A 2019 study by Upwork and the Freelancers Union found that 35% of the United States workforce is made up of freelancers. More and more people are choosing this route over full-time employment. There are a number of advantages to freelancers themselves: they enjoy greater flexibility and often have more opportunities than their salaried counterparts.
But the workers themselves aren’t the only ones who reap the rewards of this arrangement. There are plenty of motivations for businesses to outsource their services to independent contractors and vendors, too. Here’s why you should consider working with remote collaborators.
They free up time for you
Nearly every organization has plenty to do and not enough time to do it. That means some tasks are neglected or fall by the wayside. When you hire freelancers, you’ll take some of the workload off of your busy full-time staff and put it in the hands of someone with the precise skill set needed for the job at hand.
For example, you may need someone to refresh the copy on your website, but your marketing team is working on an important campaign. A freelance copywriter can handle the assignment and take one item off your already lengthy to-do list.
They’ll save you money
Overhead, onboarding, full-time salaries, and benefits packages can really add up. Most of these costs are diminished or eliminated entirely when you hire a freelancer. They are usually a much more cost-effective alternative to full-time employees, even if their hourly rates are higher.
That’s because you don’t have to worry about additional costs, including health insurance and vacation time. Plus, most freelancers work remotely, so you don’t even have to pay for their work stations and equipment.
They offer specialized skill sets
The world is your oyster when you use the help of outside vendors. While talent to fill certain roles may be scarce within your company or even your whole country, it almost certainly exists elsewhere.
Let’s say you’re looking for help creating a robust digital security system. Perhaps your current IT administrator simply doesn’t have the cybersecurity experience you’re looking for. But there are likely IT outsourcing services in, say, Argentina or India that do. In another scenario, you may just not be able to afford a full-time IT staff, even though you need the help. An IT software outsourcing company may be the answer.
You can use them on an as-needed basis
You probably have plenty of individual projects that don’t require the work of full-time employees. You might be working on a social media campaign that needs a temporary manager. Or perhaps you want a software developer to build a product for you.
You can retain freelancers for short- and long-term assignments, using their services only when it’s necessary. This can be especially helpful when you’re expanding operations and growing your business.
They’ll help improve efficiency
If you’re a business leader, you’re juggling a lot of different responsibilities. And you’re probably better at handling some than others. The tasks that aren’t your strong suit likely take more time — and sometimes slow down operations. That’s when freelancers step in.
Working with outside collaborators can greatly improve efficiency. Hate budgeting? Hire a freelancer to help out. Not only will doing so take one more item off your plate, but it will free up your time to focus on your strengths and keep operations moving.
They offer outside perspectives
No matter what their area of expertise, full-time employees are deeply immersed in multiple aspects of your company. A quality staff cares not just about the success of their department but also the success of the entire business.
The downside is that because they’re there every day, they may not have the objectivity that an outsider can bring. This isn’t the case with a freelancer. A marketing professional might better spot weaknesses in an advertising campaign, while a software developer could advise you on the feasibility of a new product. While a third party hopefully still cares about your company, they can offer a unique perspective and look at it from a different angle.
With freelancing becoming an increasingly useful option, many businesses are finding plenty of reasons to outsource a variety of services, whether graphic design or bookkeeping. It’s probably not time to eliminate the idea of a full-time staff entirely, but you’ll likely find that freelancers can fill in a number of gaps and present solutions to some of your most pressing challenges.