Southeast Asia’s rising freelance economy

Article by : Liyana Hasnan, The Asean Post
Posted on : 24 September 2019
Full Article : https://hbr.org/2020/06/will-the-pandemic-push-knowledge-work-into-the-gig-economy

Freelancer improves productivity and its a new norm for business
“A majority of hiring managers are using freelancers in their departments to save cost, drive innovation and keep a competitive advantage…65 per cent of global hiring managers said the gig economy is rapidly becoming the new norm for how businesses organize workflow…In the Asia Pacific…43 per cent of global organisations who engage these free agents have saved at least 20 per cent in labour costs.”

The increasing trend of freelancing
“84 percent of hiring managers outsource to freelancers…nearly one-third of global workers are freelancers…with 75 percent working by choice for positive reasons. They chose to step away from the standard 9-to-5 office environment to determine how, when, and where they want to work.”

Why businesses prefer freelancers?
“Companies can yield cost savings, and gain better access to niche skill sets, etc. Without the restraints and bureaucracy of traditional employment, organizations can be more innovative and competitive… to lower their overhead cost and avoid breaking the bank…Freelancers are also among the most resilient as they are constantly re-skilling through self-funded training and on-the-job learning, in preparation for their next gig.”

The freelancing market is growing
“Filipino freelancers grew 35 percent from the year before…In Malaysia, the gig economy in 2017 grew by 31 percent based on figures by Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) Malaysia.”

The labour welfare concern on freelancing
“the gig economy also raises concerns over social safety nets, financial security, health and retirement plans… In Southeast Asia, the gig economy is unregulated, making freelancers easy targets for exploitation either by being overworked or underpaid.2018 study by PayPal revealed that 58 percent of freelancers in four Southeast Asia markets (Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam) have experienced not being paid…”


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