Is the ‘gig economy’ turning us all into freelancers?
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When you’re burnt out at work, it’s easy to dream of quitting your job and going freelance.

Wouldn’t it be great to ditch the micro-managing boss, take on exciting new projects whenever you want, and work the hours that suit you?

Well, thanks to the rise of on-demand talent marketplaces, the so-called “gig economy” is fast becoming a reality.

Cloud-based platforms are making it easier for firms to find the people they need from a global talent pool, and for freelancers to advertise their skills.

For example, Ying Li Looi-Garman, a freelance video producer based in Singapore, is one of millions of workers worldwide sidestepping traditional recruitment agencies.

She picks up around four to 10 jobs a month via 90 Seconds, a cloud-based video production platform with a network of over 5,000 freelancers in 70 countries.

A year after joining, all of Ms Ying’s paid work now comes via the platform, where she has a profile page listing her experience and a showreel of her work.

“90 Seconds offers flexibility,” she says. “I work from home and I can just accept work when I want.”

Another advantage, she says, is that all the communication with the client is via one central hub.

“If there’s a new script change or say I’ve made a video cut, the client gets updated through the platform.”

‘Uber for local jobs’

For companies desperate for flexible workers, these platforms are both convenient and cost-effective.

“They can scale up or down as needed. It offers flexibility of budget, space and time, and rates that people can afford, with lower overhead expenses.”

It is the easy access to specific skills that employers like, says Alex Abelin, chief executive of New York-based LiquidTalent, an on-demand marketplace for designers and developers.

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