It’s safe to say that technology has influenced society, making many aspects of our lives easier and more efficient, from the way we consume news to the way we work. Thanks to technology’s continuous evolution over the years, business processes are now easier and more streamlined, productivity is higher than ever before, and working from anywhere in the world is so much easier.
This is much more apparent in the past year, as the demand for online services continues to grow, making businesses fast-track their digital transformation. Not only that, but with many people continuing to work from home, the demand for technology and digital tools to help increase productivity has a good amount of traditional workers thinking about shifting to freelance work.
For some, freelance work is a side gig that earns them extra income alongside their more traditional job. For others, freelancing is a full-time job.
The Rise of the Freelancer
Freelancing has been steadily gaining popularity over the years, with many people attracted to the countless opportunities and flexibility it offers. Freelancers can not only offer their different talents as a service, but they can also do so where, when, how, and with whom they want while earning extra income in the process. This aspect of the job is usually what interests people in freelancing. With the abundance of learning materials and digital tools available, becoming a freelancer is easier than ever.
The percentage of people doing freelance work has increased by 22% since 2019, with a large percentage of freelancers consisting of millennials and Gen Z, who aren’t too keen on the idea of being tied down to one job.
Even companies and employers are beginning to see the benefit of hiring freelancers. Both big and small businesses use freelancers to help fulfill certain jobs such as copywriting for social media, software development for company needs, or even designing graphics for print and media use. Doing so not only helps businesses get work done if they’re in the middle of a hiring process, but it also helps them control labor costs, as freelancers are paid per project and are not usually offered the same benefits that employees are.
Throughout history, the way people work has evolved significantly. And while a variety of factors are the cause of this evolution, there is one force driving this change: technology.
Technology’s Influence on the Work Environment
Technology has improved people’s lives in the workforce by allowing them to do more work in less time, communicate more efficiently, and gain access to digital tools that can help them improve their output. From increased productivity to digital tools, here’s how advancements in technology have influenced today’s work environment.
The Advantage of Working Remotely
Before the COVID-19 pandemic began, only 17% of employees worked remotely for most of the workweek. After the pandemic, on the other hand, the number rose to 44%, not even including freelancers. This spike in remote workers is due to the lockdowns early into the global health crisis. Companies implementing temporary remote setups while states were on lockdown and people were encouraged to stay home.
Fortunately, the existence of laptops, tablets, and other digital devices made remote work possible, with some companies providing their employees with the needed technology to be able to work from their homes more efficiently.
Improved Speed and Efficiency
With the availability of devices, software, and tools that can cater to different needs, both employees and freelancers can streamline their business and work processes to make communication and work much more efficient. For instance, websites like UpWork help freelancers find job opportunities, communicate with clients, and keep track of progress without using other apps or software.
Cooperation Without Barriers
Whether in another state or even another country, communicating with clients is much easier than it used to be. It’s done with the help of instant messaging applications like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, and video conferencing software like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams. With these apps available for use, making new connections, cooperating, and collaborating on larger and even global levels is possible.
Accessibility to Resources
There is a wide variety of online resources available to beginner and veteran freelancers to help them improve their skills. Skillshare, Masterclass, and Udemy are among these resources that can help freelancers learn more about their field and add a new skill to their repertoire.
Growth of Opportunities
With more companies hiring freelancers, a vast horizon of opportunities is available for freelancers to take. This, in addition to the almost endless stream of online resources, freelancers also can upgrade their skill sets, which can further increase the number of opportunities available to them.
The Future of Freelance and Traditional Work
In these uncertain times, we can never be too sure about what the future holds for both freelance and traditional work. But one thing’s for sure, as companies continue to implement remote work and society’s perception of the freelance industry is changing, the future is digital. Should opportunities continue to grow for freelancers, we may likely see employees shifting to freelance work in the future.