It seems that the world of remote work arrived quickly and now is here to stay. Indeed, we’ve grown accustomed to new ways of doing work; freelancing, part-time jobs, flexibility, and virtual job markets are becoming the new normal. But, not rubbing shoulders with our co-workers is not the most important part of these new developments. The rise of these new forms of work is making task-oriented service platforms a credible, reliable solution for both employers and professionals. Today, we’ll let you know why they’re such crucial assets in the modern market.
Freelancing is increasing by leaps and bounds. Clearly, what was once a niche activity is now one of the main ways of engaging with work in the 2020s. Looking at the statistics about the sector, it’s easy to see how things have progressed. While in 2014 there were 53 million freelancers, it’s grown to nearly 60, and we expect those numbers to continue trending upwards.
Undoubtedly, freelancing itself is a big economic driver in its own right. In fact, we often understate statistics about freelancing. On its own, the sector is responsible for a tallied yearly income of a trillion dollars!
But, of course, this doesn’t mean that every part of the activity happens on freelancing platforms. In this article, we’ll learn why such platforms are an integral part of the market’s growth, and why they’re helping both freelancing and access to A-list services to thrive more than ever.
Task-Oriented Service Platforms: What Are They?
We’ve talked about the gig economy and the sharing economy at length in our new feature series. We’ll go over them briefly here to provide context for task-oriented service platforms. As they’re a part of this burgeoning economic activity, we need to know why they don’t happen in a vacuum.
The gig economy allows individuals to work for companies or other individuals on a part-time, or per-job basis without the need for an employee/employee commitment. While these jobs can be casual, they’re often professional, and just as serious as in any full-time profession. So, the gig economy tends to be flexible, temporary, and built on a per-job basis.
The sharing economy facilitates the sharing of goods and services via online platforms. Now, it may seem that defining gig economy vs sharing economy is a bit circular but bear with us.
The sharing economy helps people mainly helps people share their unused assets. Essentially, these assets become a monetized commodity. Think about Airbnb, and how it allows clients to rent out their apartments to users on the platform.
So, in a way, while the sharing economy and the gig economy are not the same, the former allows the latter to flourish. How? By creating the availability of online service-oriented platforms.
In short, task-oriented service platforms function as electronic freelancing marketplaces. There, clients can link up with freelancers who offer different services. The idea behind these platforms is a boon to everyone:
- Firstly, because it allows clients to connect with high-quality talents;
- Secondly, because freelancers can easily and reliably find work.
But, are these platforms free-for-all, or do they offer some sort of guarantee? How do they work?
Managed vs. Non-Managed Platforms
Task-oriented service platforms act as digital intermediaries. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they offer strict quality guarantees in every case. It’s also important to note that not all platforms vet who offers services there. While all of them offer temporary, freelance services that operate in a task-based manner, there are differences.
A non-managed platform acts solely as a marketplace. They don’t vet their freelancers or perform quality control on deliverables. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s riskier per se. The way clients generally deal with the uncertainties that these platforms pose is by guiding themselves by reputation, reviews, and samples. Of course, this means that it’s typically harder for a new freelancer to get a leg up in this system.
Conversely, managed platforms have stricter control over service providers. Platforms like Bunny Studio perform quality control even before a professional gets started. The way they ensure this is by testing a pro’s credentials and capabilities before they start working. Therefore, clients have the assurance that even newcomers have enough talent to be worth hiring.
Although both types of task-oriented service platforms offer roughly the same services, the main mode of interaction changes. With the first type, clients typically have to go through a lengthy interviewing process. Freelancers, too, have to continuously submit lengthy proposals every time they want work. Many clients still prefer these constant auditions, because work is generally handled task by task.
On the other hand, managed platforms are different. They tend to try to simplify things for clients and freelancers alike by streamlining the hiring process. What typically happens is that a client will select the type of service that they need from a list, and the platform will pair them up with a capable professional. Since all of the pros on the platform have already proved their worth, it’s a very low-risk situation. Therefore, many professional platforms and studios have adopted this mode of work.
Task-oriented service platforms make up a respectable amount of the freelancing market. In our article about online professional services, we found the following:
Given our estimation, the size of the market was close to $10.8 billion USD in 2019. We also estimated that the online outsourcing segment was about 90% of this value. In terms of growth, our estimates showed that professional services had a CAGR of 27.5% in the last three years and that the online freelancing segment increased its volume at a rate close to 29%.
Of course, the pandemic had something to say about this, no doubt. But, we expect a tremendous economic upswing for the coming years. In fact, we predict year-over-year growth for the sector if things continue to follow current models. This is because the way we relate to work is changing. Therefore, mass adoption of freelancing and online platforms is very likely going to increase.
Task-Oriented Service Platforms and Microwork
Another issue to note is that not all platforms offer high-end professionals. Some enable clients to hire less-qualified freelancers for repetitive, low-skill tasks. Microwork, then, is about low-skill tasks that take very little time, preparation, and training to complete.
This allows clients to outsource labor for lower costs. Additionally, this serves various other purposes:
- Companies don’t waste paid employees’ time and effort on repetitive tasks;
- They save up on benefits and other fixed costs;
- Workers typically finish these one-and-done tasks with a faster turnaround time than employees would.
While you won’t find high-skilled workers or services on these platforms, they still are important. Jobs like low-level data entry, annotations, surveys, and data transcriptions, while ripe for automation in the future, are still a necessary part of the functioning of any company. Therefore, microwork allows companies to save time, effort, and money. Additionally, it keeps employees happy by freeing them up to work on more sensitive, mission-critical tasks that befit their credentials.
As it stands, the microwork sector accounts for about 10% of the market share of task-oriented service platforms. While that might not be a tremendous impact, it’s still sizable and shows why they’re important to consider. After all, every task counts, whether micro or macro.
Task-Oriented Service Platforms: What’s Next?
If we count the pandemic out, the US freelancing market had been growing around 78% annually. Since there’s an expectation of an enormous rebound, we at Bunny Studio expect bright things ahead. And this is not just limited to the United States either. Payoneer, the electronic payment platform, researched this phenomenon and said:
In Q2 of 2019, the US freelance economy jumped by 78% compared to Q2 of 2018. This makes the US the fastest-growing market in terms of income increase.
Second is the US with a 59% growth. Brazil comes third with a 48% rise. Other markets in the top 10 are Pakistan, Ukraine, the Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Russia, and Serbia.
Then, there are other important data points about freelancers:
- 46% have said that they enjoy their current job flexibility.
- On average, they have a yearly income of $70,000. That’s in the middle-upper salary range in the US.
- Moreover, freelancers earn around $28 on average. That’s over the hourly pay of over 70$ of Americans.
- On the other hand, non-US freelancers tend to make around $20/hour on average. That still beats wages in most countries, especially in non-developed areas.
- It seems Gen Z is especially fond of freelancing. Around 53% of the younger generation prefer working freelance.
- 73% of freelancers get their gigs from task-oriented service platforms.
- 51% of freelancers swear by it. They say they’d never go back to a traditional job.
- Of all freelancers, only 45% offer highly skilled services. This ties into our previous point about microwork.
If anything, and with the continued adoption of remote work and freelancing, we see all of these numbers trending upwards in the future. While traditional employment has its place, freelancing is no doubt an unprecedented phenomenon that will continue to revolutionize the way people work and live.
At Bunny Studio, we’re firm believers in offering the latest and greatest. As a managed task-oriented service platform, our passion is connecting our clients with only the best creatives. If anything, it looks like more prospective clients and freelancers are eager to test these new waters, and trust this growing market.
We are increasingly confident that the best is yet to come. Therefore, we will continue to strive to provide the best in turnkey creative services that offer complete, readymade solutions and a place where freelancers can work, grow, improve, and enjoy the very best that their profession can offer.