The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live and interact with each other. Not only this has affected our social life, but its economic impact has been devastating. The havoc caused due to this has led businesses to find alternative ways to survive during such a turbulent time. Even according to the World Health Organization there’s no way we can go back to previous normal, at least in the foreseeable future. So, it is understandable that the only logical thing to do is to acclimate to the situation and carry on with our lives.
The media industry has been equally affected, if not more and this has led employers to re-evaluate their organization structure and business model as a cost-cutting measure. Employees are constantly facing layoffs, reductions in salaries, forced leaves, etc., which employers obviously see as the only alternative to minimize the effect of the pandemic on their respective organization. Although, the lockdown was necessary and it did help in reducing the burden on the already burdened health sector, but the media industry faced its true brunt. Shoots were canceled, projects were delayed, productions were forced shut down and all this caused a great financial impact on the industry. While employees with permanent jobs, still had something to hold on to, freelancers truly were left empty-handed. With zero shoots and onsite productions, freelancers had almost no source of income. However, as nothing lasts forever, things are being carefully easing out towards the “new normal” and productions are resuming as we speak. This has also made everyone involved in this industry to consider Freelancing and permanent jobs.
Freelancing Vs Permanent Jobs in “new normal”
Work from home is only possible in the media for a few of the roles, like writers, conceptualizers, etc., but more of the workforce needs to be present on-site to do their jobs. While it is becoming evidently clear that a new approach is required, it is also a fact that the perfect solution is yet to be found. However, as there is no time to waste and the show must go on therefore, we must take things as they come. Business owners are thinking of replacing permanent jobs with freelancing as this not only gives them more flexibility when projects are not available, but costs of office space and managing a permanent team without regular income can be quite hectic and economically non-viable. Though with continuous work and projects, permanent employees are more profitable in the long run in the media industry, the uncertainty because of the pandemic has caused a situation of panic among the production houses and therefore, they seem to adopt the idea of working only with freelancers, along with minimum permanent employees. On the other hand, for freelancers and employees, it’s a mixed feeling, while there will be more freelancing work available, there will also be an increase in the competition for the same. And in this industry, we’ll know that without good contacts, it’s hard to be a freelancer. Permanent employees are also required to put maximum effort, just to prove themselves worthy to be on the payroll, and if laid off, finding freelance work can be quite problematic.
So, either for freelancers or people with permanent jobs, this pandemic was, is, and will test them to their core. Therefore, working to the best of their ability and honing their skills is the best thing to do to survive the economic impact of the coronavirus on the media industry.