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The Hassles of a Freelancer; Which Road To Take?

Jubin Mehta
23rd Jul 2012
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"It's either feast or famine" they say and so is the case when it comes to the difference between a startup job and a corporate job. As demanding as it may be, a startup employee has a very high satisfaction index. But, a startup can not always afford an employee and here comes in the freelancer. 

Freelancer: A person who works as a writer, designer, performer or the like, selling work or services by the hour, day, job, etc., rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer.

Freelancers, apart from being a mighty good utility, come in with their own set of difficulties. Whenever an employer hires a freelancer, trust is the biggest question to be answered. Is the person reliable? Leaving this aside, there are multiple factors that create an issue:

  • Communication Problems
  • Legalities
  • Time Zone issues
  • Capability of the freelancer
  • Professionalism
These are problems from the clients side; on the other side of the table, the freelancer also faces certain issues. "Mode of payment, surety of being paid and change in requirements are some of the biggest problems which cause agitation in a freelancers mind," informs Pushkar Gaikwad founder at Workmonk, a portal which currently has more than 3500 freelancers and vendors.

Devika Menon, an animation designer who has had an experience of working with multiple employers, says, "Freelancing gives you a certain degree of freedom that a stable job can't ever give but as with everything, it has it's own downsides. The major problem that arises is communication since many a times, one doesn't exactly meet the client face to face or in other cases when one works for a company that acts as a mediator. There is a delay with respect to feedback and suggestions and the miscommunication in a way dampens the process."

Freelancers have become an inevitable part in today's work ecosystem but problems unique problems crop up in, for instance, an employer on Quora asked,

What can I do if my freelance web developer abandons the project midway?

This question becomes increasingly difficult to answer if you're in India. Enforcement of law will require superhuman powers (according to popular belief) and the only option left is to plead with the freelancer. "Here is where freelance marketplaces come in handy as they use escrow payments," says Kumar Mukul, founder at Worknhire. While Worknhire and Workmonk are for India, elance and odesk do this on a global scale.

These websites have worked well for both employers and freelancers as it brings in a lot of transparency and in a way, puts a 'legal' stamp on the procedure. How has your experience with freelancers been? And if you're a freelancer, tell us your experiences. Let us know what you feel should be done to make the situation better.

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