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未来,“不上班”将成为更多人的工作常态

未来,“不上班”将成为更多人的工作常态

Elena Sheppard 2020年10月05日
这场危机提供了一个机会,向人们展示自由职业者的规模有多大,以及为什么我们应该支持这类工作的未来。

自由职业平台Upwork和自由职业者联盟(Freelancer’s Union)最近发布的一份报告显示,5700万自主就业的美国人(占美国劳动力总数的35%)工作生活中存在的一些根本性问题因为新冠病毒疫情被推到了聚光灯下。

这份报告还指出,自由职业者每年贡献1万亿美元的国内生产总值,而他们在工作中基本享受不到什么福利——没有病假、失业补贴、带薪假期。但是随着这次疫情,人们能够清楚地看到,无论是作家、演员、网约车司机还是餐饮业工作者,自由职业者和全职工作者一样有着实实在在的需求。

疫情期间,普通的办公室工作出现了一些将延续到疫情之后的变化,自由职业者更是遭遇了一个形势尤其严峻的淡季,现在可能是自由职业被重新定义的时刻。

自由职业者的福利终于可以更广泛、更长久

2万亿美元的新冠病毒经济刺激方案——即所谓的《新冠病毒援助、救济与经济安全法案》(CARES Act),有史以来第一次大规模为自由职业者提供了失业保险。“在联邦经济刺激方案的框架下,有史以来第一次,失业保险将覆盖自由职业者。”自由职业者联盟的主席拉斐尔·埃斯皮纳尔说,“这能够给自由职业者提供资金来度过难关。当然,这些钱无法涵盖所有费用,但这是个开始。我们应该想办法让它成为一个正确的发展方向。”

埃斯皮纳尔还认为,如果这些福利可以转移——每个人换工作时都能够带走自己的福利待遇,而不会出现福利中断的情况——则为那些想要从事自由职业却为了不失去福利待遇而继续从事全职工作的人创造新机会。

当然,目前提供的福利并不完美,而且官僚作风很严重。纽约遛狗公司The Barking Meter的创始人兼首席执行官卡拉·克莱因丁斯特表示,仍然需要出门上班的自由职业者在申请补贴时遇到了非常复杂的困难,比如像她这样的企业申请贷款和补助时面临着一系列困难。

“这个过程充满困难,而且令人困惑。”她说,“对于那些不能在家工作的小企业主来说,这笔钱可能是拯救我们企业的唯一方法——然而申请程序繁琐得可怕,有些甚至还没有开放,还有一些金融机构一开始就不会接受申请。”

自主创业可能会比全职工作更安全

Upwork的总裁兼首席执行官海登·布朗认为,随着疫情的持续,自由职业者会越来越多——主要是因为人们觉得拥有不止一种收入来源更有安全感。

布朗说:“许多自由职业者都向我们表示过,特别是2009年经济衰退之后的十年里,他们通过为不同的客户提供服务而获得多种收入,提升了安全感。”随着疫情的蔓延和随之而来的经济衰退,“我们认为会有更多的办公室职员出去找工作。”她补充道。

莎拉·M就是这样一个从学校离职的人,她说工作安全感是其中一个原因。“新冠疫情可能会让财政状况本来就不太稳定的学校更加岌岌可危。”她说,“对我来说,自主就业实际上比在一所经营不善的小学院工作更有安全感。”

有些人当了很长时间的自由职业者,一直认为这种工作存在风险,现在却有了不一样的感受。内特·约翰逊是一名领导力和思维模式教练,他说,由于自由职业缺乏工作保障,他一直在思考什么才是真正的安全感,答案是必须自给自足。他说:“我很高兴自己不久前认识到了这一点,因为很多人都意识到,即使是‘稳定’的工作也不是绝对安全的。”

自由撰稿人莫奈·伊萨白说,新冠疫情对经济的影响让她再次坚定了坚持做自由职业者的决心。“我对这种不确定性的准备非常充分,甚至比我一些做全职办公室工作的朋友还要充分。”她说,“长期的工作环境强化了我这种思维模式:‘这种形势下哪可以找到工作机会?’而非关注消极的一面。”习惯了自主就业带来的风险,自由职业者往往适应力更强——在现在这种不稳定时期,这是一笔很有用的财富。

远程工作将成为常态

Upwork和自由职业者联盟认为,到2027年,美国的大部分劳动者都将是自由职业者。随着新冠疫情中人们居家办公的新现实对就业产生影响,我们会发现自由职业者的人数将涨得更快。

“远程工作,以及有才华的自由职业者远程工作,将日益成为常态。”布朗说。“这个趋势早在危机出现之前就开始发展了,而且可能会因为每个人为适应新现实而做出的改变出现加速。”

这种趋势已经在人才端得到了体现,过去几周自由职业者的注册人数出现增长。她补充道:“随着企业迅速做出调整,采用更灵活的远程工作模式,努力应对不确定的经济环境,我们预计,企业将用比以往任何时候都更加开放的态度,与远程工作的独立自由职业者合作。”

梅根·K是一名自由职业的布景设计师,她希望有一天她的独立职业可以拥有某种福利,尽管她无法想象那会是什么样子。“我做自由职业者的时间已经够长了,因此大部分情况下我都能有安全感;每一段没工开的日子,都有一段忙碌的日子来平衡。”她说。“我希望我的职业能够在我没活干的时候提供某种保障,尽管很难想象这将如何实现。”

虽然很难想象自由职业的未来会是什么样子,或者可以是什么样子,但这种被迫发生的改变正在让人们从个体和集体的角度重新定义自由职业,“这场危机提供了一个机会,向人们展示自由职业者的规模有多大。”自由职业者联盟的埃斯皮纳尔表示,“以及为什么我们应该支持这类工作的未来。”(yabo88ios)

译者:Agatha

自由职业平台Upwork和自由职业者联盟(Freelancer’s Union)最近发布的一份报告显示,5700万自主就业的美国人(占美国劳动力总数的35%)工作生活中存在的一些根本性问题因为新冠病毒疫情被推到了聚光灯下。

这份报告还指出,自由职业者每年贡献1万亿美元的国内生产总值,而他们在工作中基本享受不到什么福利——没有病假、失业补贴、带薪假期。但是随着这次疫情,人们能够清楚地看到,无论是作家、演员、网约车司机还是餐饮业工作者,自由职业者和全职工作者一样有着实实在在的需求。

疫情期间,普通的办公室工作出现了一些将延续到疫情之后的变化,自由职业者更是遭遇了一个形势尤其严峻的淡季,现在可能是自由职业被重新定义的时刻。

自由职业者的福利终于可以更广泛、更长久

2万亿美元的新冠病毒经济刺激方案——即所谓的《新冠病毒援助、救济与经济安全法案》(CARES Act),有史以来第一次大规模为自由职业者提供了失业保险。“在联邦经济刺激方案的框架下,有史以来第一次,失业保险将覆盖自由职业者。”自由职业者联盟的主席拉斐尔·埃斯皮纳尔说,“这能够给自由职业者提供资金来度过难关。当然,这些钱无法涵盖所有费用,但这是个开始。我们应该想办法让它成为一个正确的发展方向。”

埃斯皮纳尔还认为,如果这些福利可以转移——每个人换工作时都能够带走自己的福利待遇,而不会出现福利中断的情况——则为那些想要从事自由职业却为了不失去福利待遇而继续从事全职工作的人创造新机会。

当然,目前提供的福利并不完美,而且官僚作风很严重。纽约遛狗公司The Barking Meter的创始人兼首席执行官卡拉·克莱因丁斯特表示,仍然需要出门上班的自由职业者在申请补贴时遇到了非常复杂的困难,比如像她这样的企业申请贷款和补助时面临着一系列困难。

“这个过程充满困难,而且令人困惑。”她说,“对于那些不能在家工作的小企业主来说,这笔钱可能是拯救我们企业的唯一方法——然而申请程序繁琐得可怕,有些甚至还没有开放,还有一些金融机构一开始就不会接受申请。”

自主创业可能会比全职工作更安全

Upwork的总裁兼首席执行官海登·布朗认为,随着疫情的持续,自由职业者会越来越多——主要是因为人们觉得拥有不止一种收入来源更有安全感。

布朗说:“许多自由职业者都向我们表示过,特别是2009年经济衰退之后的十年里,他们通过为不同的客户提供服务而获得多种收入,提升了安全感。”随着疫情的蔓延和随之而来的经济衰退,“我们认为会有更多的办公室职员出去找工作。”她补充道。

莎拉·M就是这样一个从学校离职的人,她说工作安全感是其中一个原因。“新冠疫情可能会让财政状况本来就不太稳定的学校更加岌岌可危。”她说,“对我来说,自主就业实际上比在一所经营不善的小学院工作更有安全感。”

有些人当了很长时间的自由职业者,一直认为这种工作存在风险,现在却有了不一样的感受。内特·约翰逊是一名领导力和思维模式教练,他说,由于自由职业缺乏工作保障,他一直在思考什么才是真正的安全感,答案是必须自给自足。他说:“我很高兴自己不久前认识到了这一点,因为很多人都意识到,即使是‘稳定’的工作也不是绝对安全的。”

自由撰稿人莫奈·伊萨白说,新冠疫情对经济的影响让她再次坚定了坚持做自由职业者的决心。“我对这种不确定性的准备非常充分,甚至比我一些做全职办公室工作的朋友还要充分。”她说,“长期的工作环境强化了我这种思维模式:‘这种形势下哪可以找到工作机会?’而非关注消极的一面。”习惯了自主就业带来的风险,自由职业者往往适应力更强——在现在这种不稳定时期,这是一笔很有用的财富。

远程工作将成为常态

Upwork和自由职业者联盟认为,到2027年,美国的大部分劳动者都将是自由职业者。随着新冠疫情中人们居家办公的新现实对就业产生影响,我们会发现自由职业者的人数将涨得更快。

“远程工作,以及有才华的自由职业者远程工作,将日益成为常态。”布朗说。“这个趋势早在危机出现之前就开始发展了,而且可能会因为每个人为适应新现实而做出的改变出现加速。”

这种趋势已经在人才端得到了体现,过去几周自由职业者的注册人数出现增长。她补充道:“随着企业迅速做出调整,采用更灵活的远程工作模式,努力应对不确定的经济环境,我们预计,企业将用比以往任何时候都更加开放的态度,与远程工作的独立自由职业者合作。”

梅根·K是一名自由职业的布景设计师,她希望有一天她的独立职业可以拥有某种福利,尽管她无法想象那会是什么样子。“我做自由职业者的时间已经够长了,因此大部分情况下我都能有安全感;每一段没工开的日子,都有一段忙碌的日子来平衡。”她说。“我希望我的职业能够在我没活干的时候提供某种保障,尽管很难想象这将如何实现。”

虽然很难想象自由职业的未来会是什么样子,或者可以是什么样子,但这种被迫发生的改变正在让人们从个体和集体的角度重新定义自由职业,“这场危机提供了一个机会,向人们展示自由职业者的规模有多大。”自由职业者联盟的埃斯皮纳尔表示,“以及为什么我们应该支持这类工作的未来。”(yabo88ios)

译者:Agatha

The coronavirus pandemic is thrusting into the spotlight some of the fundamental problems that define working life for the 57 million Americans, or 35% of the country’s workforce that, according to a recent report by freelancing platform Upwork and the Freelancer’s Union, make their living by being self-employed.

The same report states that frelancers contribute $1 trillion annually to the GDP, and they operate largely without benefits—no sick leave, no unemployment, no paid time off. But as this pandemic progresses, it’s becoming clear that demands from freelance workers—be them writers, performers, ride-share drivers, or hospitality workers—are as valid as those from full-time employees.

And as regular office-life is going through changes that will go beyond COVID-19, and freelancers are facing a particularly dry season amidst the pandemic, this could also be the moment when self-employment is reshaped for the years to come.

Freelancers’ benefits could finally be broader and long-term

The $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, known as the CARES Act, offers the self-employed large-scale unemployment insurance for the first time ever. “For the first time in history, under the federal stimulus package, unemployment will now cover freelance workers," Rafael Espinal, President of the Freelancers Union. "This will inject needed money for workers to get by. Of course, it won’t cover all expenses, but it’s a start. We should find ways [for] this [to] become a right moving forward."

Espinal also believes that if benefits were portable—each individual taking them from job to job without their coverage being interrupted—, that would create new opportunities for workers who prefer to be independent but are staying in full-time positions so as not to lose their benefits.

Of course, the benefits enacted are imperfect and come with a thick layer of bureaucracy. Kara Kleindienst, founder and CEO of New York-based dog walking company The Barking Meter, says the challenges for the self-employed who need to physically go to a job are complicated, including the loans and grants being afforded to businesses like her own.

“It’s a very difficult and confusing process,” she says. “For small business owners who cannot work from home, this money may be the only means to save our companies—yet the applications are daunting or not even open yet or financial institutions won’t take it on in the first place.”

Self-employment could become safer than full-time jobs

Hayden Brown, president and CEO of Upwork, thinks we’ll be seeing more and more freelance workers as the pandemic continues—largely because people feel more secure having more than one income source.

“We have heard from many independent professionals, particularly in the last ten years since the 2009 recession, that they feel a heightened sense of security having multiple sources of income via various clients they serve,” Brown says. With the pandemic and the recessionary period that may follow, "we anticipate that more workers will seek out independent contracting arrangement", she adds.

Sarah M. is one of such workers leaving her job at a school, citing job security as one of the reasons. “COVID-19 is likely to put that institution, already on shaky financial ground, into an even more precarious position,” she says. “Being self-employed actually feels more secure to me than working for a struggling small college.”

Others who have been freelancers for a long time, and always interpreted that as a risk, now feel differently. Nate Johnson, a leadership and mindset coach, says that the lack of job security involved with freelancing has caused him to reconsider what security really means, namely that it must be self-provided. “I'm glad I learned this a while back because so many people are realizing that even ‘secure’ jobs aren't guaranteed,” he notes.

Monet Izabeth, a freelance content creator, says that the financial effects of COVID-19 have only reaffirmed her decision to be a freelancer. “I feel very prepared for this type of uncertainty, even more than some of my friends who have full-time, in-office jobs,” she says. "My work environment has strengthened my mindset of ‘where can I find the opportunity in this situation?’ instead of focusing on the negatives.” Used to the risk of being self-employed, freelancers tend to be more resilient—a useful resource when navigating unstable times like these.

Remote work could become the norm

Upwork and the Freelancer’s Union believe that the majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelance as soon as 2027. As the new work-from-home reality of coronavirus leaves its mark, we could find that number growing even more quickly.

“Remote work, and the talented freelancers who work remotely, will increasingly be the norm," Brown says. "The trends supporting this started well before the current crisis, and may be accelerated by the changes everyone is making to adapt to new realities.”

Evidence of the trend is already on the talent side, with the increased number of freelancer sign-ups in the past weeks. “As businesses are rapidly adopting more flexible, remote work models, as well as contending with an uncertain economic climate, we expect them to be more open-minded to working with remote, independent freelancers than ever before,” she adds.

Megan K., a freelance set designer, hopes that one day her independent career will involve benefits, though she can’t quite picture what that would look like. “I have been freelance long enough that ordinarily I feel that I have some security; for every quiet time, there is an equally busy time to counterbalance," she says. “I wish that my career provided some kind of retainer for the quieter times, although it’s hard to envision how that would work.”

While it may be hard to imagine exactly what the future of freelancing would, or could, look like, this enforced shake-up is being used to redefine things individually and collectively. “This crisis provides an opportunity to show how large of a workforce [freelancers are],” Espinal, of the Freelance Union, says. “And why we should be supporting the future of [that] work.”

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