In the context of an economy reeling from COVID-19, freelancing and the gig economy now mean something entirely different to many people. Millions of people have lost their jobs, which has resulted in a surge of individuals looking to part-time and gig work to make ends meet. On the business side, companies are increasingly open to outsourcing functions through digital platforms, mainly to reduce administrative costs and legal barriers. Thus, the future of remote work is now one of the most discussed topics as new financial constraints force businesses to reevaluate hiring strategies.
The fresh wave of discussion surrounding the gig economy has left many questioning what the future of online work will look like. We consider that freelancing through digital platforms will increasingly become an alternative for a large part of the available workforce. To better understand online freelancing’s current conditions, we decided to ask some of our best gig economy creatives about their motivations for participating in this market and their career perspectives after the COVID-19 outbreak.
We surveyed 20% of our Bunny Pros worldwide between September 1st and September 30th. Respondents comprised most of the age demographics available in the Bunny Studio’s pool of creatives. Specifically, 22% belonged to the 18-34 age bracket, 26% to the 35-44, 31% to the 45- 54, and 21% were 55 or older at the moment of answering. All of them work in creative tasks like doing voice-overs or writing high-quality texts.
Our survey reveals that 85% of respondents categorize themselves as freelancers instead of contractors or employees. When looking at this group’s primary motivation, we confirm workers’ increasing interest in independence and self-management.
Here’s a look at other key findings:
- 60% of respondents between the age of 18 and 34 use freelance work as their primary income source.
- 65% of respondents between the ages of 35 and 44 use freelance work as their primary income source.
- 61% of respondents between the age of 45 and 54 use freelance work as their primary income source
- 60% of respondents above the age of 55 use freelance work as their secondary source of income.
- 57% of respondents work in the freelance gig economy as their primary source of income.
- 43% of respondents work in the freelance gig economy as their secondary source of income.
- 61% of respondents have been freelancing for over five years.
- 85% of respondents prefer to be categorized as a freelancer.
- 97% of respondents see freelancing as a long-term choice (lasting more than a year)
- 30% of respondents say that their main reason for freelancing is the freedom to choose their own jobs.
- 29% of respondents say that their main reason for freelancing is because of the flexibility in schedule.
Freelancing amid COVID-19:
- 42% of respondents say that their freelance has remained the same since COVID-19.
- 40% of respondents say that they have received less freelance work since COVID-19.
- 18% of respondents say that they have received more freelance work since COVID-19.
As shown before, most respondents by age groups considered online work as their primary income source: only the senior group (+55) used the Bunny Studio platform as a secondary earning. Additionally, we noted that more than 60% of the sample had been freelancing for more than five years. Almost the whole sample of Bunny Pros see their activity as a long-term choice, and that freedom of choosing their job setting their schedules drive their interest in freelancing. This fact supports our intuition that gig working will establish as a valid alternative to traditional work.
Regarding the current health situation, most of the respondents reported that they had received at least the same amount of work since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. This finding shows the resilience of remote work to emergency policies like quarantines and social distancing that disrupted traditional industries and working ways.
If you’ve never considered using freelancers because the risk seemed to outweigh the reward, we encourage you to take a second look at how working with a third-party freelance service can alleviate some of the stress. First, online freelancing increases the flexibility to onboard highly skilled workforce very quickly when required. Second, it allows overriding geographical and administrative barriers to hire specific talent that could not exist in your home country. Third, embracing freelancers gives startups the ability to cut down on hiring and overhead costs. Thus, adopting online workers will allow you to grow your market by unlocking a diverse field of workers with a range of experience, education, and skill to fit any project need as fast as needed.