As our understanding of work continues to evolve and adapt to the changing social and economic landscapes, the desire for flexibility at work has increased among American office workers. Many found the sudden pivot to remote work three years ago to be a challenging but positive experience and have opted to make it a permanent arrangement. Other people have left their jobs in search of more independent work as contractors and freelancers. The arrangement can be beneficial for both the independent workers and the companies that hire them.
Workers with in-demand skills who are willing to sacrifice the stability of a traditional office job in favor of independent, freelance work take on higher risks for higher pay. Primarily paid hourly, freelancers with specialized training can set their own rates as well as their work schedule and location of choice. However, they give up insurance, benefits, and the assurance of a reliable paycheck. Many companies are amenable to the arrangement, as well, because hiring specialists on a short-term basis saves money and can broaden the talent pool from which to hire.
The appeal of contract and freelance work has grown dramatically over the past few years and is likely to continue gaining popularity. A recent survey showed that since 2019, the ratio of contractors to employees at the average company has increased 63%. A large majority of surveyed respondents said that they started contracting to gain more flexibility in location, hours, and choice of projects to work on.
To have true flexibility regarding where, when, and how work gets done, freelancers need reliable ways to stay connected and updated; they need to be able to access accounts from anywhere, at any time, and share documents and data without a time delay or breach in accuracy or security. Some important features to consider when choosing the right online tools for a beginning freelancer:
Cloud-based services offer the best options in terms of universal accessibility. Freelancers who work from various locations or at unorthodox hours need a reliable, portable connection to projects and documents.
Many of the contract work positions gaining popularity are in the technology field, but there is also a demand for other expertise, as well, particularly in areas of finance, management, data analysis, healthcare, and law. Tech tools that require extensive infrastructure and a lot of downloads and special equipment are costly to set up and maintain. Online cloud-based business tools handle the IT and security updates automatically so that busy freelancers don’t have to think about it.
Until a contractor has a bevy of clients and a reliable revenue base, she or he will want the most cost-effective way to stay connected, organized, and financially stable. Online software products for businesses are often priced for companies and solo ventures of all sizes and are designed to scale with a business if and when it expands and takes on employees.
Selecting applications that can merge data and work together with each other saves a lot of time and money—as well as headaches. Many programs for managing small business finance integrate with each other so that data need only be entered once for it to be synced across all channels, providing better accuracy and real-time updating.
Technology makes today’s business environment friendly to freelancers. Online tools are available to help automate a variety of important tasks, such as scheduling, invoicing, tracking expenses, managing cash flow, and issuing payments. An online cloud-based check-printing service is a great tool for contract-based workers who have multiple clients and want to avoid unwieldy bookkeeping. Cloud-based check printing and mailing services are mobile-ready, universally accessible, affordable, integration-capable, and require no bulky equipment or IT management on the user’s end. They help keep the bookkeeping streamlined, accurate, and up-to-date.