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As we have seen many retail stores adapting to the new normal, with many staff being put on furlough or let go, the retail industry has seen a boost in other areas, not least in online sales. But we also have to consider the impact on freelance contractors in this sector. During Covid, the freelance sector boomed. While there was a backdrop of economic uncertainty, the contracting and freelance community has driven certain areas. How have freelance contracts been invaluable during Covid, and what can we learn from them?


The Rise of Deliveries 

You only have to look at the Shiply load boards to see how much demand there is for freelance jobs. Providers like Deliveroo experienced a massive boom during lockdown because of the necessity for deliveries. The fact is that retail was headed in this direction prior to the pandemic, but now the necessity for deliveries to remote locations, coupled with the fact that people are now starting to get a balance in their lives by staying at home has resulted in a boom in this sector. Food deliveries were at their highest during the first lockdown, and freelancers have managed to pick up a lot of work in the interim. With more online retailers in recent years, plus the shutdown of non-essential retail, online providers have cleaned up, and so have freelancers.


The Flexible Nature of the Role 

Because there is an influx of freelance roles, coupled with a high demand for products, this has meant that there were initially a handful of freelancers doing more duties. Gradually, the ability to freelance in a diverse range of roles benefited the freelancer and the employer. Freelance roles are, by their very nature, flexible. From the perspective of the freelancer, they are able to use this to their advantage. As freelance roles come with different rules and regulations than full-time or part-time employees and freelancers are able to navigate themselves from job to job. This is where freelancers were able to deliver items through online retailers such as Next and H&M easier.


Will This Trend Continue? 

As the UK is still moving out of lockdown in certain areas, they may not return to normality right away. In addition, the demand for the high street may dwindle soon. Right now, we are in a position where the general public needs to go out and venture into humanity. But as people start to return to work, the demand for home deliveries will creep up. This means that freelancers will be able to clean up as far as delivery roles are concerned. This, combined with a different perspective from the British public where they want a more relaxed life will mean that there will be naturally more home deliveries. The retail sector increased its home delivery capacities during the first lockdown. There was a major scramble for food shopping, that there will be a fine balance to tread now. Once the world has returned to normal, we may see the retail world combined with freelance workers to provide a better solution for the customer.