The day-to-day reality of COVID-19 here in Spain – cooped up inside watching empty streets – is very bizarre. I’m sure that’s also the case wherever you are too.
Here in Spain, energetic and hard-working freelancers endure downsides like sporadic work, frustrating bureaucracy and significant costs to enjoy greater autonomy, flexibility and control over their work. In the wake of COVID-19, those downsides are being felt more acutely. I’m sure that the majority of Spain’s three million autónomos would agree. In fact, statistics show that more than 50,000 freelancers have stopped working because of COVID-19.
Sense of shared purpose
It’s both comforting and inspiring to know that the majority of people in the country are working in unison toward a common goal.
From a business perspective, it’s great to see so many companies helping where they can and taking care of their partners. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen many of my clients share messages of encouragement and help their partners in new ways.
I work with a SaaS review and approval platform called Filestage, for example, and the team generously put together a comprehensive list of WFH resources to help others.
I really admire these initiatives and I’m very inspired by them – I hope that this sense of shared purpose will extend beyond this crisis. I’m personally optimistic that new and lasting partnerships will be formed during this strange time.
Working in isolation, together
As a freelancer, I’m no stranger to working from home. This means that I haven’t had to adjust my working habits quite as dramatically as others. Still, it’s great to see so many people enthusiastically exploring new territory, adjusting their habits and supporting one another.
It’s also interesting to see how fast we’re forming new habits. People are very inventive and we’re seeing the best of our natural desire to cooperate shine through these days. I’m excited to see how Spanish businesses both large and small embrace remote working and make it even better.
(As an added bonus, I’ve got lots more WFH memes to enjoy.)
Keeping business flowing
While sharing some drinks with friends over Skype recently (another new tradition!), we agreed that it’s strange just a few weeks ago things were relatively normal here in Spain.
The sudden arrival of the virus has blindsided many businesses and freelancers. This means that many freelancers have lost clients. I’m among them too.
I believe it’s critical for freelancers to double down on nourishing their client relationships. As freelancers, this is the time to remain flexible and offer support and understanding wherever we can.
I’ve seen many Spanish businesses let their freelancers go, but I’m confident that will be temporary. Be there for your clients now and you’ll see that loyalty repaid in the future.
However difficult this situation might be, it’s important that we find comfort and hope in these challenging times. I hope that my fellow freelancers come out of this relatively unscathed and I wish you all good health!