Tech exec says work-from-home bill will increase number of freelancers in PH

By Espie Angelica A. de Leon

A top executive of freelance website Freelancer.com said that if signed into law, the work-from-home bill will increase the number of freelancers in the Philippines, draw more people into their site, and enable more Filipinos to have higher incomes.

The work-from-home-bill, also called the Telecommuting Act of 2017, enables companies to allow employees to work from home under mutually agreed work arrangements and similar labor standards.

“That’s perfect. I support that strongly,” said Sebastian Siseles, Freelancer.com’s vice president, international. “If you ask me ‘do you think this is going to bring more people to the site?’ Yes definitely.”

The bicameral conference committee report on the bill has already been ratified by the Senate and House of Representatives and is now awaiting passage into law by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

If the bill is passed, Siseles sees Filipino telecommuting employees finding more time for freelance projects via sites like Freelancer.com which has 30 million registered users, and earning extra income. Working from home cuts unproductive hours spent during commute. It also makes workers less tired and less stressed, thus giving them extra energy to take on freelance assignments in their spare time.

A lawyer and adviser to the government of Colombia which also encourages companies to allow their workers to telecommute, Siseles used to work the daily grind at the office for long hours.

However, his work hours changed when he began working from home. “Everything was done in four hours, five hours,” he shared, and this new schedule gave him more time in his hands.

“The employees win because they can have more time for themselves, or for their families, or look for a second income via Freelancer.com,” said Siseles. “You can easily get a job online.”

Accessible in 247 countries, territories, and regions including Alaska and Antarctica, Freelancer.com has posted over $3 billion worth of jobs, with an average of 10,000 new jobs posted every day.

The average rate for each job or project, which can be completed anywhere from two hours to four days, is $196.

Meanwhile, the Philippines has 1.1 million users of the platform, making it the fourth highest ranking country in terms of total Freelance.com users, next to India, USA, and Pakistan.

Seventy-five percent of these users are between 18 to 37 years old and most are from Quezon City, Makati, Manila, Talisay, and Davao.

The top five job categories for local freelancers are data entry clerks, PHP developers, graphic designers, Excel experts, and Photoshop designers. Topping the list of leading employers or clients for Filipino freelancers are India, USA, Philippines, Australia, and UK.

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