Today an increasing number of people are veering off the conventional career paths and venturing into freelancing. While some join freelancing to enjoy the opportunity to dictate their schedules, select their assignments and do their work independently, others choose it out of economic necessity. Freelancing has for a long time been common for professions ranging from article writing and editing to many skilled trades and even real estate appraisals. It has brought a lot of benefits to employers and employees in various ways. However, despite the benefits, venturing into freelancing comes with certain risks and challenges that have not yet been addressed by the government. Nonetheless, many people are getting interested in the freelance economy model where they can do what they love while dictating their schedules.
With the rapid advancement of digital platforms, virtually every person, regardless of the profession, can venture into freelancing. It is not like the old days where freelancing was only about writing, editing, conducting surveys, and transcribing. Today, you can even find plumbers offering their services online. The only thing to do is to request their services from the platform, and they will be at your doorstep within minutes. An example to show that the freelancing economy model has expanded tremendously over the past few years is the Amazon Home Services platform that allows customers to buy products which require logical complementary services such as a television screen that require wall mounting (Weise par. 5). Apart from the Amazon Home Services platform, popular platforms such as Freelancer and Upwork offer opportunities to virtually everyone who has certain skills that are of demand in the market.
Working as a freelancer has various benefits. First of all, freelancers have flexible working hours. They can work at whatever time they want and take a weekend off if need be to do other duties. The best thing about time flexibility is that freelancers can work during their most productive hours and this does not have to be during regular working hours. Secondly, freelancers have control of what type of clients and jobs that they want to do. When working in traditional jobs, most people do not get to choose who to work for and how much they will pay. However, with freelancing, people can choose their preferred clients and payment philosophies. Thirdly, freelancers can work at any place they want. Whether it is at home, at a cafe, or somewhere in a vacation, freelancers have the ability to shake things up when choosing their work environment. Fourthly, freelancers are highly independent. They do not need to answer to anybody but themselves and their clients. They are free to do whatever they want and as they please. Decision making becomes their responsibility, and they have total control of their business. Lastly, they get to keep all their profits. Freelancers no longer work for a fixed rate but get to determine their prices and keep all the income from small and large projects coming from different clients. Clearly, there are a lot of benefits of freelancing.
Despite the benefits, freelancers face a lot of risks and challenges. First, the government does not know the composition of the new workforce. Though more people have become freelancers, the government has not taken significant efforts to determine the official count of workers comprising this new workforce (Horowitz par. 6). As a result, the policies and budget decisions do not take into account freelancers though they are a critical component of the workforce. Secondly, freelancers have to seek protections and securities such as health insurance, retirement plans and protection from unpaid wages due to the jobs not offering such benefits (par. 7). Others may not afford such benefits and may decide to go without them. Therefore, there needs to be a new system that caters for the increasing number of independent workers. Lastly, freelancers face challenges of economic security (par. 8). The current protections only apply to traditional works hence the need for the independent workforce to build new systems for economic security. Despite the challenges, as more people get into freelancing and increase its recognition, then there is a chance that the government may see it as a critical component of the workforce and build systems that will support independent workers.
Another issue that comes up when dealing with freelancers is the work quality. Since freelancers are paid by the unit of service or output, it is important to understand how this may impact the work quality that they deliver (Marder and Mike) . While most freelancers want to ensure the best quality of work so that they can get returning clients, few may compromise the quality due to the payment being on a per output basis. When they have finished the job, they will submit it knowing that they will get jobs from other clients if the current one is not satisfied with the work. However, most freelancing sites have rating systems where clients rate freelancers based on work quality so as to guarantee high-quality work for the clients. As a result, there are only a few cases where the payment on per unit output affects work quality as clients will not choose freelancers with poor ratings.
There are various articles on the internet that discuss freelancing. One of such articles is Why freelancing is dominating the workforce by John Rampton. The author gives five reasons why freelancing is gaining popularity in the modern world. First, advancement in digital technologies has made finding freelance work easier (Rampton par. 6). Unlike previous years where job searches were through newspaper advertisement and dropping resumes to job offices, nowadays, people search jobs using the internet which is easier and more efficient. Secondly, most people say that they tend to earn more as freelancers than traditional employees (par. 8). The author attributes this mainly to reduced expenses. Thirdly, people are more committed to balance work and life (par. 11). As such, they venture into freelancing where they can set their working times to accommodate other tasks in their routine. Fourthly, the changing times have made more people to love freelancing and the benefit it offers (par. 14). Lastly, freelancing offers people an opportunity to work in whichever place they want (par. 15). They do not have to be in a specific location to work but rather have the flexibility to work anywhere in the world. The article shows freelancing is attracting more people by the day and soon, the workforce will change in ways that people never predicted.
Freelancing has become a popular method of working in the modern world. Many people have chosen this path as a result of the various benefits that freelancing offers. However, despite the benefits, there are still drawbacks and challenges of becoming a freelance hence the need for people to decide if they are willing to take the risks that accompany such jobs. Nonetheless, freelancing has a bright future, and it is highly likely that more people would join the freelancing economy model so as to meet their daily needs and be satisfied with their jobs. The increased popularity calls for governments to take freelancing more serious as critical components of a nations workforce.
Horowitz, Sara. "The Freelance Surge Is The Industrial Revolution Of Our Time". The Atlantic. N.p., 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.
Marder, Jenny and Mike Fritz. "The Internet's Hidden Science Factory". PBS NewsHour. N.p., 2015. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.
Rampton, John. "Why Freelancing Is Dominating The Workforce". The Next Web. N.p., 2016. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.
Weise, Elizabeth. "You Can Now Hire A Goat Herder Through Amazon". USA TODAY. N.p., 2015. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.
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