Almost everything in the professional world has changed following the rage of the coronavirus pandemic. From work arrangements to meeting venues down to business attires, you realize that the new normal is here, and everyone’s trying to cope. One segment of today’s workforce, however, probably got the hardest beating from the crisis: freelancers.
If you’re part of the gig economy, it may feel like there’s no silver lining amid the pay cuts, scarce opportunities, and unresponsive clients. But there is. You can survive, even thrive in this crisis. We outlined here some of the most pressing challenges freelancers face and ways you can overcome them:
With the world going into an economic downturn, companies have been cutting costs. In this arrangement, it’s often freelancers who take the brunt, receiving fewer and fewer project assignments or getting cancellations. It’s just a matter of time before the savings run dry.
In this case, you have to be more creative in finding new opportunities. Here are some tips you can try:
- Explore a different industry where your skills can still be relevant. If you’re a freelance web content writer, your mastery in words can be relevant to social media management. With many companies shifting to social platforms in this era of lockdowns and distancing, you may find more projects landing on your plate.
- Join a coworking space. It would greatly help if you have a network of professionals that can support you in the big shift you’re about to do. In co-working spaces, you’ll find people who will understand your struggles and might actually connect you with their contacts who can be your future clients in your next gig. You’ll probably find industry experts themselves.
Regus Philippines is one thriving coworking space community you can look into. They usually have community activities that allow members to engage with one another.
For some freelancers, the projects remain. The only problem is in the payments. They either get delayed or cut. To workers who have no other sources of income, this is a tough struggle. In this case, managing your expenses is, of course, the first thing you need to do to avoid falling into a money pit. But aside from tightening your belt, your main strategy should include improving your income stream.
In this case, a business venture is a good idea. You won’t be at the mercy of companies; you’ll get your own customers or clients instead. If your idea is a hit, you have thousands, maybe millions, of consumers pumping cash into your bank account. Consider businesses that have experienced a boom this pandemic:
- Sell new normal essentials (face masks, shields, or work-from-home gadgets).
- Deliver healthy meals or comfort food.
- Set up a pasabuy grocery.
It will help you better set up your new business when you work in a coworking space. In Regus, you can enjoy a comfortable, safe environment and upscale design, not to mention complete amenities, which are really good for powering up productivity. On top of this, you get flexible terms.
Traditional office spaces have three or five-year contracts. In coworking spaces, you can have it for just three or six months, just what you need to get a feel of the new venture you’re trying to explore.
Freelancers usually operate alone. But in the time of pandemic, when their jobs are on the line and they’re probably suffering low productivity working at home, the longing for a sense of community surfaces. Traditional workers have Zoom meetings at least. It’s not the same reality for freelancers. Ultimately, it’s affecting not just the quality of their work, but also their psychological well-being.
In this case, coworking spaces can again help. As mentioned earlier, these communities organize activities to keep the group tight-knit and offer networking opportunities among members. Mind you, these programs are not just related to professional life. Some hold seminars about mental health. Most have happy hours and trivia game nights (of course, pre-pandemic).
Don’t worry, in this time of crisis, these communities, including Regus, have a way of keeping people together without putting anyone at risk for health problems.
The struggle is real for freelancers in this pandemic era. The changes coronavirus brought posed new challenges for the gig economy. Nonetheless, you can overcome it. Thrive amid this crisis.