The coronavirus pandemic has hit every industry, changing the way how the world used to function. Freelancers have also taken the fall as COVID-19 has impacted the freelance economy.
Payoneer, a global payment gateway, has released its report titled ‘The State of Freelancing During COVID-19’, which analyzes the demand for global freelancing, now and in the future, based on a survey of over 1000 freelancers from over 100 countries.
Talking about the impact of the crisis, Jonny Steel, VP Marketing at Payoneer, said:
The future of work is here. As the world figures its way out from this crisis, it’s clear that while some things will go back to how they were before, others will be changed forever. It is our belief that businesses worldwide will continue heading towards a more fluid workforce, connecting with skilled talent at home and abroad, in the realization that today’s world is borderless in more ways than perhaps we ever imagined.
Let’s have a look at some of the key findings of the report:
A Majority of Freelancers Have Witnessed A Decrease in Demand
With more and more businesses opting for the work-from-home model due to the novel coronavirus, the remote workforce is being seen as the norm for the first time in modern history.
While a staggering 32% of the surveyed freelancers have reported a great drop in demand for their services, 40% are saying that the amount of work has either remained the same or increased over the past 3 months. 28% of the freelancers said that the demand has slightly decreased in light of COVID-19.
North America and Europe Takes the Hit
Freelancers share the global concern for financial stability in uncertain times mainly because their clients from Europe and North America have significantly reduced usage of freelancing platforms. The drop in demand is slightly less in Asia and Australia.
Interestingly, freelancers from Ukraine have experienced a less impact with 56% reporting that the demand from North America has either increased or remained the same while 50% said that there was no slowdown in work from European clients.
Hourly Rates Have Remained the Same
Despite the slowdown in the global economy, freelancers have reported their hourly rates to have remained the same. 73% of the freelancers feel confident that their hourly rates are fair and attractive.
As per the earlier report by Payoneer, the average hourly rate stood at $21.
Managers Are Showing Resilience
Most of the people managing freelance teams are not downsizing their teams or reducing their salaries or hourly rates. As per the survey, 83% have said that they will not reduce their team’s pay whereas 74% are not firing people.
Freelancers Expecting a Silver Lining
A majority of freelancers, 53%, are hopeful that once the world deals with the ongoing crisis, there will be an increase in demand for their services. Another 21% believe that the demand will return to normal, i.e., how it was prior to the health emergency.
More People Are Joining Freelancing Platforms
A large number of people have lost their regular jobs due to companies shutting down businesses in the wake of COVID-19. This has forced them to look for livelihood elsewhere and freelancing platforms have witnessed a rapid growth in terms of people joining the remote workforce. According to different freelancing websites, there has been an increase in demand for their services in recent times.
The same is true for Pakistan as the country is battling to contain the deadly virus. The pandemic has greatly impacted businesses in the country with a large number of people being rendered jobless due to the crisis. More and more Pakistanis are opting for freelance work opportunities these days to continue making a decent living.
You can find the detailed report here.