Another way freelance jobs are changing the face of the job market–thanks to technology and a savvy workforce.
If there’s one lasting result of the Great Recession, it’s the rise of freelance work. First out of necessity and then realizing its flexibility, freelance workers have changed the face of the new economy.
Freelance writing has transformed my life, personally. It allows me to do what I love all around a schedule that I create. If you can make it work, it makes for fantastic work/life balance. And now, more sections of the labor market are including freelance jobs. Technology is the driving force, allowing freelance jobs to expand like never before.
The Economist recently reported on a startup called HANDY. The company has created an app that matches jobs with independent contractors, all at a moment’s notice. They supply the labor and services on demand. Started in San Francisco, the company is providing service to 29 U.S. cities.
Contractors must choose between 5 and 35 hours a week for which they’re willing to work. In all, 20 percent of workers do the high end of the workload spectrum and according to the company, they make around $2,500 per month. That’s pretty good money depending on where you live and if you have another job as well.
The services are widely varied basically consisting of help around the house with tasks that people would rather not do or don’t have the skills to do–everything from furniture assembly, interior painting, moving, and home cleaning. It’s all basically within the genres of handy work, plumbing, electrical, and cleaning.
Handy’s hometown, ground zero for this on-demand economy—young professionals who work for Google and Facebook can use the apps on their phones to get their apartments cleaned by Handy or Homejoy; their groceries bought and delivered by Instacart; their clothes washed by Washio and their flowers delivered by BloomThat. Fancy Hands will provide them with personal assistants who can book trips or negotiate with the cable company. TaskRabbit will send somebody out to pick up a last-minute gift and Shyp will gift-wrap and deliver it. SpoonRocket will deliver a restaurant-quality meal to the door within ten minutes.
It’s a win-win for those that need something very specific done and don’t necessarily want to schedule something continuously. Not to mention that it provides those trying to make ends meet in a low wage economy freelance jobs, allowing them some room to breathe when money comes up short. If you’re willing to work, you too can make it happen. Especially if you live in an area with a super high cost of living like San Francisco, the startup’s home base.
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Image: Dave Crosby