As many in the workforce choose either to work solely for themselves or to supplement their primary employment with freelance work, we can see that the trend of freelancing is going up. This is why one of PlannerScape’s main features is to help users outsource and delegate work to other people in the sharing economy.

The Rise of Freelancing

In the past 30 years, the growth of freelancing worldwide has been enormous. According to LinkedIn, freelancers will represent 43% of the global workforce by 2020, compared to a mere 6% in 1989. Processes such as automation and mechanization have started to eradicate many traditional jobs. Freelancers are well-equipped for the future, such as increasing their IT knowledge, because they are constantly growing and developing new skills are needed.

Challenges of Freelancing

However, freelancing come with its own set of challenges. One of the major issues that freelancers face is unstable income. Freelancers have to find their own clients and create a brand or reputation that proves their skills and makes them attractive to potential clients. The other problem is employment benefits (e.g., paid time off, sick leave and other benefits): freelancers are not provided with these benefits as they work for themselves. Thus, when they are sick or go on vacation, that time and money lost.

Surprisingly, this is not making freelancing less attractive to modern day workers. According to a recent study, 70% of freelancers say they would rather earn more money and purchase their own benefits than receive them from an employer. Additionally, freelancers enjoy flexibility in their schedules that a typical nine-to-five job usually does not provide.

Blockchain in the Sharing Economy

The sharing economy has played a part in the rise of companies hiring independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time staff. The sharing economy has been powered by the rise and rapid development of technology. However, this economy has its downsides. Freelancers don’t have income predictability or benefits. Many of them also rely on freelancing platforms and marketplaces to find clients. Platforms like these are a great way to find work, but they also charge heavily for this service. For example, platforms such as eBay (the original online marketplace) and Lyft (the car sharing service) takes a cut of every transaction. This is where blockchain comes in.

Blockchain is a decentralized network of providers and users, meaning that there is no intermediary and freelancers can work directly with their clients. Blockchain has innumerable uses in the current market and is helpful in most value-exchange transactions. Blockchain is also very useful and beneficial in the sharing economy. Blockchain-type systems create smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts between the client and freelancer. When the task is completed, payment is automatically delivered to the freelancer, saving them the time and hassle of waiting to receive their payment. This circumvents a common problem that freelancers face: completing a task but not receiving payment as promised. A recent survey conducted by Paypal showed that 58% of freelancers in four major countries in Southeast Asia have experienced not being paid for their work.

Blockchain Disrupting the Sharing Economy

What makes blockchain so attractive is its decentralized nature. It is slowly becoming easier for freelancers to cut out the middleman to find clients, saving them on the cost of intermediary fees.

Blockchain ledgers revolutionize how people currently manage data and systems management. Instead of a single server, blockchain-based systems spread the load, so data cannot be amended without it being noticed. These ledgers protect both the freelancer and their client. Human interference is limited, leading to smoother, more seamless transactions, resulting in benefits for both parties. The internet was the catalyst for the sharing economy by allowing freelancers to connect with those requiring their services more easily. Blockchain will simplify this even further by removing intermediaries who attempt to control (and extract money from) the freelancing sphere; this will disrupt the current sharing economy and lead to a whole new system for freelancers.

Blockchain in PlannerScape

As a workplace and life companion, PlannerScape has a mission to help users enjoy more rewarding lifestyles and greater peace of mind by becoming more efficient and productive. Our product incorporates blockchain technology for PlannerScape’s loyalty program, GDPR compliant reputation profiles and AI audit trails. By using privately managed but publicly accessible blockchains, transparency and integrity are added to the eco-system. Freelancers using PlannerScape will not have to worry about excessive fees, chargebacks, or delivery work without receiving payment.

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Raymond Wong

CFO

PlannerScape