What is online outsourcing? what it means for freelancers?

online workers

Online Outsourcing

What is outsourcing?

“Outsourcing is the strategic use of outside resources to perform activities traditionally handled by internal stuff and resources” Dave Griffiths

Online Outsourcing

“Online outsourcing or freelancing platforms match employers (firms and individuals) and workers to perform work online. The process of finding a job, performing the job and being paid for the job all take place online.”  SAORI IMAIZUMI

In 2013, at least 145 online outsourcing marketplaces or platforms were identified globally, although the true number is likely to be higher. Some of these platforms are very large: 17 million registered users at Freelancer and 9.7 million at Upwork. About 10 percent of registered workers are active.

The United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Israel are the top five hiring countries on oDesk (now part of Upwork)—the largest online freelancing platform. the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Israel are the top five hiring countries on oDesk (now part of Upwork)—the largest online freelancing platform.the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Israel are the top five hiring countries on oDesk (now part of Upwork)—the largest online freelancing platform.

Why Outsourcing?

The benefits of online outsourcing for workers:

1- They can access jobs with higher wags than many can access in their home countries.

2- They can work flexibly from home.

3- It enables workers to earn extra money besides regular jobs.

4- Workers can always select only the work they love to do.

5- Most online freelance platforms doesn’t require education certificates, unlike traditional hiring process for internal workers.

Figure 1: Main advantages and disadvantages of online work: Results from survey on Microworkers.com

online workers

Source: Survey of online workers on microworkers.com, where the majority of workers are from developing countries, especially South Asia. The survey was done as part of the background work for the World Development Report 2016.

The benefits of online outsourcing for employers:

1- Outsourcing reduce costs.

When internal stuff performs the work, the company will have to afford the costs of the facilities in which internal stuff will work. The rent of the office, electricity bills, … etc. Where as the costs to outsource the activities can be relatively way cheaper.

2- No long term commitments required with workers.

3- The ability of finding a high talented workers from any where in the world.

4- Fastest work turn over.

Many freelancers work even in holidays and any time of the day. This actually makes hiring a freelancer for a task is better than giving it to an internal worker. The internal worker will only work during the work time of the day and will not work in holidays absolutely.

5- Faster hiring process.

Employers can get an online worker hired, and start working on the job in literally a few minutes. While hiring a new internal worker to do the job might requires a few days in the best scenario.


Challenges of online outsourcing.

For employers

There is many challenges affects the success of the hiring process. There are also many challenges affects the quality of work they get. For example:

  • Well, lets face the fact that most freelancers in the world are from developing countries. Actually a study done by Payoneer shows that 40% of freelance jobs offered worldwide is taken by Indian freelancers only.
  • Although freelance platforms adopt different ways to verify the freelancers skills. It is too difficult to make sure online workers have the enough skills to have jobs done with good quality. In fact it is a big challenge for employers to test and verify the freelancers skills before using them.
  • Also the work turn over is a challenge it self because outsourcing work online can’t be directly supervised.

For online workers

there is challenges too, for example:

  • Inexperienced freelancers might be a victim to fraud because they are not aware of how to guarantee that employer is willing to pay.
  • Time control is not easy at all. So it is a big challenge for any freelancer to control his working hours especially for those who work from home.
  • Distraction elimination is another challenge. When you work from any where you are your supervisor so you probably wouldn’t be able to avoid distraction.
  • Marketing your work. When you work for others as an internal worker you never care about marketing. But working for your own, you have to market for your services in order to sell them, and this is a great challenge.




The workforce in the biggest economies are rapidly heading to online outsourcing because its great benefits. So there lies a very promising opportunity for freelancers from all the countries to hunt.

Although we listed a long list of challenges or disadvantages of online freelance, it doesn’t make full time local work any better. Actually all the challenges discussed earlier can be easily beaten. For example employer can always ask the freelancer to do a sample work to make sure he got the required skills to do the job. Also freelancer can always manage their time and learn how to promote their services.

Finally, there is a lot of tips written by experienced freelancers and clients to help others overcome these challenges, we are listing some bellow:




India’s Freelance Economy is Booming in 2016

Burgeoning Startup Ecosystem in India

Since India has the second highest number of freelance professionals (about 15M), standing next only to the US (approx 53M). These 15M Indian freelancers take up a whopping 40% of total freelance jobs offered worldwide. Hence this clearly manifests the dominance of Indian Freelancers over their western counterparts.

Contract Hiring in India is Catching up

When we say that the US has 53M freelance professionals, it’s important to note that half of them work on contracts as consultants with one or more companies at a time. While India’s contract workforce is in nascent stages; however, India is catching up with the west as startups actively seek out senior professionals from various industries to work on contract – something they could not afford on full-time payroll .

Burgeoning Startup Ecosystem in India

India has the fastest growing startup ecosystem and the third highest number of technology driven startups worldwide, trailing behind only the US and the UK.

Burgeoning Startup Ecosystem in India

Most In-demand Skills for Freelancers in India in 2016

  1. Cloud and Distributed Computing.
  2. Content Marketing.
  3. User Interface Design.
  4. Graphics Design.
  5. Digital and Online Marketing.
  6. Web Architecture and Development Frameworks.
  7. Perl / Python / Ruby.
  8. Data Presentation.
  9. Mobile Development.
  10. Algorithm Design.
  11. Social Media Marketing.
  12. Game Development.
  13. Shell Scripting Languages.
  14. Middleware and integration software.
  15. PR and Communications.

The growing startup ecosystem in India, consequently growing demand and affinity of people for contract hiring, abundance of skilled professionals in India. Followed by growing Internet penetration and skyrocketing number of Internet and Mobile Internet users along with India’s reserved pool of women workforce. These are clear indicators signaling that the year 2016 has potential to twirl and refresh the freelancing scenario in India.


By: Prakarsh @Payoneer Blog

The Changing Place of Britain’s Workforce (by PeoplePerHour)

UK freelancers

Across Great Britain, the South West of England had the highest rate of home workers

Great Britain Workforce

The Changes in UK Workforce

The Office for National Statistics reported last year that there are now 4.2 million ‘home workers’ in the UK, which is almost double the number in 1998 when these figures first started to be recorded. This means that almost 14% of the UK workforce now utilities one of these more ‘flexible’ options.

In fact, according to research we conducted in August 2015, this new generation of self-employed workers chose this type of role due to the flexible hours it offers, the freedom to be one’s own boss, along with the creative challenge and potential for success/satisfaction being key drivers.

The growth in ‘home workers’ has also given rise to a dramatic change in where the UK’s growing ‘Creative Economy’ is able to reside. Gone are the days where freelancers flock to London in order to build up a network of contacts to ensure a regular stream of work. Meaning that workers are increasingly able to move from the shadow of the UK capital to live wherever they want.

The UK’s Anywhere Worker

The growth in the ‘Creative Economy’ has sparked a movement of workers from London and the South East to liveThe UK’s Anywhere Worker and work further afield around the UK, while still being able to provide their expertise to the capital’s economy – as well as extending their support to other areas of the country too.







Most productive cities outside the capital

Most productive cities outside the capital

Upwork release the: Future work force report – 2017

Upwork report

 Upwork Future Work force Report (The most important findings)

work force reportThis report, conducted by an independent research firm and commissioned by Upwork.

We are going to highlight only the most important findings of this  report.

1- More Hiring Managers are satisfied with the skills of freelancers than the skills of their most recent full time hires.

2- 60% of hiring managers expected that freelancing will continue to increase.

3- 88% of hiring managers have openings on their teams.

4- only 10% of hiring managers believe in physical presence in office is important to a new hire’s success.

5- 35% of departments have freelancers that conduct a significant portion of their work from a remote location.

7- 77% of managers use more than one resource when finding freelancers to hire.

8- 48% of managers used online resources to find freelancers in the past year.

9- 79% of companies are more likely to hire the most qualified freelancer than the least expensive.

10- 4 times as many hiring managers plan to use more freelancers in the coming year than plan to use fewer.