What I'm talking about now is working as a contractor/freelancer for short-term projects, like even as short as 3-4 week projects. Most of the good freelance jobs expect you to be on Slack coordinating with their team in Eastern European country X. It really didn't use to be like this, I used to be able to make good money as a freelancer just coordinating with other freelancers and the contracting company/individual a few times a day. And in my opinion, it worked a lot better. Yeah, the irresponsible devs can't screw around as much if someone's keeping tabs on Slack, but the productive ones are significantly less productive this way. And why would you hire a remote freelancer you didn't trust to do the work?
And jobs that are paid per job and not per hour aren't any better, in my experience. Everyone has to be online, checking in, chatting, exchanging memes.
Maybe I've just had a streak of bad luck this year, but it definitely seems to be a significant trend.
I don't know, maybe I need to make a concerted effort just to work for small businesses, and not start-ups or mid-sized companies.