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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.