Over the past several weeks, the world economy has come to a literal stand still with businesses non-operational and bottom lines eroded. This has led to massive lay-offs across continents with recovery seeming like the unreachable light at the end of the tunnel.
And then we have the freelancer community who have been supporting businesses and organization with their convenience, flexibility and cost effectiveness. Where does it stand amidst this crisis? Will freelancers come to the rescue of capital crunched organizations?
India's ranks as the 2nd largest freelancer nation (right behind USA) with 15 million freelancers, counting and more. Will this pandemic, shifting its tide towards remote capabilities prove to be a blessing in disguise for freelancers?
The Positive Side:
- As companies move towards more remote working and a blended workforce model (full time employees, contractual and freelancers) there will be an increase in demand for freelancing professionals
- Conserving capital is top most on CXO's minds and hiring massively is out of question. Whom do they lean on? Freelancers!
- Leadership knows that they can get more work done for lower costs hiring a freelancer
- There will be a definite increase in demand for freelancers in areas where organization require guidance and support
The Negative Side:
- Only the top and creamy layer of freelancers will get hired
- Several projects will be cancelled or put on hold indefinitely
- Freelancers might be looking at reduced billing rates or hours
- Professionals can expect a lot of payment delays
The Areas of Growth:
- Strategy: Many organization will look to reassess their long term plans and strategies for survival
- Digital Transformation: Companies will look to automate and take their processes online
- Finance: CFOs will seek consultants to re-imagine finances and cash flows to stay afloat
- Human Resources: Freelancing consultants in the HR domain will see demand as workforce dynamics are changing rapidly
- Business Development: Growth Hackers, Digital marketing specialists and SEO experts will be in demand as things go online
- Leadership: Yes, leaders would need coaches and consultants to steer and guide them through these tough times
- Cyber Security: Once you are online, you need to be safe and secure. Companies will seek out professionals to secure their data and communication.
In a nutshell, the top performers of the gig economy have no dearth of opportunities. Although they will see a slight slump in earnings temporarily, in the long run, freelancers are here to stay.