ASTANA – The Heritage Foundation recently rated Kazakhstan 42nd in economic freedom and Numbeo, the international information portal, ranked the nation as the 119th most affordable country in which to live. Freelancing experts confirm the facts.
“Kazakhstan has a unique mix of European and Asian influences which makes it a fascinating place for freelancers, not just for those from developed countries but also from developing ones. The country boasts of friendly locals, several cities with charming attractions and a capital city with affordable apartments. Freelancers have venues for leisure with parks, plays, concerts and a broad selection of restaurants in Astana,” said Marcomm team lead Monica Martinez in a March 16 interview.
Marcomm Team handles the marketing and communications department of Freelancer.com, the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by number of users and projects. The company connects approximately 23.2 million employers and freelancers globally from more than 247 countries, regions and territories.
“Kazakhstan definitely seems like a lovely and accommodating destination for freelancers, especially because of the increase of available co-working spaces. These work spaces allow freelancers to work in the company of fellow freelancers, especially when they’re starting to feel disconnected. Co-working spaces also help spur start-ups and entrepreneurship, making the community more dynamic and supportive of freelancers,” she added.
Freelancers have the freedom to work anytime and anywhere. Being able to earn and make a living as they travel to different countries is part of the flexible lifestyle freelancers enjoy. Some prefer to stay in a new and different place with a relatively lower cost of living, but freelancers travel and relocate for many different reasons. Wherever they go, they can easily take work with them as long as those places have reliable Internet connection.
“A few years ago, we saw the rise of home offices. Eventually, ‘teleworking’ and ‘telecommuting’ were coined because of the popularity of being able to work from places outside the office. This led to another trend where freelancers don’t just work from home, but they also work from any place they want to travel to, thus the rise of ‘digital nomads.’ Digital nomads have a location-independent lifestyle. They bank on their skills and expertise, laptop and mobile gadgets and the Internet to work as they travel,” said Martinez.
“Digital nomads are usually skilled and knowledgeable in IT, graphic design, copywriting and Internet marketing. These skills are also among the most in-demand services at Freelancer.com. Being a digital nomad, however, is not limited to professionals with this expertise, since there are over 1,000 job categories they can work with at Freelancer.com. As long as they can provide services online, whether it is in the field of accounting, sciences or videography, they can pack up their bags with their laptops and work as they travel,” she added.
Martinez noted more parts of the world are either getting Internet connection or a faster one at a cheaper cost. Online connectivity paves the way for broader work and hiring options. At the same time, more and more companies and professionals make use of these options and the gig economy is on the rise in many parts of the world. Telecommuting, remote collaboration, working from home, outsourcing and the like are becoming increasingly more common.
“Nowadays, it’s common to hear about start-ups and small businesses with teams made up of freelancers from around the world. Meanwhile, professionals who have transitioned to freelancing shape their own careers and discover their own definition for professional growth. Some have made a brand out of their name, while others become entrepreneurs in their own right by putting up service businesses as soon as clients and projects pick up,” she said.
“Additionally, millennials and Gen Zers who are entering the workforce want to veer away from the usual 9 to 5. They aspire for work-life balance, doing jobs they are passionate about. They are tech savvy with a desire to explore places and opportunities. Their work style and preferences make freelancing a perfect option for them. All these leave much room and reasons for working from home to further develop,” she added.
Freelancers from developing countries have easy access to employers around the world, most of which are from developed countries like the U.S., the U.K. and Australia, said Martinez. This allows wealth to transfer from developed countries to developing ones in stronger and more stable currencies. The euro, pound and dollar have high purchasing power in developing countries, which gives freelancers the chance to earn similar rates as those in developed countries while enjoying a lower cost of living.
“Additionally, freelancers from developed countries have opportunities to take on projects that pay relatively higher than local rates. They can earn a month’s wages in a couple hours of work from the comfort of their own homes. Including their experience in working with employers from around the world is also a great addition to their résumés. In the process, they exchange culture and learn new languages which give them a broader perspective of the world,” she said.