Data earlier this year found that contractors and freelancers are expected to make up half of the U.S. workforce within a decade. Yet while more than one-third of U.S. workers now freelance in some capacity, 50 percent of time is usually spent trying to find projects, rather than actually doing work and getting paid.
According to Charlie Fogarty, co-founder of Lorem, freelancing is the future of work, particularly as Internet connectivity continues to improve worldwide. Through its proprietary algorithm, Lorem matches business owners to a professional network of freelancers who can build or improve websites, blogs or online stores. This helps freelancers easily gain work, while giving businesses the technical expertise they need quickly and affordably.
Digital Journal spoke with Charlie Fogarty to discover more about freelancing trends and the technology.
Digital Journal: What is the current state of the U.S. labor market?
Fogarty: The U.S. labor market is steadily moving to a greater percentage of freelance and remote workers each year. According to a study about freelancing in America, there are already 57.3 million freelancers in the U.S., with the majority of workers being freelancers by 2027. This shift is being driven by a number of different market forces – including continual technology advancements in communication and collaboration solutions, employees demanding greater flexibility in how they work, and employers increasingly embracing remote workers to better find and retain top talent.
DJ: Are the proportions of contractors and freelancers growing?
Fogarty:Freelancing is becoming an increasingly common mode of work, with over 35 percent of the U.S. workforce already doing it in some capacity. This number is expected increase exponentially over the next decade so that freelancers will be the majority of all workers in the U.S. alone.
While we currently work with web design, web development and digital marketing talent, as technology improves and as more businesses embrace freelance working, we can expect to see an even greater number of freelancers – both in job type and volume – use Lorem’s platform. Eventually, we want to make finding remote work and getting paid easier, therefore truly enabling freelancing as the “future of work.”
DJ: What are the advantages of this type of work?
Fogarty:For freelancers, having more flexibility in choosing their own projects, hours and workload is one of the biggest benefits of this type of work.
For businesses, the advantage of hiring freelancers is that you can hire for a specific skill set on-demand – in our case, businesses can quickly and affordably find individuals who can build or improve their website, blog or online store. Using Lorem’s platform, we can deliver a faster and more personalized experience, as we streamline the process for our business customers to find the right professional for their web design and development needs.
DJ: What are the downsides?
Fogarty:While freelancing has a lot of obvious benefits, this way of working is still too daunting for most people, since over 50 percent of time is spent trying to find new work, rather than working and getting paid.
For business owners, the challenge in finding the right on-demand talent is in articulating exactly what you want, then going through the process of wading through individual resumes and portfolios to see if the freelancer is an ideal fit. Many businesses lack the time and technical knowhow to find the right professional among thousands of freelance profiles, with freelancers also constantly under-bidding in a price race to the bottom.
At Lorem, one of our foundational principles is that we are the only platform that rigorously vets our experts (only 10 percent of applicants are accepted), and provides instant, human help to match each project to a freelancer according to the business requirements. Through this process, we can match a business customer with the ideal freelancer in mere minutes.
DJ: Is technology making contract work and freelancing easier?
Fogarty:Freelancing is being heralded as the “future of work” with 35 percent of the U.S. workforce already doing it in some capacity. However, the typical freelancer spends more than half their day trying to find new work, rather than actually working and getting paid; which was key motive in Lorem’s creation.
With Lorem, we’ve built an on-demand network of pre-vetted freelancers around the world, available 24/7. This platform enables us to automatically connect customers with the best expert for the job, typically in less than ten minutes. For freelancers, that means a constant stream of “jobs falling in your lap,” without ever having to compete on price with another freelancer.
DJ: What services does Lorem provide?
Fogarty:Lorem is a platform that matches business owners to a curated, professional network of freelance website developers and designers who can build or improve their website, blog or online store for an affordable price.
We offer on-demand support instantly, by connecting non-technical businesses to the best designers and developers from anywhere in the world, at any time, in mere minutes.
Our on-demand freelance marketplace gives businesses access to the core services to promote and grow their organizations, while aligning to the increasingly flexible and convenient nature of how we work.
DJ: How does your technology work?
Lorem’s platform provides on-demand expertise for small business owners who want to build or improve their website, blog or online store. Lorem asks a few questions to the business before sending the request into the freelance network (i.e. Lorem Experts).
Based on the Lorem Expert’s skill set, we can match a customer with the ideal freelancer in minutes, so that both parties can then chat and agree to arrive at a price quote for the project – whether it’s a building or redesigning a website, or handling other tools like Shopify or WordPress and others related to running the business online.
Once the Lorem Expert completes the work and provides it to the customer, Lorem facilitates the payment to the freelancer immediately.
Using our platform, Lorem delivers a faster, more personalized experience centered around the future of work, allowing customers to receive instant tech assistance from one of our design experts to alleviate stress of building an online or digital presence.
DJ: Which sectors of the economy do you work with?
Fogarty:Lorem works with business owners across virtually every industry – ranging from retail, healthcare, professional services and other sectors. Simply put, if you’re a fast-growing business but lack the technical time or resources needed for web design and development, Lorem’s platform can put you in touch with the right professional quickly and affordably.