What COVID-19 means for freelancing and the gig economy
7 May 2020
COVID-19 has changed the way a lot of Aussies do business. And if you’re a gig worker in the creative or tech industries, for example, you may hit a few bumps along the way.
You’ll work from home more
There are a few perks to working from home (aside from cost reduction!). Your commute is just a few steps, your hours are pretty flexible, and you can set up your home office just the way you like it.
Whether you’ve worked from home for years or you’re coming to it fresh, it’s important to make sure you’re set up comfortably. You may find it useful to consider whether you need a bigger desk, if you have the best computer equipment for your needs, and whether your chair supports your posture. Doing so could improve the way you work and reduce unnecessary stress on your body.
You’ll need to look after yourself
When there’s very little separation in your life between work and play, it’s important to prioritise your wellbeing.
Take regular breaks. Try spending a few moments in your backyard, make a cup of tea or do a quick lap around the block.
Try to maintain your regular work hours. When your home becomes your office, it can be easy to work longer than you need to. Maintaining a routine, as you would if you were going in to work every day, can be a useful way of separating work and play.
Be realistic about your capacity. Between things like childcare and worrying about your friends and family, you may find you’re not as productive as you would normally be. Adjusting your expectations about your capacity may mean you can be kinder to yourself, and work more efficiently.
Keep in touch. Don’t be shy! Reach out to your colleagues, friends or family and let them know how you’re doing. Keeping in touch – virtual Happy Hour, anyone? – during such uncertain times can help life feel a little more normal. It might also be a good time to identify an industry peer who could be your go-to person for advice.
You may need to engage with your clients differently
Communicating clearly with your clients at this time could help you to set realistic expectations about what you’re able to offer. You might reach out via phone or email, or update your website to reflect your availability. For both existing and potential clients, this could demonstrate your proactive approach to your work.
Reviewing your cancellation policy
As a freelancer, you may have drafted your own terms that apply when you provide services to your clients. In these challenging times, you may wish to consider seeking independent professional advice about how to best protect your business while continuing to support your clients.
You could consider what government support may be available to you
If you’ve been impacted financially and you’re wondering where to go next, it may be worth considering the financial relief options that could be available to you from the government. You can find out more detailed information on the government and Moneysmart websites. You might also find it useful to seek independent advice about your eligibility for these support payments.
How Suncorp can support your business
If you’re a Suncorp customer experiencing financial difficulty, the sooner you let us know about your situation, the more we may be able to support you. We work with our eligible small and medium-sized business customers on a case-by-case basis to provide confidential and tailored support.
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