Addressing the challenges commonly faced by Independent Doers requires adopting a larger mindset change towards how we view them.
One of the greatest challenges Independent Doers face is the lack of access to relevant, affordable solutions and benefits that are specifically designed and catered to their needs.
As they are often viewed as a fragmented group, solution providers may oftentimes be unsure about what to offer them, let alone bring them affordable rates. For instance, insurance policies for individuals and Independent Doers are significantly more expensive than those for corporates and corporate employees, simply due to the fact that insurance providers cannot balance the risk in the same way. Also, getting a credit card can be challenging for Independent Doers, especially the freelancers, as they do not have traditional payslips and steady monthly income. Due to these facts, they simply do not fit into the traditional structures.
Additionally, social and economic policies (not just in Singapore, but around the world) are still largely based on the idea of traditional employment and Independent Doers are often left out.
Instead of regarding them as outliers, why don’t we start looking at them as a consolidated group just like the corporates? In order to do so, governments as well as solution providers and platforms need to obtain a deeper understanding of Independent Doers, in terms of their demographics, lifestyles, motivations, needs and concerns. Such data are currently only available in very limited scale for this group of people.
As a unified community, their needs could essentially be aggregated, and a greater number of solutions could then be offered to them in a more targeted manner and at more competitive price points.
As mobile and global citizens, Independent Doers would also require more transferrable, cross-border and flexible solutions that could provide them with assurance and stability no matter who they work for or where they choose to work.
All in all, Independent Doers would benefit from more collective representation, and from uniting to negotiate for better conditions. That would help them better navigate the freelance economy.
Independent Doers are leading the way.
Our lives have been transformed greatly with huge shifts in the world, brought about by technological developments. The meaning of work has also changed and will continue changing as more millennials join the workforce.
We need to recognise that Independent Doers are a major force driving change and transformation. They are constantly pushing the frontiers of innovation and social enterprise, changing the world for the better – and it is time for us to change for them, too. With a growing community of Independent Doers facing new challenges, access to new solutions should also be growing increasingly easy and affordable.
Structural and policy changes will not happen overnight. However, we can all start by changing our mindset to embrace the pioneering spirit of Independent Doers and advocate for the new way of working.
As Charles Darwin said, “It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
No matter how you’re employed, embracing change is the best way to stay relevant; and Independent Doers are leading the way – let’s keep up!