Why Bruneian Freelancers Are Important

Here’s what experts and stakeholders across Brunei have to say about freelancers.

  • Freelancing is good for the economy.

  • Allowing the field of freelancing to flourish will result in more appreciation for local talents.

  • Working with freelancers will open businesses and organisations up to more competitive rates in various fields.

How people live, work and spend their money has changed dramatically over the past decade, especially with the advent of smartphone technology. Being hyper-connected via social networks has increased communication and opened up new ways for people to make money online.

No doubt the gig economy is altering the way people view and perform work. And in Brunei, things are no different!

We reached out to experts and stakeholders across Brunei to find out their thoughts about this.

1. Good for the economy

According to Keeran Janin, Interim CEO of Dart Brunei, freelancing is a more efficient way of distributing and developing specialist talent.

“Freelancers give companies access to experienced talent for specific tasks that don’t fit into full-time workloads or budgets. On the flipside, this also allows freelancers to gain much more exposure across different projects — improving their skills — while maximising their earnings,” he said.

At the end of the day, it’s good for the individual, good for companies and good for the economy.

“At Dart, we use freelancers for many tasks as part of our lean business practices,” he said, noting that Dart itself is also used by many freelancers to earn extra income driving in-between their other freelancing jobs.

“It’s a fantastic way to optimise your time and income potential — ever more so in today’s world of lockdowns and compulsory working from home,” he added.


2. Appreciation for local talents

As more and more freelancers from Brunei continue to put themselves out there online, it’s also hoped that the general public would develop a deeper appreciation of their craft and skills.

Zul Idris, Associate and Senior Architect at Arkitek Idris, strongly believes that freelancing can give people valid work experience and additional income for those seeking experience.

“A person should be seeking to be established in some form and should never under sell or undercut those in your profession,” he said. “Gaining additional income is valid but diluting the value will harm the industry and fellow practitioners that you’re in and your prospective future earnings. This is in regards to the creative industry and construction industry.”


3. Competitive rates

Freelancers fill the gap where corporate organisations don’t cater to, according to Nazdeny Ardian @mybruneiweekend, a freelance photographer.

“Customers in Brunei who hire freelancers would get a more competitive rate compared to established businesses. Established businesses will cater for corporate organisations, while individuals who might need your services for personal use will not be able to afford corporate prices,” he said.

At the end of the day, as freelancers, we get to grow, network and improve our craft!

“In Brunei, we need more highly skilled people, and being a freelancer is one way to improve. Being a freelancer would really put a person through a lot of stuff and build character,” he added.

Freedom, flexibility and the future

Freelancing offers many advantages, including the freedom to choose clients and projects, access to the global market, and flexibility with hours and perhaps even location.

What the gig economy has also presented to young, skilled individuals in Brunei is a situation where their employability is not confined to the borders of the country.

There are opportunities for Bruneians to capitalise any work that can be done remotely! And even for those without high-level skills, the gig economy presents alternative opportunities for decent income locally, all interfaced through digital platforms.

According to Haadi Bakar of Geekturf, speaking from the perspective of an entrepreneur, freelancing is also good training for individuals who want to be independent.

“Freelancing can help reduce unemployment,” he said. “However, if the freelancer (is able to) evolve into a business, then yes … It would help diversify the nation’s economy.”

Bah! What are you waiting for? Isn’t it time that you show love for our Bruneian freelancers?