Coronavirus Could Accelerate the VBO Movement

The new realities of COVID-19 are causing more people to consider freelancing.

If you’re one of those people who are waiting for the COVID-19 pandemic to blow over and for things to ‘go back to normal’, we have some bad news for you. Things will never go back to normal. They rarely ever do. Crises of global impact tend to reshape modern life in permanent ways. Work, play and everything in between has changed in some way or another due to the coronavirus. So rather than waiting for business as usual to resume, you’d do best to prepare for the new normal.

If you’re a virtual business owner, you’re no stranger to working through hard times. VBOs are used to operating in times when work is plenty and in times when work is scarce. They are attuned to the risks of being self-employed.  They have developed a certain resilience that traditional employees may lack. That being said, VBOs are in a good position to adapt to the new normal.

In a recent blog, we gave you some tips on things you can do to survive business-wise during the coronavirus. We followed that one up by showing you how you can actually grow your business during these downtimes. This time around, we’re going to show you some trends we’re noticing related to the coronavirus that could accelerate the VBO movement.

The coronavirus pandemic has skyrocketed unemployment within our country. And people are reevaluating their definition of job security in response. For a long time, most people believed that a full-time job with benefits was the most secure form of work. However, we’ve all seen the massive layoffs in industries throughout the labor market. More and more people are now thinking that having multiple streams of revenue, as is the case with freelancing, is more secure than relying on a job.

There are currently 57 million VBOs in the country. Projections show that VBOs will outnumber traditional employees by 2027. A trend we’re noticing is that this pandemic could accelerate the VBO movement. Millions of Americans have shifted to remote work in light of the coronavirus. And many of them could discover that they prefer working from home. A lot of them may decide to leave office-life behind and pursue a work-from-home freelance career. Evidence supports this trend. Sign-ups for popular freelance platforms like Upwork have increased in recent weeks.

Another trend we’re noticing surrounding coronavirus has to do with corporate America. Opportunities for VBOs in corporate America are expected to grow quite notably. Businesses were already starting to hire VBOs more often, and the pandemic is accelerating that trend. Businesses are quickly adapting to more flexible remote work models while grappling with economic uncertainty. We expect that they’ll be more receptive to working with VBOs for the foreseeable future and beyond.

All in all, the coronavirus is definitely driving changes in the future of work. Forward-thinking by nature, VBOs were already ahead of the curve. More people are starting to catch on and discover that work-from-home freelancing is more secure in several ways than a 9 to 5 job. We’re 57 million strong, and it looks like we’re only going to get stronger.

Chantel Baul

I’m a skilled communicator with more than four years’ experience in digital and print content creation, who has a keen ability to adapt messages for diverse audiences. I have demonstrated proficiency in editorial writing conventions, social media strategy, brand reputation management, and interdisciplinary collaboration. I’m a driven and progressive researcher with an aptitude for storytelling. I'm also a proud Public Affairs Officer in the United States Army Reserve.

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