In 2017, living the freelance life has never been easier. Over 1/3 of the country’s workforce are freelancers in some capacity and that number is growing. Add to that a growing freelancers union and there’s a lot to like about the freelance and shared economies going forward.
It’s a bold new world for freelance workers and as we look to the future, it’s important to see the changes that have already taken place. At the same time, we can also see changes that are on the horizon.
Below are five ways that the freelance life has, or is changing the world.
Ride share and drivers-for-hire apps, such as Lyft and Uber have helped introduce competition to industries that long had key monopoly figures. Although the change has negatively impacted taxi services, it has breathed new competition into an older industry. This has created some unique byproducts, including self-driving car services and even city bans on airport transportation.
Although the Internet has been around a couple of decades now, people still seem weary of people that they meet online. In some cases, this may be wise. However, freelancers are helping to make it easier and more accessible to talk and do business with strangers online.
The Internet has always been intended as a means of communications, and at minimum, freelancers and gig posters are communicating, sometimes from different points across the globe. As we continue working for strangers across the world, we open up new means of communication.
In fact, applications of online communication is paving the way for what could be the “new Internet”. Blockchain, for example, may decentralize means of communication and even monetary exchanges through new peer-to-peer node networks.
Everyone is Becoming the Boss and Employee
In school, we were always told that we would always be responsible for our own work. Now that freelancing is an integral part of the workforce, we know that to no longer be true. Not only are people finding ways to outsource more of their workload and, in turn, find more free time; it’s creating a need for better paying gig work.
Everything from content writing to coding is being subbed out to freelance workers. As a result, jobs are more frequent, as well as better paying than before. Now that content mills are falling by the wayside, freelancing is experiencing a boon in legitimacy. Hopefully this will lead to more progressive steps for workers in the near future.
Borders Are Less Important
While many companies are still hesitant to allow employees to work from home, that has become one of the biggest draws of the freelance life. Setting one’s own schedule isn’t just a perk, but sometimes a necessity. It’s common to have clients, even if just on a temporary basis, to be from countries all over the world. Personally, I’ve had clients in my own state, in other areas of the country, and as far away as the U.K, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and China.
There’s a declining need to reach out to your immediate backyard, and borders are less important online when it comes to making contracts and work agreements.
Bringing Power Back to Consumers
We started this list off by talking about increased competition. In general, competition may be disruptive to an industry but the benefits are reaped by the consumers. Just a short time ago, it seemed as if big corporations were cashing in on every conceivable angle, even if it meant trampling mom and pop shops.
Freelancing hasn’t changed this exactly, though it has opened the door to more options for consumers and workers alike. Now, if you need a new logo, a Christmas card, even a new handbag, chances are a freelancer can do it for cheaper than the big guys.
On the freelancer’s side; more people have an avenue to use their talent to create that logo, card, or handbag. This has increased the earning potential of the individual while also benefiting the consumer. It’s a win-win.
Are You Living The Freelance Life?
The freelance life is full of excitement, opportunity, and yes; hard work. However, for those who are able to put their nose to the grindstone and buckle down; it’s incredibly rewarding. How is freelancing changing your world?