Covid-19 has had a large impact on our sector and the way we work. Freelancers have taken the brunt of this as clients postpone work or close altogether. Here, Louise Lawton, director of The Creative Store shares her thoughts on how freelancers can best prepare.
- How will the lockdown affect freelancers and creatives lively hood?
There has been quite a steady cancellation of freelancers this week. Many clients are working through the initial chaos of getting their teams all working remotely and how that will look.
They are looking after their permanent staff first and foremost. At this point, we have lots of great freelance options available for clients when they are ready.
- What are the best courses of action freelancers can take right now?
Let us know if you are available for remote assignments. Ensure you sign up for the Government Wage Subsidy.
In this downtime, use it well – get your work/website all up to date, and if you have an interest in UX – get onboard, as this has been a humongous growth space.
- What is your advice to freelancers who may now not have work for a few weeks?
Regular freelancers can often have periods of quiet / no work under normal circumstances – hopefully they will have put aside their rainy day spends. Again, do sign up for the Government Wage Subsidy.
- How do you expect this lockdown to change the way the sector operates?
This is a tricky one – it will either be business as usual when normality returns or everyone will take quite a while to recover their business. I think we will see a lot more caution with staff headcounts, and this could be a good thing for freelancers.
- Is there any advice for clients that may now be forced to put freelance opportunities on hold?
Quite a few clients have had their clients put work on hold, which has filtered down to freelancers work being cancelled.
We work really closely with our clients and have done check-ins with everyone who has a freelancer currently booked, or booked for a future date.
It is the nature of freelance for projects to be cancelled or have work postponed – clients shouldn’t feel bad about this – it is usually out of there hands and freelancers understand this.
- How is The Creative Store preparing now for what is still to come?
We too are just getting our head around this, and for now, it is a matter of looking after our staff and ensuring their employment through this time.
What is still to come? I imagine it will be a good 10 weeks – or more like 12 weeks + before some sense of normality returns to the workplace. All our team are working online, continuing to meet with candidates and talking with clients – jobs are still coming in – and we are ready to help clients with any requirements.