Everywhere we look across the globe, we can see massive change taking place in the work force. Thanks to online freelancing websites such as Odesk, Elance, and Freelancer, companies can now connect to online freelancers who can complete jobs for them. Companies hire freelancers because it saves them money, they don’t have to pay for health insurance or other benefits for freelance workers, the work they need done gets done quickly, and companies now have access to thousands of workers with skills in multiple areas.
In the recent years, online freelancing has experienced a boom. Companies are cutting full-time employment and searching for freelance help instead. In 2001 9.2% of American people worked at home freelancing online. In 2014 it is estimated that one in every three Americans do online freelance jobs. It is expected that by 2020, 50% of the American workforce will be doing online freelancing jobs.
There are many online freelancing sites online that connect companies with freelancers each one differing slightly from the last. PeoplePerHour offers work that can be done in one hour, Odesk offers work ranging from an hour to many months. There are many other freelancing websites such as WorkAna, TaskRabbit, and Juggle. Many of these sites have seen a surge of freelancers along with a surge of companies looking to hire.
On December 18, 2013 two of these online freelancing sites, Elance and Odesk, announced a merger stating “The new entity will be well positioned to deliver the most advanced tools for hiring and collaborating online.” Odesk stated that the reason for the merge was, “Both companies are leading innovators driving the adoption of online work. Combined, we will have the resources to invest in products and services that serve customers better.” Elance also recently announced they would be opening an office in Egypt but Elance is not the only freelance website in Egypt or the Middle East, Elance will have to compete with sites such as Nabbes, Jobzela, and Laimoon.
All of this growth involving freelancing websites is great news for those looking for online freelancing jobs. With freelancing jobs taking off all over the world, it is no surprise that a site like Fiverr.com has experienced so much growth. Fiverr was founded in 2009 with the aim of providing a platform for people to buy and sell a variety of small services offered by freelancers. Since 2011 Fiverr has grown 600%, and has been ranked among the top 200 most popular sites in the US.
According to Matt Cooper the Vice President of enterprise and international at oDesk, “It is expected that online freelancing jobs will continue to grow and be the new norm when it comes to employment in the future, there are a couple of trends underway that are determining what the future of work looks like. One trend is the move towards a freelance economy. The fluidity that we’re moving in and out of jobs is increasing. We’re headed to a world where you’re working for five companies at one time, instead of one company for five years… “
Online freelancing is not suitable for everyone. You will need a lot of self-motivation and self-discipline. Failure and success is entirely your responsibility but thanks to the hard economic times and the appeal of a flexible lifestyle that many desire, one thing is for sure: Freelancing is here to stay!