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Freelancing alive and well in PH

By: - Reporter / @neltayao
/ 05:20 AM December 24, 2018

On the global freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace platform Freelancer.com, the Philippines ranks fourth among over 200 countries (No. 1 is India, followed by the United States and Pakistan) in terms of users, both freelancers and employers, on the site—which says a lot about the nation’s changing attitudes toward work, says Sebastián Siseles, the company’s vice president of International.

“There’s a report by Forbes which says that by 2027, the majority of the world’s workforce will be freelancers,” says Siseles, who is responsible for creating, communicating and aligning Freelancer.com’s international expansion strategy, and leading the team of directors and communications managers worldwide. “Another study by McKinsey says that 11 percent of the world’s jobs can be done remotely—and when you talk about that, then you’re talking about freelancing.”

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Over 31 million users and 15 million jobs are now on Freelancer.com worldwide, says Siseles. The Philippines’ share is at over 1.1 million—about 93,000 are employers.

In the last 12 months alone, over 140,000 users joined the platform.

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“The gig economy is growing; you can see it everywhere,” Siseles says.

The top five jobs which employers ask of Filipino freelancers on the site are focused on data entry, web development using PHP (hypertext preprocessor), graphic design, the use of Microsoft Excel and Photoshop. Majority of these jobs come from—aside from within the country—India, United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. Over 10,000 jobs are posted daily on the website from all over the world.

On the average, one job pays $196, says Siseles. “This could be a job that you could do for three to four days, or just in two hours—it depends on how good you are.”

And while the Philippines is a sweet spot for Freelancer.com in terms of number of users, it is also thriving here in terms of the company’s growth. In fact, the country is home to the platform’s largest office, employing over 400—a mix of engineers focused on the platform’s development and infrastructure, plus “soft skill” professionals focused on customer experience, account management and communications.

He says that the Filipinos’ excellent command of the English language was what drew Freelancer.com to set up an office here, as well as people’s “top-notch” science, technology, engineering and math skills.

Freelancer.com’s headquarters are in Sydney, Australia. The company also has offices in Vancouver, Buenos Aires, London and Jakarta. “If you look at the world map, you can see we cover every time zone, so you can say we are a company that literally runs 24/7,” says Siseles.

And as the world’s digital ecosystem progresses, so, too, will the evolution of work, Siseles adds. Quoting entrepreneur, investor and software engineer Marc Andreessen, Siseles says that if software is eating the world, then online marketplaces, such as Freelancer.com, are weapons of mass destruction—of the existing workplaces.

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“The digital economy will challenge the old way of working, wherein management is always in control. It will promote work-life balance and jobs that are based on collaboration, objectives and creativity,” Siseles says.

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TAGS: crowdsourcing, freelancing
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