transformed the overall functioning of the organization all over the world. Currently, freelancing or independent consulting is becoming the hottest trend in India.

Not just the start-ups, but also large organizations are exploring the concept of freelancing and designing GIG Framework as well. Along with many other factors making theworkforce on fixed + variable model is the major attraction points for small and large organizations. Several factors are contributing to this new development and some of the driving factors are stated here.

Driving factors for start-ups

According to the statistics, India has third largest number of start-ups in the world. Most of these usually growth stage startups prefer freelancers. This saves them time and money while in turn they get specialised work done. The reasons are:

  • Freelancers have technical and domain skills
  • Flexible workforce
  • Freelancers are easily available and there is no need to wait for full-time hires with long notice period
  • The mind-set is more entrepreneurial than traditional nowadays

Recent studies show that demand for freelancers in digital marketing, artificial intelligence and robotics is high and so is for investment bankers, lawyers, architects and chartered accountants.

Driving factors for established companies

Gone are the days when people used to think that large and established organizations prefer only fulltime hires. Today, more than 60% of large companies in US and other developed countries are working with freelancers because it allows them to access focus expertise and skills, India is catching on the similar trend in white collar jobs as well. With current workforce working remotely and no location constraints, capitalising on independent consultant’s talent pool helps easy on boarding and flexible workforce in these times of uncertain demand. So, companies readily explore remote working arrangements so that they could have the right talent. With shift in increased WFH workforce, lot of MNCs have started defining GIG framework to adopt policies for increasing independent consultants as future workforce.

Freelancers or as new internet companies like UBER, ZOMATO call them as business partners is quiet matured in blue collar workforce, White Collar workforce framework for freelancers as trend is still maturing in industries. Rising number of freelancers provide a wealth of opportunities for organizations. Organizations can cut costs and improve their dexterity to meet ever changing client and consumer demands. Among the large companies, statistics show that more than 21% of banks and financial companies prefer hiring freelancers for different jobs. Even the healthcare centres have gone up to 12% when it comes to hiring freelancers while the IT sector covers 15%.

Role of online platforms

Besides the factors benefitting organizations and companies, online platforms like Freelancer, FlexC, etc. has made the discovery and accessibility of freelancers easier for them to find the right talent when they need one. The rise of these platforms has led to the gig economy in India benefitting both, organizations and freelancers.

Some say that freelancing in India is still in its nascent stage, but it is definitely here to stay for at least the foreseeable future and thanks to the wider adoption of technology, increasing internet penetration and mobile consumption along with other factors like career mobility and flexible work dynamics. Organisers, on the other hand, get hard to find and easily accessible skills on an on-demand basis at a much lower cost.

The PayPal report underlined the strong growth predictions of freelancing in India saying that the freelancers have seen very fast growth in recent past and 80% confirmed that they work on both, international and domestic assignments.

Conlcusion : With people following passion and looking for flexibility increasing Freelancing pool in market, Organisations adopting GIG framework to increase variable workforce and platforms converging technology and market need will lead to disruption in Resource Fulfilment, Remote working and Project execution in coming future. 

Freelancing – New ways of working post Covid19

We are in the midst of most unprecedented event of Covid19, adversity does bring new behavioursacross, true for future of work as well.Working for one firm till retirement which was norm till 1990s changed to more frequent job changes for Gen X while Millennials will be on their own much more leading to Freelancing more accepted than before. New generation believe Jobs are owned by organisations but they own their career.

If the on-going trends are to be believed, freelancing in India is going to be the new work culture. According to Wikipedia, India ranks as the 2nd largest freelance workforce. The freelance culture has slowly made its way into the Indian market because of its flexible nature and lifestyle it offers. Statistics show that India is home to over 15 million freelancers working in various fields such as sales and marketing, IT and programming, finance, content writing and many more. Wikipedia also states that by 2020, 50% workers are expected to go freelancing. In short, the new work culture has arrived and is here to stay.

Since the outbreak of novel coronavirus, the firms have asked their employees to  ‘work from home’ and are also evaluating ‘alternate workforce model’ with freelancers. According to ‘Future of work accelerated’ by Deloitte, organisations have been forced to adopt new ways of working to ensure business continuity to the extent possible. Oganisations are designing “GIG Framework” increasing the share of gig workers as others reduce dependence in favour of full-time workforce. There was a time when freelancing was viewed as something that the students and housewives would do to earn some extra money, but the above facts show that freelancing will get into mainstream as career choice.

Why would people choose freelancing over the routine full-time job?

In India, the gig economy is picking up pace for the past 3- 4 years now. Freelancing provides individuals with the freedom to work according to their preferences and independence. An individual can work from the comfort of their home. A survey report by PayPal indicates that ‘being your own boss’ and chances of earning more makes freelancing an attractive option. Freelancing provides one with the opportunity to work with several companies at the same time rather than working with just one company. The Indian government has also engaged with the freelancers for its flagship projects like Digital India, Swachh Bharat and Smart Cities.

According to a PwC report, in the near future, the big companies will prefer having less-in house workers and more freelancers in the workforce. The success of freelancing has a scope of widening its popularity in the future. Nowadays, the corporate professionals want to leave their job and turn freelancers.

Freelancing, until recently, was considered as an option for those who were unable to find a permanent job. But the world is changing and the perspective towards freelancing is also changing. Its high time Organisations adopt policies around making freelancing and become agile to focus on outputs and outcomes. For people entering freelancing workforce has to be ready for skill upgrading , independent lifestyle and community interactions to adopt this new ways of working.