Freelance software development booms amid COVID-19 and management rules are changing

Over the subsequent yr, the vast majority of hiring managers within the tech house “plan to extend their use of freelancers,” in line with a brand new Upwork report.


Picture: iStock/jacoblund

Greater than a yr after the onset of COVID-19, the coronavirus pandemic continues to redefine the brand new regular of labor, however its imprint might reshape the best way corporations fill positions for years to return. On Wednesday, Upwork launched its Future Workforce Pulse Report, highlighting how the coronavirus pandemic has reworked hiring, administration practices and the best way corporations leverage freelance expertise throughout sectors.

“Distant work has turn into, what economists name, a normal function know-how,” mentioned Upwork Chief Economist Adam Ozimek, in a press launch. “It has a variety of makes use of that’s embraced throughout the financial system and creates a wide range of spillover results and we’re already seeing the indicators of those results. The embrace of a extra totally distant workforce has enabled companies to embrace new know-how, reimagine how they onboard and prepare, and even allowed hiring managers to embrace using freelancers.”

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Distant work and freelance gigs increase

The Upwork report initiatives that greater than one-quarter of U.S. staff (27.7%) might be distant within the subsequent half-decade; up almost 5% from the corporate’s November 2020 survey. The coronavirus pandemic additionally “accelerated” corporations’ use of distant freelance expertise, with 53% of respondents saying “distant work has elevated their willingness to make use of freelancers,” in line with the discharge, and the overwhelming majority of hiring managers (71%) mentioned they have been planning to “maintain or enhance their use of freelancers” within the subsequent six months.

Over the subsequent yr, freelance tech expertise will proceed to increase, in line with Upwork, as almost two in three hiring managers within the tech house “plan to extend their use of freelancers” throughout this time interval. However, why are corporations more and more prepared to faucet freelance expertise and is that this pattern associated to current excessive turnover amid a decent labor market?

One of many primary causes corporations are more and more prepared to faucet freelance expertise, in line with Ozimek, is companies now having the “infrastructure to assist freelancers;” whereas pre-pandemic, he defined, the “considered onboarding or collaborating with knowledgeable exterior of the workplace or firm was troublesome for a lot of companies and hiring managers to know.”

“However as companies have had to determine tips on how to onboard and prepare workers within the context of distant work, many realized that they now can do the identical with freelancers,” he continued.

SEE: Juggling distant work with youngsters’ schooling is a mammoth process. Here is how employers may also help (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

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As soon as companies cleared the “hurdle” that’s coaching and onboarding freelance expertise, Ozimek mentioned, “many” noticed the “worth of working with distant freelancers,” resembling the flexibility to rapidly meet demand by scaling groups and tapping freelancers to help with out there work as a result of turnover amid a decent labor market.

It is vital to notice that this surge in freelance expertise varies throughout industries. For the reason that begin of the coronavirus pandemic, 80% of hiring managers within the internet, cell, and software program growth house mentioned they’ve elevated freelancer utilization, in line with Upwork, the biggest such enhance recorded. So, what’s driving elevated freelance utilization inside this software program growth class?

“That is an space of labor the place there’s each a number of venture primarily based demand in addition to speedy scaling wants,” Ozimek mentioned. “Corporations who want e-commerce operations launched rapidly, or a quick redevelopment of their cell website. The sort of work lends itself effectively to freelancing.”

WFH is altering administration types

Apparently, the pandemic can also be shifting the best way corporations and managers select to supervise and supervise staff. In comparison with a “regular yr,” about two-thirds of respondent companies (67%) mentioned they skilled “extra adjustments to long-term administration practices” however non permanent changes made as a result of COVID-19, per Upwork.

Administration, Ozimek mentioned, is one space that noticed “a substantial amount of change,” with the swap to distant work, explaining that it’s “probably” as a result of “lots of the previous administration practices,” a la monitoring clocking out and in occasions and “glancing over one’s shoulder,” aren’t potential in a earn a living from home framework. 

“As a substitute, companies have needed to shift their mindset to consider the precise work being performed from groups,” Ozimek mentioned. “Are folks ending their work on time? Is it prime quality? Can I depend on them?”

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