Each year we debate the future of work. Driven by the advent of new technology, the emergence of new economies, or the increased importance of personal wellbeing, it’s a topic that is forever on our lips, front of minds and shared widely on social media. However, in 2020 – like so many other things – the reality of how we work, where we work and what the future of work looks like became less of a talking point and more of an immediate need. The new normal was not just born, it was demanded, and we now need to address whether going back is even an option OR what bright future lies ahead if we embrace what we have now started.
- COVID-19 Chaos and Building Better
We don’t need to address the fear COVID-19 brought around the world. It is known. So is the reality of the economy and how the pandemic paused or stopped entire industries overnight leaving workers out in the cold or locked up at home. It’s been a harsh reality since the turn of the year, but we can look to the future and focus on what happens next for business leaders, remote workers, and freelance talent across the world.
Two important things to focus on when thinking about building better as we move into the new year are remote connectivity and remote workforce. We have spent more time online than ever before with video conferencing being the main way to communicate with family, friends and colleagues. It’s been a boom year for platforms but also for businesses, as everyone from yoga teachers to accountants, to marketers, have maintained and grown their business using video conferencing and being connected to a broader audience online. Likewise everyone has been allowed to prosper despite geography as working remotely unifies us unlike a fixed location ever could. The people we meet physically may be diminished, but the number of people we can meet and collaborate with online has never been bigger. Freelancers and contract workers able to operate online are now more available than ever before. These factors combined with the diverse skill sets available with remote teams means there is no better time to build business differently.
- Care in Freelance Community
For those of us forced to work from home – who turned our dining rooms, bedrooms, balconies, garages and gardens into makeshift offices or worked hard to make our Zoom backgrounds as inspirational as possible – one of the biggest losses was the daily face-to-face communication with colleagues. The feeling of community. Again, this is nothing new for freelance talent who have chosen solo work and often only connect with people via video conferencing, direct messaging or email. The loss of community is a real issue but it can be negated through online connection. We have always found heart in community, in bringing people together for conversation and collaboration. This is what Obuhi was built for and it’s important that everyone, whether you’re a freelancer, solopreneur or part of a global workforce who now work remotely, is supported by their peers and given the chance to communicate with others.
- Turning 21
With everything we have seen and experienced in 2020, it’s hard to think the year is nearly over. Soon Thanksgiving will make way for Christmas and in turn that will make way for New Year. We will then be in 2021 with renewed hope that everything will be better, especially our work life. Whether or not it is better is down to us and how we work, where we work, and who we work with. The new normal creates new opportunities for business owners and freelancers alike. The opportunity is to address the future of work and connect to make our businesses better, more diverse, free for people to flexibly move between office and home, and open to new collaborations with talent around the world. That’s our vision for 2021 and beyond and we’re excited to be a part of the new normal when it comes to freelance work.
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