According to the World Economic Forum, now is a “defining moment” for our future and economic prosperity. “The decisions and choices we make today will determine the course of entire generations’ lives and livelihoods”.
With nations across the globe facing the impact of the pandemic and the very real consequences and risks of the climate crisis, the world of work needs to be revolutionised to offer sustainable and flexible solutions to “build back better”. Enter the freelance revolution, which offers a forward-thinking and flexible way of finding resources and expertise for business growth, while allowing talent more control over their work. There has been a boom in freelancing in recent years, with self-employment increasing overall by 40% since 2008 according to the IPSE, and we expect this trend to accelerate.
Remote working makes the shift to freelancing more attractive.
The freelance revolution was always on its way, but the immediate health risks associated with the pandemic have introduced employers and employees to remote working, a method closely associated with freelancing.
For many employees, working from home has meant greater control over how and when tasks are completed. This freedom has impacted our very perception of work. Research by Adecco suggests that 68% of UK employees think set hour contracts are no longer relevant to the modern world of work, and the same percentage believe that their employer should revisit the length of the working week and the hours staff are expected to work.
These trends align closely with the biggest pull factors of going freelance, with flexibility and control over work being the most popular reasons people make the switch to self-employment. As remote working and hybrid models become more accepted and respected within our society, it is logical to suggest that we will see greater numbers of people choosing to leave the world of set hours and the five-day working week for the freedom of freelancing.
Freelance experts can choose the projects that best suit them.
The adoption of new technologies both before and after the advent of COVID-19 means that businesses are rapidly pursuing digital transformation to remain viable. As a result, the demand for experts in areas including data science, cloud software and AI well outstrips supply. Firstly this means that there is ample space in the freelance market for professionals to upskill and fill demand, which can only be a positive for our economy.
For experts that already have this highly sought-after tech knowledge, freelancing becomes the perfect opportunity to ensure greater flexibility and choice over the projects they work on. Knowing that the demand is there, tech experts can risk going freelance at the peak of their careers and capitalise on working for different clients in need of talent. Interestingly, the number of highly skilled female freelancers has increased by 69% since 2008.
Businesses stay agile by using freelance experts.
35% of the global workforce is currently freelance, with that figure predicted to rise to 80% by 2030 (Petrov, 2020).
This freelance revolution will help companies to stay agile in quickly shifting economic environments, allowing hirers to onboard temporary resources with the expertise to hit the ground running. Outsourcing will mean delivering projects on quicker timelines, thanks to the avoidance of needing to train employees in-house or attract a long-term hire with a very specific skillset.
As the employment landscape changes, we will see companies move away from traditional recruitment firms and instead work with freelancing platforms and hiring consultants like Prolancer to find the right talent. Founded by freelancers and hirers frustrated with existing recruitment programmes and low-quality freelancing marketplaces, Prolancer’s relationship managers use an intelligent blend of algorithm and human search to match resources to fairly-paid projects.
We understand that freelancing is here to stay, and with it the need to easily find pre-vetted experts for individual, academic and team projects will only grow.
What do you think about the changing world of work? How can you or your business capitalise on these shifts? Join Prolancer and follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date with the latest information on the freelance revolution.