7 freelancing trends in the post-covid world
It seems like freelancing is everywhere today. Perhaps you know someone who’s gone freelance recently, or you’ve thought about it yourself, or maybe you already made the shift to freelance work. The pandemic brought a lot more people to freelancing; according to a recent report, over a third of the entire American workforce now work as freelancers.
What’s more, most freelancers are doing pretty well. Freelancers contributed $1.3 trillion to the economy in 2021, $100 million more than in 2020. A survey by FreelancerMap reported that 87% of freelancers are happy to be freelancing, and 64% say their financial situation is good.
But whether you freelance yourself, work with freelancers, or read the business news, you’ve probably noticed that things are changing for freelancers. With this in mind, we’ve gathered 7 trends we’ve spotted in the post-covid freelancing world, and brought them together to keep you updated.
1. More people are doing it
The Great Resignation means that many people chose to freelance for a better work-life balance. But a lot of people began freelancing not out of choice, but because they lost their jobs during the pandemic.
Either way, the number of people starting to freelance has “exploded” since COVID-19 began, as Upwork CEO Hayden Brown said in an interview, and it’s not slowing down. McKinsey estimates that by 2030, there’ll be 500 million freelancers around the world.
2. Businesses are embracing freelancing
Business leaders used to worry that freelancers were unreliable and/or produced lower quality work than permanent employees. But because of COVID-19, they discovered that remote workers can be just as productive as in-office workers, and economic uncertainties made them happy to avoid adding more permanent employees to the payroll.
Now employers are happy to outsource work to contractors. In one survey, 58% of executives who have worked with freelancers before said they plan to increase their freelance budget next year.
3. Freelancing is becoming more competitive
There’s still plenty of work available for talented freelancers, but the market is getting more competitive. It’s a good idea to polish up your LinkedIn profile, update your portfolio, and maybe start that website that you never got around to doing.
It’s also important for freelancers to keep up continuing education. Freelancing is growing particularly fast among people with college degrees, so showing that you’ve maintained your skills has never been more necessary.
4. There are more avenues to finding work
New freelancer platforms seem to be opening up every month, promising to help connect top freelancers with leading companies. There are also a lot of traditional recruiting and consultancy firms that are reinventing themselves to support freelancers and project-based contractors. All of this means that there are a lot more ways for freelancers to find their next assignment than by bidding through Fiverr or Upwork.
5. Freelancers are part of the family
Companies know that there’s a lot of competition for top freelancers, especially in certain fields like marketing, so they’re doing more to make contractors feel like they’re part of the business instead of just temporary workers.
There’s also less distinction between freelancers and employees, now that so much of the workforce works from home. Freelancers can expect more training from their clients, more long-term contracts, and more benefits to come their way.
6. Specialization is growing
It’s not just that there are more freelancer platforms. They are also getting more specialized. Now there are platforms just for software engineers (TopTal), designers (99Designs), and other specific roles. Employers are searching for freelancers with particular skills, and often going straight to the relevant niche freelance platform. Freelancers should put details about their achievements in their profiles, and make sure to join the right platform.
7. Freelancers can find more support
Several years ago, freelancing was a lonely experience, but not anymore. Today new freelancers can go to many freelancer communities and forums to ask questions and bond with fellow freelancers.
There are also plenty of new tools that make it easier for freelancers to manage their business. Payment platforms like Payoneer help with international invoicing and payment management, project management apps like Asana make it easier to communicate with clients, and bookkeeping tools like Xero take on some of the hassle of accounting and bookkeeping. Many tools have free plans for freelancers, which makes it even easier to succeed as a freelancer.
Payoneer can help freelancers ride out the trends
Payoneer is designed to help freelancers, contractors, and other business owners to manage invoicing and streamline payment management, because everyone needs a little help from time to time, whether you’re new to freelancing or you’ve been doing it for years.
Payoneer’s competitive currency conversion, wide range of international payment methods, and flexible access to funds help freelancers to save money and time on administrative tasks. A free Payoneer account can connect directly to many freelancer platforms, so that payouts process faster and you can use your money sooner.
Payoneer also allows employers and business owners to send payments to their contractors using secure, low-cost local transfers or familiar credit card payments in local currency, making it far simpler for everybody to pay and get paid for talented freelance work.