First, there were contact centers. After that, companies offering shared services sprouted left and right. As young Filipino professionals start to enjoy the new opportunities that old traditional businesses never offered, they also realize that they can actually be more productive than they have ever been before.
Technology has paved the way for better infrastructure connecting people from their own homes to their business and workplace, making it possible to work without actually coming TO work in person.
This is where freelancers come in.
Today, you see Filipino professionals working right from their very own homes, earning almost as much as they would if they were to work as an office-based employee.
Removing the Stigma
In an interview by the Manila Times, Freelancer.com’s regional director, Evan Tan, admits that when people hear about ‘freelancing’, they think about data entry jobs. In short, it’s not exactly something you would see as a professional post where you had to use your degree or specialization.
But through time, Filipinos started to think differently. They started to realize that even experts and professionals can actually stay at home and do the same thing they would do at work, but from their own computers at home, this time.
Once opportunities started opening up for professionals to work using this setup not only for local companies, but for foreign ones as well, the stigma that has always been associated with freelancing started to be lifted. All of a sudden, the Philippines has become freelance country.
Why Filipino Professionals are Now Freelancers
Not that freelancers cannot be called professionals. It’s just that in the Philippines, the traditional image that has been set for professionals is limited to those who go to work from 9 to 5 donning the latest workwear trends.
In today’s setting, professionals can work anytime they want, wearing anything they want (unless they have a scheduled video call with clients, in which case they go online wearing an appropriate top).
But it’s so much more than just the outfits. Here are a few more reasons why a lot of Filipino professionals have decided to go freelance.
You choose your own environment.
Working in a traditional employment setting means having to adjust to the restrictions that every workplace dictates. You have dress codes. No eating in your station policies. English-only policies. Strict attendance and scheduling guidelines.
When you freelance, you can go to work wearing nothing but your old ragged t-shirt and your boxers. You can eat anytime you want and play music as loud as you want to. You can post pictures of your dog, your significant other, your friends, and everything else all around you without having to worry about rules on the use of thumbtacks on the wall. And with you setting the right mood, hopefully, you’ll end up being even more productive in the process.
You set your own work schedule.
When you freelance, it will be up to you if you’ll be having 5 lunch breaks within your entire work schedule. As long as you deliver what’s expected of you, who’s going to stop you? Although there are clients who would prefer you logging into their system at specific hours, you can always choose your clients, so that really works both ways.
You can dictate your flow of income.
Saving up for a house or a car? You can always juggle a few different clients at a time, as long as you have the capacity to do so. If you feel that whatever you have is more than enough, then you can let go of some of your commitments so that you can lay back a bit.
You can be with your family.
You leave home with your kids still sleeping, and you get home with them already asleep. Such is a familiar scenario for traditional professionals. Sadly, it affects the way these professionals connect with their families, and it often leads to marital problems and a disjointed household.
With you dictating your own time as a freelancer, you can work from home and be within reach anytime your son needs you to open a jar of peanut butter for him or when your daughter needs a hand in choosing which dress they’re wearing. You can even join your family on holidays and out-of-town vacations. As long as you have your trusty laptop and a reliable internet connection, you’re good to go.
You can go places.
Nope, we don’t mean that in a figurative sense. When you work freelance, you can grab your laptop and work from that quiet coffee shop down the road, or in the new restaurant that you’ve been wanting to try for ages.
You can work anywhere you want the moment you get tired of staring at the same wall in your room. You can even take a trip out of town and still be able to work. By the beach, on top of a cliff, near a waterfall – the possibilities are endless!
Knowing how flexible freelancers are in almost every aspect of work, it has become possible for every professional to live more fruitful and fulfilling lives while still continuing to earn their living.
All it takes is the guts to go for something different, something far from the norm. Before you know it, you’ll be living the life that you’ve almost wanted, practicing that work-life balance that you never really got from any employer before.