I can still remember a time when freelancers and people who work from home were considered wild and windswept renegades with questionable and sometimes dodgy credentials. Also, their attitudes to work and ‘getting a good one’ was possibly a risky venture when trying to get the all-important project done.
Then along came COVID-19 to turn the world as we knew it completely upon its head. Before we could reach for the tissue box, everything virtually changed. And when I say ‘virtually’ I mean it quite literally – virtually!
As a result of much-needed Isolation to quell the spread of the COVID-19 virus, humanity has skipped about ten years in history to seek out alternative ways of living and getting things done in lockdown. From shopping for essentials to our children’s education, the priorities of trying to make a living have changed considerably as have the ‘traditional practices’ of socially and professionally meeting with one another. As a result, home-based workers, freelancers and their now fashionable services have become insanely popular overnight.
It is now abundantly evident that the world, as we knew it, will never really return to its former state. When it comes to the utilisation of the internet and other services that require little or no physical contacts, like evolution, the new normal has come to stay, and we must embrace it to thrive.
Why not work from home?
I mean, let’s face it, who wouldn’t think twice before catching the earliest flight to Auckland for that all-important corporate meeting that is a guaranteed ‘all-day’ business battle with too many coffees and half a sandwich for lunch, three airport dumplings for dinner? Then the ‘way-too-late, boozy red-eye flight’ back home, when you can conveniently connect over a Zoom call, from the comfort of your home office?
Superfast ‘no contact’ couriers for everything from family pizzas to alcohol and last but certainly not least, custom haircuts that come to you! And I’m sure if you trawl COVID-19 services available on the web, you’ll be surprised at the volumes of information, services and capacities you’ll find.
Websites, apps and platforms like Needed that effectively connect business owners with talent and makes it easy to get things done quickly while you work from home have become more relevant than ever before. Providing an enabling environment for freelance services to the people who ‘currently work from home’ and the recently returned business marketplace, busily trying to re-establish itself is vital for our economy to recover.
It is essential to point out; it’s local freelance sites like Needed that is created exclusively for connecting local freelance services with local businesses and entrepreneurs, both established and new, that keeps our local economy turning. This ensures our much-needed finances ‘remain local’ to aid in bolstering our nation’s economy, rather than vanishing into thin air by heading offshore for services, which happens with the other internationally-based freelance sites.
It’s our local businesses and our suppliers and Kiwi freelancers that desperately need our financial and emotional support more than ever before. And I believe we all have a civil obligation to do our level best to seek out opportunities to support them the best way we can.
It is fair to say, even though our level 4 restrictions have been relaxed to 3 recently due to the much anticipated ‘flattening out’ of our COVID-19 curve, it could still be a long while before your next overseas flight. I’d hasten to add; it’s also going to be a long slow process of recovery for domestic airlines, mainly to due the acceptance and utilisation of ‘alternatives to air travel’, created by the basic necessity to communicate and engage with one another, both for social reasons and for business purposes.
What is nice to see, amidst all the upheaval we’ve experienced as a nation of late, some things will never change – that’s the basic human desire to have social interactions with one another whether you work from home or not – A trait that makes us, fundamentally human. And that’s a good thing, don’t you think?