The way we work and the way we think about work has changed tremendously in the last two years. People have lost their jobs, left their jobs, shifted their careers, worked from home and even worked from another country. Nevertheless, the future of work is tilting towards the workers who now have the agency to choose. It’s a freelancer's world. Workers are willing to leave their jobs for several reasons, and stronger businesses are taking advantage of this by scaling with digital talent and freelancers.
Pandemic remote working and remote working are different things. Several companies and organizations are continuing to work remotely. Now that we’ve adapted to remote work, we can scale our organizations with digital workers we might not have considered in the past.
One massive advantage of remote work is the talent pool expansion which is not limited to geography. Just as a copywriter in Penang can work with an SME in Kuala Lumpur, a Malaysian SME can have access to a freelance graphic designer in the United Kingdom. This opportunity has expanded talent pools tremendously hence making it less competitive. Each organization has a digital worker out there that would meet all their scaling needs, all without maintaining them financially on a long-term basis.
Me.reka’s Digital Entrepreneur programme identifies and leverages talent to tackle the future of work and matches participants with career partners. One of their Career Partners is Women of Will, a NGO focused on empowering disadvantaged women through entrepreneurship.
Digital workers and freelancers are a very important component as they lack the resources to employ individuals with these skill sets on a long term basis. Hence, they employ freelancers whenever they need to scale their SME which is more cost-effective.
For example, they employed graduates of Me.reka’s Digital Entrepreneur programme to launch their digital store. The trained digital freelancers created a suitable platform for their customers and partners to purchase those items. The freelancers played a huge role in getting them “out of their comfort zone” when utilizing available resources to maximize the potential of their e-stores.
The United States of America saw historic resignation rates in September 2021, where 4.4 million employees voluntarily resigned from their jobs. The reasons for this trend are quite varied. The Great Resignation implies that many are leaving the workforce altogether and embracing an anti-work sentiment, but they are merely reconfiguring their careers and lifestyle; like searching for better opportunities, higher pay or a better work-life balance after experiencing burnout.
F&B and Accommodation services have taken the hardest hit in this movement, but it has also created 1 out of every 3 net new jobs in 2021. This movement is mainly about low-wage workers switching to better higher-paying jobs which usually involves self-employment. It might as well have been called The Great Switch.
Only 8.8% of workers in Malaysia are paid below the monthly minimum wage of RM1200. Statistics from the Employment Insurance System (EIS) show that 62.5% of workers, including graduates, received basic wages ranging from RM1,200 to RM1,499 a month, in 2020.
This unfortunate matter begs the question, is Malaysia close behind? Will these low wages for graduates cause an influx in career shifting? And will it alter our employment system altogether?
The demand for freelancers is only going to increase in the future which is why everyone should continue to upskill themselves to be able to engage employers. The Me.reka Digital Entrepreneur programme, offers the necessary technical and empathetic skills that provide the future workforce, a direct link to thrive within the jobs of the 21st century, bridging the gap between academia and industry.
Me.Reka’s latest Career Partner, Shermaine Wong, CEO of Cult Creative, a networking platform that connects the creative community shares her thoughts.
"In these unprecedented times, we believe the imagination, skill, and ambition of freelancers are more vital than ever. Hence, we're excited to collaborate with the Me.reka Digital Entrepreneur programme to bridge the gap between freelancers and employers in Malaysia. Our goal is to help our local creative workforce achieve their greatest ambitions through our all-in-one portfolio, job opportunities and networking app. By transforming the way freelancers work and connect, we champion creativity and drive innovation—connecting freelancers with work opportunities across the region.”
Prepare yourself and learn more at https://www.mereka.my/digital-entrepreneur