Updated: March 6, 2019
During the 2018 Philippine Impact Sourcing Conference held in Cebu City, it was estimated that there are now 1.5 million online freelancers in the Philippines.
By definition, these are individuals in the country who make money online by providing various services and delivering digital content to clients and businesses.
They work as researchers, virtual assistants, writers, customer service providers, online tutors, graphic designers, web and software programmers, and many more.
What made them choose this career path? Why become an online freelancer instead of seeking regular office employment? Perhaps it’s because of these perks and benefits.
1. Avoid city traffic and long commutes.
Online freelancing means you can work from home, which also means not getting stuck in traffic on weekdays. This is great because studies have shown that people who commute for more than 30 minutes a day end up with low levels of life satisfaction.
In one research, it’s also been found that those who commute at least 16 kilometers a day tend to have higher than normal blood sugar and increased cholesterol levels. So working from home is healthier, too!
2. Work from anywhere as long as there’s Internet.
I have a friend who works as a virtual assistant and article writer. A few years ago, he spent nine straight months outside the country and travelled around Asia and the Middle East.
And do you know the best part? He maintains a travel blog, whose income paid for those trips. So he was actually able to save and invest most of his freelancing income.
And in case you’re wondering… how did he get paid? Well, all his clients sent their payments via PayPal.
3. Avoid the crowd.
If you regularly work out in a gym, then you’ll notice that there’s a lot of people in the morning and especially, late afternoons and evening after office.
That’s why most freelancers I know go to the gym around noon when they can exercise in peace. Personally, I also do my groceries after lunch, when most people are at work.
4. Enjoy work autonomy.
It’s been found that a good number of employees resign from work because they have a difficult boss. Moreover, research shows that experiencing chronic stress due to a bad boss can lead to greater risk for heart disease?
With online freelancing, you rarely have this problem because you have freedom to choose who to work for. And when a client is becoming difficult to work with, you can just look for a new one after you’re done with your deliverables.
5. Learn business skills.
An online freelancer is more than just a self-employed person. I believe they’re more appropriately called solopreneurs because they’re entrepreneurs running an outsourcing business on their own.
You can’t survive as an online freelancer if you don’t have marketing aptitude, negotiation skills, administrative competence, and other expertise that most business managers have.
6. Control how much work they get.
One research has found that employees who work more than 50 hours per week suffer from decreased mental and physical health. Another study found that working 10 hours or more every day can increase your risk of cardiovascular problems by 60%.
Fortunately, online freelancers don’t have to worry about working too much because they control how many projects to accept; and how many hours each day they work.
7. Time for personal projects.
Most freelancers enjoy and use their free time for hobbies and personal projects. And those personal projects, often lead to new sources of income for them.
A friend works as a social media manager, and enjoys doing photography during his free time. He took digital photo editing lessons for his hobby, and later on realized that he can also offer this service to clients.
Now, not only does he earn from his digital photo editing skills, but he also makes money from selling stock photos online. All these because he had free time to pursue his interest on photography.
8. Be essentially healthier.
I’ve already mentioned several health benefits of working from home and as an online freelancer. And here’s another one: according to a study, the more people working in one room, the more likely are those people to get sick.
This means, when you work in an office and interact with a lot of people every day, then you’re more likely to catch a germ, bacteria, or virus than if you mostly just work alone at home.
9. Work with foreign clients.
The Internet has allowed people to access global markets, and serve not just local but international clients as well.
According to Global Freelancer Insights Reports, 60% of employers who hire freelancers in the Philippines are from the United States, 29% from Australia, 26% from United Kingdom, and 20% from Canada.
Personally, I do have clients in several countries as well, including the Middle East. And I use PayPal as my primary payment method because it can easily handle cross-border payments and you can instantly have a multi-currency account.
10. Easy to get started.
Most corporate jobs require applicants to have previous work experience and some academic credentials. However, when it comes to online freelancing, I know people who landed projects despite having no or little experience.
Best of all, it does not discriminate against age, gender, and disability. I’ve met successful freelancers, who are as young as 18 and a few who are already above 60 years old; I’ve even met talented freelancers who are visually impaired.
Did all these benefits convince you to try out online freelancing? If it did, then you can check out this list of websites and marketplaces where you can find a freelancing job.
Disclosure: I am a PayPal Philippines freelancer mentor. This post is part of a campaign to engage and grow the Filipino freelance community.