Working from home
Why do even more Belarusians want to work as freelancers
By Anna Poletovskaya
The nature of the labour market is changing rapidly, with technology allowing us to work from any location in the world, as long as we can gain access to the Internet. Our modern world is full of freelancers and, according to experts, their number is likely to keep growing.
In many countries, particularly in the USA, about a quarter of the economically active population are self-employed freelancers. RABOTA.TUT.BY’s recent survey of over 800 people found that only 45 percent of respondents had no experience of freelance work, while 96 percent are keen to work freelance in future. 14 percent of respondents are currently working as freelancers, and 22 percent sometimes work for other companies. Meanwhile, 10 percent had taken freelance jobs previously.
Naturally, people are anxious to retain some job security, so most are reluctant to take the leap into freelancing work, preferring steady employment. Interestingly, 17 percent plan to retrain in some other speciality; most often, those working as accountants or lawyers, administrative staff and those in the fields of production and sales are keen to change profession. Only 16 percent of respondents said they felt ready to rely on freelancing as their only source of income.
Many freelancing positions are connected to design and graphics, writing and editing, photography and film, Internet marketing, programming, translation, advertising and marketing.
“More remote working professionals are appearing all the time but the market is far from saturated, as there is so much work out there,” emphasises Belarusian freelancer Marina Pavlova. “Many jobs can be done from any location, so why tie yourself to an unnecessary commute, which wastes time. The creative professions of design and journalism are the most common for freelancers but, obviously, it’s not an easy way of earning your income.”
Of course, there are disadvantages to working freelance, the most significant of which is the lack of a steady income and ‘social protection’. Moreover, you need to be self-motivated, often seeking out short-term contracts. The advantages include greater flexibility in your working schedule, the ability to work from home, and the ability to choose projects. “Not everyone can do this, and it’s not only a matter of having a suitable profession,” notes the Director of HeadHunter Belarus, Svetlana Shaporova. “You need to be strict with yourself, organising your time, working environment and life! It’s a challenge to find a routine that works for you and there’s no guarantee of income, insurance or verified contracts. Absolutely everything is your personal responsibility.”
By the way…
American Jack Nilles was the first to research the phenomenon of remote working and has since tried to promote it. In 1972 he invented and introduced into general use the term ‘teleworking’ (telecommuting). He showed that professionals working from home can display even greater efficiency than they do in the office. Obviously, the country’s economy can only benefit from the saving of time usually spent commuting. In Western countries, it’s not unusual for people to spend hours travelling from their homes in the suburbs into the major cities. Naturally, in encouraging people to work from home, it also alleviates the strain on pubic transport and the roads, with knock-on effects for the environment. Needless to say, avoiding travel also saves workers a fair amount of money annually.