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E-lancing, also known as e-labour,[1] is the practice of taking freelancing work through online job offers. E-lancing websites are hubs where employers place tasks, which freelancers from around the world bid for. Some e-lancing websites act as intermediaries for payment, paying the freelancer directly after work is completed, to mitigate the risk of non-payment.[1] Employers posting work on these websites set the price they are willing to pay for the task being done.


In 2012, 1.56 million people were freelancers in the United Kingdom, a rise of 11.9% since 2008.[2] Sebastian Trenner of the World Bank wrote in 2012 that online marketplaces were unlikely to produce a significant decrease in skilled unemployment.[3] Conversely, Karsten Geis of Empirica Capital wrote in 2014 that e-lancing would be a primary employer of the future, and that normal jobs will tend to disappear.[4]

Notable e-lancing websites include Elance, fiverr, Freelancer.com, Guru.com, Upwork, and 99designs.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The Economist Newspaper Ltd, 2010. "Work in the digital age: a clouded future". The Economist, Volume 395 Number 8682, May 15th-21st 2010. Roto Smeets, Weert (Netherlands).
  2. ^ Holdt, Keith "The rise of e-lancing in the workplace". Growthbusiness. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Trenner, Sebastian "Could e-lancing provide a temporary cure for skilled unemployment in the region?". The World Bank. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Gareis, Karsten "eLancing–The Future of Work?". ResearchGate. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2014.