The internet has changed how we work. The growth of the internet has led to the growth of job opportunities. You don't have to choose from the limited options of medicine, engineering, management, or CA anymore. There is a wider range of options available to you now, such as:
- digital marketing,
- virtual assistant
- content writing,
- graphic designing,
- consultancy, etc.
The best part? You can do these jobs from the comfort of your home.
Freelancing is fast growing as a way of earning good money. The internet has helped freelancers to grow tremendously. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, "Work from Home" or WFH, has been given a tremendous boost. Companies and small businesses are now trying to make most of their workforce working from home, as they realise the advantages it has over physical working space.
One of the biggest advantages of working from home is that it saves time. The commute to and from the office, the meetings, and other formalities associated with office culture often take too much time. The hours, which could have been spent productively, get wasted on non-work activities.
The meetings, even though crucial for coordination and team management, often take place too often, and continue for way too long. Office hours are longer than what is required, since not all tasks require 8-9 hours of sitting in the office.
WFH encourages people to save time, work at their pace, and make most of the productive hours. With the growth of freelancing, an alternative to traditional office jobs has emerged. This also provides ample opportunities to:
- start a small business
- work part-time
- Earn additional income on the side
The opportunities are numerous; you just have to grab them.
Another advantage of home jobs is that you can do it remotely, from the comfort of your home. You don't have to travel or commute to a different place to get the work done. You can work more or less on different days, according to your convenience and schedule. This gives you a great deal of flexibility.
A flexible work environment is great for employees, as it leads to more freedom, less stress, and more happiness on the part of the employees.
You can also avoid rigid hierarchies associated with the corporate work culture. Communication is more streamlined and responsive, and you can directly communicate with the client, or his/her representative regarding anything related to the work given. You don't need to wait for the message to be passed through different levels of management to get the communication you desire.
Are the Jobs Genuine?
The main question which often rings in the head of freelancers, as well as small business owners is, "are the home jobs genuine?" As the freelancing industry is new, there will be a lot of scepticism on both ends, for the clients, as well as the freelancers.
This is a really important question though, as there are chances of clients and freelancers disappointing you in many ways.
- For the clients, freelancers may not submit work on time, may ghost on them, and also give substandard work.
- For the freelancers, clients may not pay them on time, or not pay at all. They may ghost on them, not respond to them, and also block them.
In order to prevent these frauds, both clients and freelancers have to keep the following things in mind.
For the Freelancers
- If you get work from the verified home job sites, they are genuine, as they had to go through a verification process before being able to list themselves on a freelancing site.
- If you are working with an independent client, you need to be extra careful. You need to be sure that the person you will work for is reliable, and will give payments on time.
- It is always beneficial to ask for advance payments. This will ensure that the client will be more serious in being responsive, and giving payments on time.
- Advance payment is a great safety net that will protect you from fraud and unscrupulous clients. You can ask around 25% to 50% of the total payment in advance, to ensure a certain amount of payment in case the client does turn out to be fraud, or ghosts on you and your payments.
- If you are going to work with the client on multiple projects, then a written contract is a must.
- A written contract not only gives credibility to the client and the company; it also ensures that you can take legal action in case the client is behaving unethically.
- Contracts are legally enforceable, and bind both the client and the freelancer.
- It states the rules and obligations for both the people and ensures that both follow the rules.
- You should read the contract carefully to protect yourself from signing contracts which will put you in a disadvantage.
- Sign only if you are sure that the contract is fair and ethical. If needed, take a few days, and also take legal advice. Every word in the contract should be carefully checked, and if there is any doubt, you need to ask the client and clear the doubts.
- In freelancing, you need to depend upon the goodwill of the client. There will be many bad apples in various freelancing fields. You need to ensure that you select the right clients, and be assertive on certain issues.
For the Clients/Business Owners
- It’s always better to give work to freelancers who are on registered freelancing sites, as they are verified before being listed.
- You need to be sure that the person whom you are giving work to will be reliable and ethical.
- A company needs to choose freelancers who they trust. They need to take regular feedback from the freelancers and ensure that they know what you want as a client.
- Having a written contract is a must, if you are working with the freelancer on multiple projects. This will give you added security.
That being said, freelancing is gaining popularity, and more and more companies will prefer hiring freelancers to get their work done. People need to be ready for the new normal, and adapt to the new working environment. With time, the freelancing industry will become more formalised, as more and more freelancers will demand accountability and fair practices from their clients.
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Q. Which form of marketing is now popular?
Ans: With the growth of the internet, digital marketing is gaining more popularity compared to other forms of marketing. As more and more people are getting on social media, it is becoming important for companies and businesses to reach them. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is really important, as it will help your website in ranking higher in the Google search engine.
Having a person who is adept in digital marketing on board is important. Digital marketing is now emerging as the single most important type of marketing a company can do.
Q. Will freelancers help small businesses?
Ans: Freelancers have their advantages. They can be hired on a contractual basis. You will not need to keep permanent employees. You can hire freelancers as and when you want. Plus, you can even start a small business through freelancing, as you gain more and more clients. You will be able to expand your business and hire people to work under you.
Q. Will the Covid Pandemic affect freelancers in any manner?
Ans: Yes, there has been an economic slowdown, due to which many small businesses have been shut, and jobs have been lost. So getting work as a freelancer will be a little difficult.
However, with the improving economic situation, things will get better and more opportunities will arise for work.
Q. What is the future of business?
Ans: Due to the Pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns, WFH is going to be much more preferred, compared to physical office spaces. You will need to adjust to the new environment to make the best of the situation.
Q. How to hire freelancers?
Ans: There are many freelancing sites available. You have to search for them on the internet, and you will find a lot of options. Within each freelancing website, many freelancers are providing various services. You have to choose according to the type of work required to be done and your needs.
Q. How to improve productivity in the workplace?
Ans: There are various ways to improve productivity. One of them is encouraging "Work from Home". WFH can prevent time wasted by employees on the commute, and ensure that the hours spent are productive. If work needs only 4 hours in a day, there is no point in keeping employees in the office for 8 hours. Employees should complete the work for the day and leave.
Flexibility can also play a role in improving productivity. Flexible working hours will provide more satisfaction to the employees, and hence, in turn, will improve productivity.