The current state of global supply and demand for human resources is rapidly changing the world’s labor market. In recent years, there has been a significant shift from traditional work setups to freelancing. In the U.S. alone, there are at least 57 million freelancers, and the numbers suggest that as much as 50% of the working population will shift to freelancing in the next five years. By Statista’s estimates, the trend of freelancing will continue to attract as much as 90.1 million freelancers by 2028. These numbers will undoubtedly grow even more due to the ongoing global health crisis.
Before diving into the intricacies of freelancing, let’s first discuss why freelancing is gaining a bigger foothold across many different industries.
Why Do People Opt for Freelancing?
The statistics show that freelancing is indeed growing. Why? What makes the gig economy so attractive to so many people? Here are some reasons:
Virtually No Barriers to Entry
Freelancing does not require huge investments to start. Once you have the skills and the right tools, you can begin looking for clients and offer your services.
Since you can dictate your working hours, you can work anytime and anywhere. You are no longer tied down to your work desk. Some have even become digital nomads, enjoying the luxury of vacationing while working.
Many workers have chosen to go the freelance route because it allows them to enjoy creative independence. Since they no longer report to supervisors, they have more freedom when accomplishing their deliverables.
With all of these advantages, however, come several challenges that freelancers must deal with. In fact, some of these concerns can even be exclusive to freelancers alone.
The Trouble with Freelancing
Many employees are now ditching the 9 to 5 work schedule, but it is also not surprising to see many of them going back to the corporate world. Why? Here are some of the most notable reasons:
- Dealing With Unreliable Clients
Ask any freelancer about what they like most about the gig economy, and they will tell you that it is a flexible work schedule. But many of them get frustrated because they end up working with clients who may be challenging to work with. Some will set unrealistic deadlines. Some can be difficult to communicate with, while others can be just plain rude. Freelancers may report that clients often look at freelancers as unprofessional people who do not deserve to be treated with respect. More often than not, these unreliable clients are the hardest to communicate with when it comes to invoices. Worse, they can leave you hanging and not pay you at all!
There will be times when you need to work on a project, and the client disappears without any notifications, emails, or messages. When this happens, you need to put yourself out there again to attract new leads.
- Job Security
While some freelancers can earn higher incomes compared to the days when they were still formally employed, it can come with some caveats. These paychecks don’t come monthly. Just because September brought you a ton of work doesn’t guarantee you any income during October. Many clients will schedule different deliverables depending on their requirements. The workload is not always the same from one month to another, and this means the paycheck is not fixed monthly. While you can set expectations with your clients upfront, they still have the last say.
In some cases, freelancers have to shortchange themselves regarding how much they need to charge their clients just because the freelancing industry is getting competitive. The 2018 Payoneer’s Freelancer Income Survey participated by 23,000 freelancers from across the globe showed that only 46% of them are happy with how much they earn.
- Poor Communication
One of the struggles that freelancers face is communicating with their clients. This problem is pretty common among organizations that are not used to working with freelancers. Since these people are out of their sight most of the time, they may not give you constant updates and feedback on things that may affect your deliverables. Some freelancers submit their completed work only to find out that the requirements have changed and management forgot to inform you about the changes. This means that you have to redo the job again. It already ate up considerable time and effort on your part. If you’re lucky, the company might compensate you for the changes. Most do not. Especifically if you don’t have a contract where such incidents are covered and stipulated.
- Absence of Benefits
As a freelancer, you have to fend for yourself. You are not part of the organization and therefore are not qualified to enjoy their regular employees’ benefits. As such, you have to pay for your taxes, shoulder monthly contributions, and secure health insurance on your own. When you sum it all up, it can take away a chunk of your paycheck. If you are not diligent with your monthly payments, then you might end up paying fines or dealing with out of pocket payments.
- No Room for Growth
One of the downsides of joining the gig economy is the need to hustle, hustle, and hustle some more. More often than not, this mantra leaves many freelancers exhausted enough that they no longer have time to cultivate self-growth. In the gig economy, you can either improve on a specific niche because it is in demand, or you can be a jack of all trades but a master of none. It can be frustrating when you need to make yourself competitive in the gig market, particularly now that the industry is attracting a lot of good talent. You have to go beyond what you know to improve your credentials. Often, this is hard to do because freelancers have to juggle several clients at a time.
So, how can these freelancer challenges be best addressed?
The Best of Both Worlds: The MultiplyMii Solution
MultiplyMii, a bespoke staffing solution, saw this gap in the market and set off to create a platform where freelancers can enjoy the best of both worlds—the flexibility of freelancing and the perks of a corporate job.
At MultiplyMii, freelancers get the opportunity to work from home and get matched with a compatible client. This way, they no longer have to seek out clients and deal with unreliable ones. What sets MultiplyMii apart is that freelancers are considered employees, allowing them to enjoy company benefits. The company also has several initiatives where employees can work on their personal growth while earning a stable income. The best of both worlds, indeed!
If you want to learn about MultiplyMii’s excellent work culture, visit our Careers page to see if we have a position that you are interested in.