The Challenges And Prospects Of Freelancing In Pakistan
Author: Sehrish Irfan


With the evolution of technology, the modality of work has changed and it refers as the gig economy or telework. The focus of the current study is online web-based workers or can be called freelancers. In Pakistan, the freelancing industry is booming because most people are using it as a supplement source of income in the wake of inflation. Some of them are working as full-time workers. Of these most are females due to flexible working hour option. It is a good source of income for the country in the form of remittances. The data has been collected by using google forms and semi-structured interviews. The three units of data collection have been incorporated i.e., freelancers, Pakistan Freelancer Association and Institute of Emerging Careers. The survey was shared with 400 freelancers and out of which 117 have filled it and interviews have been conducted with 8 stakeholders including freelancers, experts, startup owners and people who outsource the work in the local market. Descriptive statistics have been employed to analyse the results. This study on freelancers highlights some top challenges such as blockage and an unstable internet connection, payment issues, electricity supply, taxes reduction, lack of communication skills and competition. On the other hand, the scope of the freelancing industry is great such as it employs females and unemployed people. Moreover, freelancing helps them combat adverse inflation impacts and evokes the spirit of freelancing in freelancers. It allows them to work for international clients and learn from them. To analyse the interview thematic analysis has been used and findings have been divided into five main themes and fifteen subthemes. The first theme reflects the freelance value proposition d it includes work-life balance value, socio-economic value, autonomy value, developmental value and hedonic value. Freelancer Job Stress discusses the factors responsible for increasing anxiety and it consists of issues related to payment, client colonisation, work unavailability etc. Moreover, few freelancers argued that it cannot be the permanent solution to unemployment because it is a risky job. Hence, they shared that to protect themselves from sudden unemployment freelancers invest their income in different businesses such as real estate and e-commerce startups. Few freelancers reported that online work is a digital brain drain and some negated it because they believe that they are contributing to Pakistan‟s economy as they have their startups. The freelancing industry’s potential can be increased if government provide tax reduction, build more National incubation centre and co-working space, resolve internet connectivity issues, energy security, and payment transfer issues and incorporates communication skills courses in training modules

Meta Data

Keywords : Banks, Digital Brain Drai, Energy Security, Freelancers, Gig economy, Internet Connection, Payment, Unemployment
Supervisor: Hassan Rasool

Related Thesis​