Covid-19: Freelancers and remote workers, there are still gigs to do
There are some opportunities and remote work and freelancing seem to be one of the alternatives to those looking for new challenges.
This post is part of a collaborative effort between Startup Portugal, The Next Big Idea, and Sapo24, meant to create relevant content to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Content available in Portuguese.
It is known, the world, as we knew it, has changed. We are all at home, or almost all of us, and so the way we work and consume is not the same. Our vocabulary includes words and expressions such as prophylactic isolation, peaks and plateaus, masks for community use, viruses, etc. With this change in consumption behaviours and the way we work, also came words like layoff, crisis, deficit.
This unprecedented disease seems to be bringing us an, also unprecedented, crisis, and there are many who have already run out of work and there also seems to be few who are still recruiting.
According to the Minister of Labour, Ana Mendes Godinho, the registrations of unemployed people in employment centers rose, on average, more than 50% per day, between 1st and 13th of April compared to March, while job offers received by the IEFP fell almost 70%. Simultaneously, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that by the end of the year the unemployment rate will rise up to 13.9%, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than doubling the 6.5% with which 2019 ended.
Still, there are some opportunities and remote work and freelancing seem to be one of the alternatives to those looking for new challenges.
Remote work is a regime that does not imply physical presence in an office and it can be done from anywhere, that is, and as the name implies, it is an activity that can be performed at a distance. Freelancing refers to a self-employed worker who provides services for certain periods of time. As a general rule, in Portugal, this type of worker charges for their services through so-called “green receipts”.
Europe and Portugal
Founded in Portugal, Landing Jobs is a recruitment platform for the information technology sector. Headquartered in Lisbon, Porto, Barcelona and London, the startup is dedicated to recruiting across Europe, including remote positions.
For those looking for other areas, Europe Remotely can be also consulted. Although it is a European platform, like what happens on the American websites mentioned above, this one presents offers that only accept applications from residents from the United States of America, so it is advisable to use a filter that eliminates these positions from the search.
According to Startup Portugal, the Portuguese ecosystem has benefited from structural conditions that make Portugal attractive to entrepreneurs and investors from all over the world, conditions that represent an opportunity for workers in a remote situation. One of the best fiber optic internet connections in the world, skilled workforce, high levels of English and a lower cost of living make the Portuguese ecosystem a very competitive option and can, if not neglected, represent an opportunity for professionals, entrepreneurs and national startups to operate from Portugal.
Therefore, in order to compile the data of professionals based in Portugal and in order to promote them alongside recruiters in ecosystems around the world, Startup Portugal created the Zero Gravity platform, a project created by the community of entrepreneurs and Portuguese technology companies with the aim of promoting professionals to operate in the country and with remote work capacity in an international context.
The platform is free, both for professionals and recruiters who announce their offers there and counts on, for now, different partners, such as Startup Braga, AICEP, Le Wagon, Landing Jobs, Remote and Moviinn.
Already up and going, the initiative is currently collecting data via its website and is also looking for strategic partners to facilitate the process of Matchmaking (matching between offers and professional profiles) or to promote the qualified workforce based in Portugal.
United States of America
There are several American companies that accept international applications for remote work, provided that, of course, English is one of your skills. To find these vacancies, a filter for remote positions must be applied on each website and another filter for positions other than “US only” (only in the United States of America) that only accept applications from residents of the country. Some of these sites are:
There are also websites aimed at very specific niches. For example, writers can find opportunities on the Contena or Freelance Writing websites, while designers are sought in the 99designs.pt website. Translators Cafe is a website dedicated to translators.
In the freelancing regime, international offers can also be found on the websites dedicated to this kind of work, such as Upwork or Freelancer.
Everything about what remote work is
For those who are new to this concept, there are several entities that share articles, workshops or webinars with tricks and tips to embrace this way of life. Lígia Gomes, who works remotely and was, for 4 years, Operations Manager of Remote Year in Portugal created the platform Work from Neptune. On this website, Lígia has compiled a series of useful information, ranging from where you can find vacancies, to useful courses to be taken, also remotely, in order to boost necessary skills and still shares the best articles on productivity, schedules and other useful information.
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