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Don’t Shortchange Your Freelance Worker

Have you met a freelance worker who doesn’t want a higher profit? 

We know we do, and we naturally find ways to cut down costs. 

Unfortunately, many business owners try to improve their net income by cutting wages of their freelance workers.

And today, 46% of freelance workers feel underpaid. 

Fact is, you can only achieve real business success by investing in your greatest assets — your employees. 

The problem is that a freelance worker can quit simply because there’s a shortage of good-paying employers and family-sustaining jobs. 

As an employer, the pay you give your employees should not be based on how much you are willing to spend. Instead, it should genuinely reflect the value that your freelance workers add to you whilst ensuring that they can afford housing, basic healthcare, food, and other essentials. 

So the next question is, how much should you pay? 

  • Entry-level virtual freelancer – Not lower than $3 – $5 per hour 
  • Experienced virtual talents – $10 per hour 

And whilst there’s a standard hourly pay,
freelance workers also enjoy working with employers who value the output more than their work hours. Depending on your business model and requirements, see which option works best for your company and employee.  

The above rates are a good benchmark, but there are other factors to determine a fair salary for your Filipino freelancers so they will not feel shortchanged.

Work Volume

A freelance worker that can handle a wide range of tasks should earn more than those who can only complete one. For example, if your employee can efficiently design a webpage, add relevant and optimised content, plus work on social media, then this person should naturally earn more than the one who only writes blog posts. 

However, be careful as you don’t want to hire freelance workers and overwork them. According to a study in 2021, at least three in every five workers in the Philippines feel overworked. And whilst their productivity can help your business flourish fast, it may take a toll on their health which can eventually lead to the big R – resignation which can make your business suffer. We’ll talk about this further in the latter section. 

Remember, just because they can, they should.

filipino freelance worker studying company movements and growth

Skills and Experience

Let this adage be our inspiration. 

“If I do a job in 30 minutes, it’s because I spent 10 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me the years, not the minutes.” 

You’ve probably seen this before, and it explains the weight of skills and experience on the pay grade. 

When you hire an experienced freelance worker, you save time, money, and effort training a newbie in the field. According to Training Magazine, in 2021, companies spent around USD 1,071 for training a new employee without experience on the field yet.

It’s More Than The Salary

Shortchanging isn’t isolated to cutting wages. It can also mean shortchanging your employees’ health and welfare. In recent years, only 58% of companies have included healthcare in their benefits. With the rising healthcare cost and cost of living in general, employers must also expand their efforts to understand what the market truly needs. 

Remember, working from home does not mean freelance workers are healthier. In fact, nearly two-thirds of people working from home feel lonely at times and 17% do all the time. This can negatively affect mental health and your business’ overall productivity. Attrition rate is expected to rise too, which can cost your company twice your freelancer’s salary. 

Ugly Truth: WHO refers to the Philippines’ healthcare system as ‘fragmented’ where there is an unequal and unfair access to health services. This significantly affects the poor, but even the working class are having a hard time accessing even the most basic healthcare needs. The government, as reported by the WHO, spends little on healthcare programs, which means most Filipinos need to get medical funds from their own pockets. 

If you want to ensure that premium salary and benefits goes to worthy contractors and freelancers, here’s a guide on how you can screen applications right off the bat.  

Final Words

The current market showed us that shortchanging workers is a flawed business model and can cost you more. 

As J. W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr. puts it, “We know if we treat our employees right, they’ll treat the customers right. And if customers are treated right, they’ll come back.”

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