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Effects of Covid-19 on Freelancing

Covid-19
 Published on: Oct 22, 2020

The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the world has impacted different economic activities. The freelancing  gig industry that was flourishing in Pakistan over the past few years has also been affected by the pandemic. Within a short period, Covid-19 caused massive disruption and eventually forced the population of the world to stay at home.  Due to the new normal of staying & working from home,  businesses were  in need of survival in this uncertain situation. To overcome this challenging situation, the workplaces transformed from physical to virtual ones, and product offerings were redefined.

Gradually, nations started to recover from the breakout with subtle changes to pre-COVID life.  However, demand for freelance services dwindled in the short run although many freelancers believe that the long-term future for freelancers is bright. Mobile delivery platforms thrived in the COVID-era with more people in demand to work remotely.  As a result, the digital economy has provided a significant room for freelancers to fillup the demand gap.

Payoneer, a widely used payment gateway for freelancers, surveyed over 1000 freelancers from 100+ countries to inspect the state of freelancers in the Covid-19 period. They asked the freelancers to share how this pandemic has impacted the demand for their services, hourly rates, and what opportunities and risks they expect out of the crisis. They stated the insights of the survey as:

“Overall, our survey shows that while demand for freelancers appears to have slowed in the short-term, many are optimistic about the future and believe that it’s just a matter of time until businesses get back on their feet and return to outsourcing. As more businesses around the world adapt to working online, it’s clear that remote work may be here to stay.”

Freelancers, as a global labor pool, are offering their digital services regardless of geographical boundaries. They have more control over their workflow, opportunities, and working hours.

The survey result shows that the freelance workforce is hopeful about the future of freelancing and they expect the retrieval of a booming gig economy. Even though the gig economy has suffered an adverse effect of the pandemic, still according to IBISWorld’s recent report, digital advertising agencies and software developers have an easy way to outsource freelancers. Different marketing companies are now interested in reconstructing and shifting toward more online freelancers for various jobs such as digital marketing, logo design, video, and animation among others. Moreover, Fiverr; an online marketplace for freelance services; has experienced an increase in demand for these freelancing gigs during the coronavirus.

While all the other markets and industries struggled to sustain during the pandemic, however, the freelance market comparatively  was the only one to  benefit from the chaos created by Covid-19. Freelancing is growing as companies seek low-risk staffing options to avoid further contingency. Therefore, an emerging gig economy is observed and prone to flourish as an outcome of the pandemic. It may also overcome the hugely raised issue of unemployment around the world.

Freelancers, as a global labor pool, are offering their digital services regardless of geographical boundaries. They have more control over their workflow, opportunities, and working hours. They are serving customers globally within the comfort and safety of their places. Although this pandemic unleashed great chaos nonetheless the outbreak has still allowed digital platforms to show the effectiveness and need of remote workforces.

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