From gig work to big work: Panel discussion with Upwork

In today’s economy, freelancers have become a vital part of the workforce. Our round-table discussion looked at today’s trends, and what freelancers and companies need to know to succeed.

from gig work to big work panel discussion with upwork

We recently hosted a round-table discussion about thriving in the gig economy. The dialogue centered on the actionable insights freelancers and businesses need to succeed in the virtual labor industry. The panel discussion, titled “From Gig Work To Big Work,” featured four industry leaders:

  • Tim Sanders, Vice President of Customer Insights at Upwork.
  • Matthew Mottola, CEO of Venture L and author of The Human Cloud.
  • Lauren Detweiler, freelance copywriter and content strategist.
  • J. Cheema, presentation designer with over 20 years of experience.

The panelists shared their insights and experiences regarding freelance trends, challenges, opportunities, and solutions.

Here is a quick summary of the discussion:

From gig work to big work: Panel discussion with Upwork

In recent years, it has become easier than ever for individuals in all fields to find opportunities online through platforms like Upwork. According to Payoneer’s abundance of opportunities report, 53% of freelancers believe work will bounce back to pre-pandemic levels.

Freelancing has become popular for workers who want flexibility and freedom to work from home. For businesses, it’s all about cost savings. But before Upwork, there were many challenges. Finding clients was demanding, communication was not streamlined, and payment was slow.

With better processes today, more companies are looking towards this model to scale their businesses while keeping costs down. Many freelancers earn six-figure incomes. The panel discussion revealed four essential ingredients experts believe are crucial for thriving in the gig economy.

Strong networks

Competition in virtual talent pools is snowballing. Freelancers with a strong network can create a more prominent presence for themselves.

With better connections, they can enhance their appeal to potential clients. This is particularly crucial for new freelancers starting their careers and needing more extensive portfolios or proof of experience. Joining a freelance network can help in finding suitable clients and establishing relationships with fellow professionals who share similar interests.

Virtual talent bench

Experienced freelancers often prioritize working with a handful of reliable clients on an ongoing basis, as it provides them with diverse but steady income opportunities.

Establishing a virtual talent bench can be instrumental in helping brands thrive in the gig economy. In line with this trend, organizations are rapidly expanding their virtual talent benches across various freelancing platforms, creating more opportunities for freelancers and fostering long-term contract relationships.


Having a clear understanding of the various roles in the gig economy, such as leader, specialist, and contributor, is crucial.

Freelancers who grasp these roles can collaborate more effectively with other freelancers and enterprises, resulting in improved relationships, increased collaboration, and the growth of virtual agencies. In this context, high-performing freelancers can lead and manage diverse teams of remote workers, delegating tasks from their extensive client portfolios.


Demonstrating a full-time commitment to freelancing is crucial for success in the gig economy. Enterprises prefer to work with freelancers who show dedication to their business, which can be exhibited through business licenses or professional certifications. Freelancers who are fully committed to working on a freelance basis are more likely to achieve long-term success.

Thriving in the gig economy with Payoneer

During busy seasons when your business needs extra hands, gig workers can be a cost-effective solution to fill those gaps without straining your budget.

By hiring freelancers, you can save on salary, benefits, and time spent recruiting and training new employees. With access to a vast talent pool, businesses can select the best-fit freelancers for their roles, ensuring high-quality work.

Collaborating with highly qualified freelancers worldwide enables brands to maintain or improve their quality standards, resulting in increased productivity and sustainable growth. However, to truly thrive in this dynamic environment, having a reliable and efficient financial platform is crucial.

Payoneer is a one-stop payment solution for freelancers and businesses, enabling them to accelerate their growth in the gig economy. With Payoneer, it’s easy to pay your remote contractors, employees, and suppliers.

Are you ready for the transformation?

Expand your horizons with Payoneer’s global payment solutions. Say goodbye to barriers and embrace international collaboration as freelancers and businesses can send and receive payments in countless currencies.

With Payoneer, you can simplify currency conversions, streamline mass payouts, and connect with clients and freelancers worldwide. Plus, Payoneer prioritizes security, safeguarding your funds and sensitive information. Are you ready for the transformation? Watch the video now and thrive in the gig economy with Payoneer’s comprehensive features.

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