EPAM Anywhere: Classic Freelance vs. Freelance at EPAM Anywhere: Personal Experience

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Career & Education / 4 min

Classic Freelance vs. Freelance at EPAM Anywhere: Personal Experience

A red boxing glove reading classic freelance and a blue boxing glove reading Anywhere FreelanceA red boxing glove reading classic freelance and a blue boxing glove reading Anywhere Freelance

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down, and in particular, has changed the way we work and cooperate. Total remote has become the new normal and brought its challenges and opportunities alongside. Along with the WFH trend, the whole idea of working as a freelancer has also experienced transformation.

What shapes the new freelance model now? And what does it take to stay productive when working as a freelancer in the midst of the lockdown? Vladislav, Lead Software Engineer, working with EPAM Anywhere for half a year, sorts things out and shares his take on this.

Essential skills you need as a freelancer, and how I obtained them

"Before the lockdown, I mostly worked in the office and was actually skeptical about working remotely."

Vladyslav ShyrykhalovVladyslav Shyrykhalov

Vladyslav ShyrykhalovLead Software Engineer

Indeed, remote and freelance work requires mastering specific skills essential for productivity and effective communication with your mates. Personally, I would highlight the following five skills I find crucial in this context and I had to master myself.

  • Adaptability. As the environment and conditions are changing fast, it's essential to keep up with these changes, adapt, and be ready to cope with possible issues on the ground. Developing this skill starts with the ability to organize your working place and make it comfortable. 

When working in the office, you focus only on your work. You don't think about internet connection, coffee, or other administrative things someone else takes care of. In the home office, you are that person that has to think of everything: a comfortable chair, good headset and mic, office supplies you may need, coffee and snacks, and so on.

  • Time-management. Another vital skill is time-management, which gets additionally challenging when you're working remotely. When you come to the office every day, your working schedule is clearly delineated by specific timeframes. However, these timeframes fade when you start working from home and kind of ‘live’ at work at the same time. In this situation, you need to set up an exact "time slot for work" and dive into work then with maximum efficiency. When this slot ends, literally close your laptop, and switch to your "spare time slot."
  • Ability to focus. This is one of the most important and most challenging aspects you face while working remotely. Of course, you may get distracted by your mates at the office. Still, you all get together there to focus on work in the first place.

In contrast, when you work remotely, it can be difficult to concentrate, as you encounter many distractors taking your mind off the tasks and enticing you to procrastinate for a while. Good old Pomodoro method with a timer set for 25 to 45 minutes can help you concentrate on productive work. There are other actionable steps you can take to stay focused and productive.

  • Collaboration. Perhaps this aspect is even more challenging than others, as it involves interaction with other people. When you need to discuss some question or solve a specific issue with your teammate, you typically go to them and talk. In this case, problems are resolved relatively fast, plus it's easier to eliminate miscommunications when talking to a person face-to-face.

Remote collaboration works in a bit more complicated way. It often takes time to sync up on the call, get to the shared vision, and give maximum information and sense within a minimum time. Hence, it's crucial to use best practices for effective communication in a remote team. One of the ways to do that is to brush up your written communication.

  • Written communication. I think about 80% of the information we share with our teammates goes in written form: in chats, emails, and comments. Communication through writing allows us to record important ideas or agreements, explain issues, or demonstrate the solutions.

To keep it clear and correctly understood, make sure your messages are well-structured, not too lengthy, and not ambiguous. Also, as your mate may not recognize your message's tone, keep it as polite and constructive as possible.

The future is remote

Many major companies remain remote as the coronavirus pandemic wears on — and plenty have no immediate plans to return to the office. Thus, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Facebook extended their WFH policies till the end of 2021, offering their employees the blend of remote and an opportunity to visit the office. Quora, Basecamp, and other prominent companies turned to a fully remote model instead. It seems it's just a matter of time until the whole software development industry shifts to a full remote.

Along with remote, a freelance model gets increasingly popular more than ever before. And that's for a reason, as freelance has many advantages.

Key bonuses you get as a freelancer

  • You're crafting your schedule, which is easier to shift when you need to solve personal issues as soon as you stick to the deadlines
  • You can stay in some lovely location, even amidst the pandemic
  • You can get more time for your personal development, learning, and growth
  • Typically, you don't experience pressure and micro-management
  • No dress code :)

Challenges a freelancer faces

However, a flip-side of this coin is the need to juggle other roles. Choosing the path of a freelancer, you basically become a small company, which should not only deliver high-quality work in time but also:

  • Act as a sales manager, finding the customers
  • Take care of all the legal support
  • Keep up with tax management

Besides, your income depends on your work scope. In particular, it means, once you take a vacation or get ill, you're not secured and lose your potential income. Another block you can hit on this road is an indecent customer who accepts the work and never gets back to pay.

"During my career path, I've experienced different issues with freelance. Yet, since I've joined EPAM Anywhere, I realized freelance could be a hassle-free and secure way to work, as this platform brings the best of two worlds: freelance and working as an in-house office mate."

Vladyslav ShyrykhalovVladyslav Shyrykhalov

Vladyslav ShyrykhalovLead Software Engineer

How it works with EPAM Anywhere platform

EPAM Anywhere is a freelance platform for IT professionals. Yet, unlike other platforms offering freelancers jobs and projects, EPAM Anywhere offers something more. Basically, it brings together the best of two worlds: freelance and full-time office employment.

From the freelance perspective, you can still work from any location, stay flexible in terms of working schedule, and be involved in several projects simultaneously. Sounds pretty the same? Probably, but what distinguishes EPAM Anywhere from other freelance platforms is the perks of working at an enterprise-level company. Specifically, you get full legal and tax support, paid vacations, smooth working and communication processes, and medical insurance - like if you were working onsite. Along with that, you get career development opportunities and the whole ecosystem of learning assets to keep mastering your skills and obtaining new ones.

To reach out to all these perks and an opportunity to join one of the Fortune Global 2000 companies, you need to take six easy steps:

  1. Select the job openings that look like a match and apply
  2. Fill in your profile, adding experience, knowledge, and strong skills
  3. Go through the interviewing process
  4. Get the list of projects handpicked based on your skillset and purposes
  5. Have all documents ready and set for the further support
  6. It's time to start working

To learn more about each step, take a look at this article that closely explores all the details of the process

Wrapping things up

After nearly half a year of working as a freelancer at EPAM Anywhere, I think that the world will never be the same in terms of how we collaborate and communicate. I'm glad that I could join this advanced freelance platform, and if this model sounds interesting to you, don't hesitate to join! Start with exploring job opportunities, and I believe you'll find an exciting project here.

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Tania HordaCopywriter

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