Crowd Service Blog Series Part 3 by Manuel Grenacher
The digital age gave birth to the share economy, and along with it a new kind of labor market. People began to realize that services could be utilized, provided, and paid for on a needs basis. What started out as car sharing and apartment sharing has expanded into countless other business sectors, as the next generation of employees realizes the benefit of deciding when, where, and for how much they are willing to provide their services. And the number of freelancers has been steadily rising across the United States and Europe. But do the pros and cons of freelancing stack up against each other? How do you know if freelancing is right for you?
Team work vs. autonomy
People accustomed to working in an office or with a team enjoy the benefit of shared ideas and daily company. The thought of working alone day in and day out might seem lonely and even boring to them. However, freelancers are compensated for this solo work style in the form of increased autonomy. They alone are responsible for making big decisions about timelines, availability, content, solutions, and more. That means that when they accept a contract, they have the time, ability, and desire to complete it. This often results in more effective work and quicker delivery times.
Security vs. flexibility
Full-time jobs not only ensure a regular monthly paycheck, they also offer a sense of well-being. Knowing precisely how much money you will have in your bank account at the end of each month is a luxury that not every freelancer can enjoy. Freelancers have to be systematic about their budgets and savings to offset months with more meager income. However, not being bound to a company and a desk means the freedom to work when, where, and however much you want. A whole new co-working space industry popping up across the globe is reshaping and redefining the work-life balance. Freelancers can rent a desk in Bali, Barcelona, or Berlin for a month and enjoy a new culture, input from like-minded individuals, and often new client referrals.
Impulses vs. self discipline
In an office setting, lack of motivation, inspiration, or energy can be balanced out by engaged and committed colleagues who can drive a team forward. When you’re a freelancer, you have to push yourself to get the job done. And sometimes a large cup of coffee just isn’t enough. The good news: you can often do just as good a job from your bed in pajamas!
Fewer benefits vs. higher Income
A full-time position promises a host of benefits: training programs, education financing, health insurance, paid vacation, sick leave, holiday bonuses, and even sabbaticals. Freelancers have to cover all of those expenses out of pocket. And they add up quite quickly. However, since companies do not have the same overhead costs for freelancers as they do for full-time employees, they are able to pay more for a freelancer’s services. A successful freelancer with a large client pool can easily offset these extra costs through income earned.
Company loyalty vs. new challenges
Many employers are concerned that freelancers lack the kind of company loyalty that a full-time employee has. It is true that freelancers don’t wear the company logo, attend the company holiday party, or even write the company name on their resumes. However, freelancers have the chance to dedicate themselves to new challenges every day. With each different client, a freelancer has the opportunity to delve into new topics, business sectors, issues, and solutions. This kind of broad knowledge allows them to consistently improve their skills and insight. And that means they are able to offer all their clients even more experience, proficiency and expertise.
Lost hours vs. novel business model
Part of a freelancer’s job is to expand their business through marketing initiatives, acquisitions, and networking. On top of that, freelancers have to manage excessive amounts of paperwork: accounting, taxes, invoicing. Though all these hours are an investment, they are also not billable. However, the transitioning labor market has offered a solution to this problem in the form of the crowd service. And many companies are jumping on board by creating a crowd of employees, partners, subcontractors, and freelance experts. With crowd service platforms like Coresystems, these crowds are being intelligently managed by AI interfaces to ensure clients growing needs for expert services are met. When a freelancer is part of a crowd, tasks are assigned depending on availability, skills, location, and other parameters, and invoicing is automated. That adds up to more valuable hours for freelancers to dedicate to the real work!
Becoming a freelancer is akin to starting your own business. You will be responsible for all aspects of your professional life beyond your daily tasks and assignments. However, the benefits are also abundant. In the end, it’s a choice that will depend on what you’re willing to give up for the gains!
For more information and deep understanding of the Crowd Service concept we suggest to read the following white paper: Understanding Crowd Service Solutions: The Evolution Of Field Service
Author: Manuel Grenacher, CEO Coresystems