The U.S. unemployment rate may have plunged to 4.9 percent in January, but freelancers still form the backbone of this economy’s recovery from The Great Recession. The technology space has understood this in more ways than one, and is rushing to find ways to support and cash-in on the trend towards startups and freelance job creation.
Online Gig Markets
Whether it’s Elance.com, or its evil big brother that raises fees on freelancers, Upwork.com, there’s been a strong maturation of online platforms that connect freelancers with the companies that need their services. While some might argue this makes it easier for companies to get away from offering full-time, traditional employment, the freelancers getting the jobs are happy for the opportunity to cover next month’s rent.
Technology has been focused, refined and streamlined to best facilitate communication between clients and online freelancers around the world. The job market has truly never been more global.
Online Skills-Based Learning
To meet the needs of a tech-focused economy in the United States, multiple organizations have stepped up to the plate and offered online programs to help fix the skill-gap between job seekers and available gigs. For example, Udemy.com offers courses online that teach specific skills and concepts that are in demand on the freelance market.
Scaling for Entrepreneurs / Freelancers
As freelancers begin to create a strong brand and solid book of clients, the complexity of communicating everything with clients can become overwhelming. For many, helpdesk software becomes an important link in the chain that connects clients with project updates, and freelancers with project feedback in real time.
Instant Messaging, Like AIM but more Professional
Communication apps, like Slack, are being catapulted into the PC’s and mobile devices of entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 employees. Solving the difficult process of blocking out personal communication while inspiring work-based collaboration has been the bane of corporate IT for years. Apps that focus employees and freelancers on the task at hand without bringing in social media brain drain is an advancement that can be traced back to the needs of the gig economy.
New Sources for the 21st Century
The tech world is constantly changing and evolving. There isn’t time to waste when getting the latest information and insights, which is one reason print news is dying a slow and painful death. Tech-savvy entrepreneurs want their information, and they want it now! Bonus points if you can deliver it in a bite-sized, hyper-focused medium.
Enter sites like the one you’re reading right now, as well as startups like Gizmo Snack. Designed to collect stories and information from around the web, and the world, in a variety of focus areas; online blogs are now earning their place in the high-browed world of news media.
Whether we’re talking about online marketplaces for freelance assignments, professional corporate communication systems, news media, or tools that allow entrepreneurs to scale more effectively, there are few areas of business technology that haven’t been directly impacted by the gig economy; and the army of freelancers that empower it.