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The Common Challenges that Freelancers Face and How to Best Address Them

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.

Work Flexibility

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.

Creative Independence

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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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Business Remote Work

You Know You Should Outsource Your Staffing Needs, But Why the Philippines?

Talent outsourcing is rapidly becoming the norm among businesses. Of the numerous talent pools in the world, why are most leaning towards outsourcing to the Philippines?

Outsourcing allows organizations to quickly respond to continually evolving business needs and respond to market factors by efficiently scaling their operations. Some businesses thrive on the fact that to make money, you need to spend money. Since a return on investment (ROI) is almost always uncertain, maintaining controlled operating costs is a challenge that every business, particularly new ones, have to overcome. Often, this means that companies must compromise. 

Compromising on Hiring Good Talent

Interestingly, a huge number of small businesses hire team members who are less skilled because they are often cheaper. The problem with this is that about 56% of these companies are dissatisfied with their employees’ output. For small businesses, this operational expense does not bring additional value to their organization. Why hire team members who do not bring commensurate value? But this is a reality for most simply because they don’t outsource their talent management. As such, they are often left with three options:

  1. Compromise on talent acquisition
  2. Spend money on talent acquisition
  3. Spend time looking for talent

All these three scenarios can be best resolved by outsourcing. Now that you know you should outsource, the question now is, why the Philippines? 

Why Outsourcing to the Philippines is Your Best Option

High English Proficiency

The Philippines has one of the highest English proficiency levels in Asia, second only to Singapore. If you didn’t know yet, the country has a strong affinity to the West due to its colonization in the past. Additionally, many of the educational institutions use English as the primary form of instruction. That said, Filipinos are far better at communicating with their Western clients compared to any other region. The result? Better understanding and increased work efficiency. 

Education

Aside from their English proficiency, Filipinos take their education seriously. In fact, most Filipino parents will consider education as the only treasure they can provide for their children. As such, students often place such a high value on getting their degrees that some even study while working. Most virtual assistants (VA) that a company can source from the Philippines will often have college degrees.

Cultural Fit

Compared to other outsourcing hubs, the Filipino workforce is much more culturally aligned with most Western countries. They share the same hobbies and interests. As such, it is easier to build rapport and encourage a camaraderie within your company. As an employer, you may no longer need to spend more time in your adjustment period or go through an awkward phase with your employees.

Loyalty

Small businesses have much to gain when they work with loyal employees. These people are often more than willing to invest time and effort in your company. They strive hard to bring new ideas to the table. When your employee is loyal to the business, it can mean hefty profits. And if there is one thing that Filipinos are proud of, it is their loyalty. Filipinos place high importance on stability and security. Once they get access to a gainful employment opportunity, they will stick around and increase your bottom line considerably.

Career Driven

Perhaps one of the strengths of Filipino workers that can bring a tremendous increase in productivity is their drive to learn new things and expand their current skill set. Give them a task, and even no matter how unfamiliar they may be with the topic, they will do their best to learn it and deliver. Filipinos take pride in accomplishing their obligations, which a company can leverage.

Tips for Working with Filipinos

While Filipino culture bears many strong similarities with Western culture and practices, there are still a few differences and this may seem slightly confusing to some employers. If you are seriously thinking of outsourcing to the Philippines, here are some tips to help you streamline the process:

Get Wins on the Board

One thing that sets most Filipino workers apart from American employees is the fact that you can’t simply throw them into the deep end and assume that they can understand your processes. It is critical for them to feel comfortable first. Let them learn the ropes before expanding their tasks and knowledge base. This is why your organization needs to have a solid onboarding process to guide your employees to become familiar with all of your business dealings.

Ensure Clear Communication

One of the challenges of working with a remote team is communication. To make sure tasks will get done, communicate with your team, and make sure each instruction is understood. You have to teach the practice of asking questions if anything seems unclear. Don’t assume that instructions are understood at all times. This practice helps eliminate the need for going back and forth with tasks.

Get to Know Your Team

Since you have a remote team to manage, you should make them feel comfortable with their work environment. Your remote workers should feel that they are indeed part of a team. When you do get to know them, you can expect them to feel valued. They will enjoy what they do. Hence, they will be more productive. 

Moreover, it will be easier to learn what motivates them and identify what employee retention strategies to deploy so that they remain loyal and deeply invested in your company. Knowing your team better also means that they will be more open to you. They can ask questions and give feedback whenever necessary. This can help ensure that your employees can consistently churn out quality work.

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Business Remote Work

Employee Retention Strategies and How It Can Impact Your Business

How do you hold on to your employees? 

If your company believes that employee retention is a challenge for your HR department, you are making a big mistake and you are not alone. Many companies, regardless of their size, would often look at employee engagement as a perk. Only a handful would consider it a business strategy. Perhaps, this is a major contributing factor to why as much as 20% of small businesses in the U.S. fail within the first year of operations. As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about half of these businesses would falter by their fifth year. 

How do you make sure your business isn’t just a statistic? Here’s how: 

Employee Retention Strategies You Should Implement Now

Hire the Right People

Many organizations often hire new people because they expect a large portion of their talent pool to resign at some point. That’s why it is crucial to have a talent acquisition strategy that works. 

Employees will stick around if they know what they can expect from the company and what is expected of them. Hire the right people from the get-go and invest in them. Eventually, these practices will bring in more savings and benefits for your organization. 

Provide Competitive Salary and Benefits

A key contributing factor to employee resignation is due to the belief that their compensation is not enough. While it may be the top reason, it is not the only one. Many employees will feel valued if they have the right compensation package and access to career advancement opportunities.

Now, if your remote workers seem disengaged, it might be critical to look at your salary and benefits package. See where you can improve without compromising your budget.

Practice Constant Engagement

Employees need to feel that they have a voice and constant engagement is vital to this. Employees can become efficient and reliable if they know their efforts are valued.

No matter how busy they are, upper management needs to communicate with their teams. Both the top brass and the managers below them need to understand that engagement coming from the top is the cornerstone of employee retention. 

Engaged leaders are good at speaking and listening to their employees. Doing daily huddles, particularly if your employees are working remotely, can significantly help employees give feedback. Of course, this feedback should not only stay at your desks. They must be followed through and addressed. That’s how you build that trust among your employees. 

The sooner you can invest in your employees’ growth through your employee retention strategies, the more engaged and committed they become to your organization. The end result? Higher productivity, increased bottom line, and better organizational fulfillment. Learn how MultiplyMii can boost your employee retention, book a demo with us now. 

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Business Remote Work

Pros and Cons of Offshore Outsourcing And How They Affect Your Business

Will offshore outsourcing work for your business model?

As businesses evolve with the dynamics of operations, offshore outsourcing becomes a reliable and profitable solution that organizations look into as one of their competitive strategies. While offshoring offers a strategic business approach, it still has shortcomings. Will the pros outweigh the cons? 

The Pros of Offshore Outsourcing

Outsourcing talents to a professional offshore service provider brings numerous benefits. You may want to look into offshore outsourcing if your organization needs: 

Cost-Effective Employment Solutions

Startups struggling to penetrate the market would often compromise when it comes to their employees. Outsourcing removes the burden of shouldering the costs of talent acquisition, onboarding, and managing their employees. As such, there is no need to spend on additional resources, tools, technologies, and infrastructure necessary to manage talents.

Offshore outsourcing can effectively slash your operational and maintenance costs by as much as 40-60%. How? Geographic differences equate to a massive salary gap. Suppose you need to hire a web developer. A U.S.-based dev will cost you an average of US$55,421 per year. Whereas hiring a Philippines-based senior-level web developer will require you to pay only US$23,719.44 annually. 

Access to Systematic and Proficient Pool of Talents

Once your company is working with an offshore service provider with established talent management strategies, you will get access to high-quality output, increased productivity, and a noticeable return on investment. Offshore outsourcing means that a team with technical expertise in handling verticals can assure conversions, thereby improving your bottom line. 

Fast Turnaround Times

When you are pressed for time and need competent and reliable talent, the hiring process can disrupt operations. Most offshore outsourcing companies have fast turnaround times in their recruitment process that helps companies, particularly startups, expand their team while continuing normal operations. Take the case of Mosh, an online clinic based in Australia. The company needed to expand its team to cater to a growing customer base. Unfortunately, they did not have the time to spend on talent recruitment and onboarding. 

MultiplyMii addressed this pain point by providing a bespoke onboarding process, which improved process flow and enhanced the quality of Mosh’s customer support capabilities. 

Increased Reliability 

Offshore outsourcing solutions like MultiplyMii are committed to providing their clients with reliable results. By employing a full-time employee who can work as a valuable part of the company, it is easy to see results that matter. While a company can go for a freelancer, there is always the question of reliability when it comes to their deliverables. Clients would often be left wanting, and this can hurt productivity badly. Full Time employees, albeit working remotely, can have a fixed schedule to allow everyone in the team to communicate effectively.

The Cons of Offshore Outsourcing

Language and Cultural Barriers

Organizations often have to deal with language barriers and cultural differences, which can impact business operations. It is a hurdle that most startups have to deal with. However, these issues can be quickly resolved when your offshore outsourcing provider recruits staff from a country like the Philippines, where many individuals can speak and understand English. Since the country was a former American territory, cultural differences are very minor and often unnoticeable.

Full Timezone Coverage

When you outsource your employees from a different country, this may mean that you have to deal with different timezones. In the Philippines, however, the prevalence of business process outsourcing companies allowed employees to work on a graveyard shift, allowing them to work with your timezone. If needed, multiple shifts can cover different timezones.

Security Issues

Perhaps one of the greatest challenges that businesses face when they outsource is security. Despite the presence of various Data Protection Act, security breach and data integrity remain an issue, mainly heightened in the absence of close collaboration with employees. That’s why this is where global communication comes in. Once you know how to communicate with your team, no matter where they are, it would be easier to address security issues. 

While offshore outsourcing has notable shortcomings, the benefits clearly outweigh them. There is always a workaround, mainly if you work with a reliable offshore employment service provider like MultiplyMii, which handles end-to-end HR outsourcing management from outsourcing to onboarding. Book a Demo with us and learn how we can help you run your business with more efficiency.