Remote freelancer platform Upwork faces a unique challenge many may not expect, but the current pandemic may be changing that trajectory.
According to CEO Hayden Brown, many customers are not typically open about using freelancers, but added that the coronavirus is changing how companies view remote working arrangements.
Upwork leads the market against numerous competitors and has thousands of freelancers. In 2019, 35% of American workers freelanced and that number is expected to grow due to unemployment rates skyrocketing.
“Our platform was built for remote work. It’s built for freelance talent, and suddenly those two things are even more top of mind for executives than ever before,” said Brown. “We have this surplus of incredible talent that is ready and able to work. So we really are just trying to make the most of this moment to connect these two sides of what’s possible—taking advantage of the fact that people’s mindsets and behaviors have undergone a fundamental change that, I think, will be largely permanent, around how they think about remote work and accessing talent that is not at the next desk.”
Upwork offers a database of freelancers across various categories. Companies will be gravitating towards looking for job skills that include technical skills to grow web presences, marketing and advertising, and customer support and operations.
Now, sign-ups have broken records at Upwork and Brown said that companies adopting more remote and flexible work policies will continue to help their growth.