No need to mention how much COVID-19 has wreaked havoc over the entire spectrum of mundane life. Ranging from the ordinary course of events to the global economic crisis, the year 2020 will have its everlasting imprint for decades to come. The people were given the restrained opportunity to vote for their presidential candidate via email voting. The office workplaces had been halted in the usual manner; the sports tournament were put on hold, and the progression in every facet of daily life was hampered eventually due to the viral disease.
The world has yet to recover completely, as after the vaccination began, the administrations are making efforts to bring some flashes of life back into the markets. Since every marketplace has been disrupted badly due to COVID-19, the eCommerce business has seen a magnificent boost in its metrics. The freelancing industry is no exception when it comes to determining the impacts of COVID-19 on online businesses. Let’s narrow down how the freelancing industry managed to get through this global crisis of coronavirus.
Table of Contents
Everyone Is Working From Home
The virus outbreak compels everyone to stay at home and save lives. Although it was no remedy to curb the viral disease, it was the only solution left to mitigate the impacts of the virus. Working from nurtures different workplace ethics altogether. In essence, the difference between a freelancer and an office-based employee disappears once both are working remotely. In the beginning, it was difficult, and for many, it was certainly a different ball game when they started their work from home. As the virus prolonged and employees adopt the new work environment in a different way. They learn to continue their work while living at home. The reliance on technology and the usage of the right tools to communicate with colleagues has gained paramount importance in these odd days. Freelancing will continue to thrive as a result of this acceptance of remote workers.
This change will lead to more freelance jobs and will change the freelance economy for the better. Many freelancers lean towards online earning platforms because they want independence and better be called “self-employed”; hence they are reluctant to accept office-based jobs. Amidst the pandemic, the drastic change in the workplace environment and the transition from office-based employees to working from home have pushed everyone to freelance working mode. The pandemic caused massive layoffs and a 176% spike in the unemployment rate, leaving people to rely on the freelancing industry.
More Reliance On Remote Workers
Remote workers have been the driving force behind any organizational work in the past months. Due to furlough caused by virus outbreak, a multitude of skilled people tend to sign in to their freelancing accounts. Henceforth, the leading online freelancing platforms have seen a surge in their user base in 2020. For example, in the most recent quarter, Q2 2020, Upwork reported its revenues just below the bar of $90 million USD, which was more than 10% higher than the company had estimated earlier. In the first quarter, Q1 2020 revenues were approximately $83 million USD, a 5% increase. Whereas the Q4 2019 revenues were around $80 million USD, so without any second opinion, Upwork, due to the nature of its services, has managed to grow in the challenging times.
Another widely used freelancing platform, Fiverr, also has seen a considerable rise in its market valuation. Let’s take the stock market performance of Fiverr in the ongoing year. In the most recent quarter, Q2 of 2020, revenues were reported as $47 million USD. This made an exponential rise of over 40% as the $34 million USD of revenue was reported in Q1 of 2020.
These seismic trends toward remote work and more flexible working models continue to move in favor of the gig economy. Employees working in a self-employed environment are more open to productivity and innovation.
Pricing Is A Subjective Matter, Of Course!
The digital marketplaces provide you with the opportunity to customize your pricing in return for your services. At the onset of 2020, when the virus was gradually engulfing a wide range of countries, there came a decrease in freelance business which subsequently affected the freelancing rates adversely. Unlike the situation that kicked off the new year, midway down the road, when offices were shut down, freelancers become the ideal choice for employers. This is because the hiring process was discontinued, and employers tend to hire contract-based employees.
The payoneer report found that the average 2020 freelance hourly rate was higher than that of 2018. The 40% of the freelancer community described business demand as stable or continuing to grow. Small businesses are looking for ways to cut costs, whereas there comes no potential change in fees and pricing for existing and long-term client contracts. Larger enterprise clients and prospects are looking more strategically and aiming to get the maximum out of the freelance talent. A significant amount of resources are being allocated to prepare for this workforce shift.
Smaller companies are often focused on cash conservation and thus require negotiation on discounted rates or use back-end billing. The report also reveals that freelance hourly rates remain stable, however, during COVID-19.
Future Is Bright
The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 19. Global industries collapsed in a matter of days very soon after the announcement. This is where the freelance revolution during COVID-19 began to shape the industry in an unusual way. In the first half of 2020, the leading digital talent marketplaces delivered significant growth and increased performance. According to Payoneer and other studies, most freelancers and corporate executives forecast that freelance services to increase after the pandemic is over, suggesting the end of COVID-19 will contribute to the global growth of freelancing. However, the future of pricing is uncertain, but certainly, the freelance revolution has not been canceled anytime soon.
To Sum Up
In the wake of the coronavirus, over 30,000,000 Americans are laid off or furloughed. The study reveals that COVID-19 cost 195,000,000 loss of jobs. Thus, in this high time, outsourcing projects in order to acquire quality talent has become the order of the day. In the same way, OTT platforms have witnessed a surge in their subscribers; similarly, freelance platforms have become a more alluring option for employees. The vaccination process has begun across many countries, but still, all bets are off after the news about the emergence of a new wave of the virus was reported.