The dramatic increase in freelancers since the 90’s has been described as an explosion, and one that shows no signs of stopping. Various stats predict freelancers will dominate 50% of the total workforce by 2020. No longer looked down upon, this change in attitude now sees freelancers as an integral part of Europe’s professional landscape.
Freelance numbers have increased by 45% from just under 6.2 million to 8.9 million in 2013, making them the fastest growing group in the EU labour market**
Working project to project with a future of relative uncertainty, it takes nerves of steel and a seriously high skill set to succeed in the freelancing world. There are huge benefits to freelancing, although not without its challenges – isolation, unpredictable workload, no guaranteed income, no state benefits. It takes a particular kind of person to be a freelancer, and they can most often be found within creative, digital and tech sectors.
Millennials in particular are embracing freelancing, which is contributing to the rise in numbers. Freelancing suits their desire for freedom and flexibility, and an outlook focused on living, not just working.
29% of all graduates say freelancing is part of their career strategy for the next five years, a fact that suggests the freelance economy will continue to gather pace in the UK**
The world is your office, your hours are your own
Technology revolutionised the freelancer. Not only is it easier to find and secure work, freelancers are no longer limited by geography. They can work for anyone anywhere at any time. This means taking on work where their skills are valued and adequately rewarded, if that’s on the other side of the world, so be it. This freedom to live and work from anywhere undoubtedly contributes to the reported satisfaction among freelancers. Rather than being bound to a particular job because of location, freelancers can choose the position they find most suitable and fulfilling. Freelancers don’t need an office, and their clients don’t care if they work 9-5 or 5-9, as long as quality work is delivered on time.
Work in your pants whilst eating cold beans from a tin. No one cares!
A freelancer’s productivity and value is measured on output rather than input. In other words it’s not the hours spent on a project a freelancer will be judged on, but rather the quality of work produced. Its worth noting that freelancers tend to put in more hours than their traditionally employed counterparts. The downside to having no office or set hours – freelancers can fall into the trap of always working.
One Freelancer, Many Hats
Freelancers find themselves having to manage many aspects of their business over and above the particular service they provide. Metaphorical gymnasts, they have to be flexible and adaptable by turning their hand to marketing and self-promotion, customer service, managing finances and keeping track of expenses, on top of their client work. Freelancers must be highly organised and above all take it seriously.
It’s a job, not a hobby.
Meaning and Balance
Expectations have changed. A generation ago the term “work life balance” didn’t exist. We’ve wised up to the concept that it’s not necessary to slog for 8 hours a day with a hellish commute either end. Freelancing offers the freedom to work to your own schedule from wherever you are able, the result means no longer having to miss your child’s school play, or feel guilty for attending a doctor’s appointment. The biggest change is one of ethos, with freelancers demanding their work must be meaningful, rather than just clocking up hours, and giving as much value to life as they do work.
The Bottom Line
78 percent of freelancers say that within a year they earned more than they did in a traditional job. Most report that it’s more than they were making 12 months ago**
As their worth is becoming more recognised and respected, skilled freelancers are able to charge more for their services. The myth that a living cannot be earned from freelancing is long gone as the set-up is a win-win for both client and freelancer. The client gets a highly skilled professional without having to pay extras like employment taxes, office costs, they or make state contributions, and freelancers get paid what they’re worth.
Payments to freelancers have increased 37% year on year**
Liveforce hearts freelancers
Freelancing was seriously tough before the rise in technology we have today. While job seekers in previous generations were limited to newspaper ads and physically dropping off resumes, the internet has made the process of identifying and applying for work far easier.
This was part of the drive behind the Liveforce app. Simplifying the process for freelancers and crew to see what jobs are available and apply for them in real time. This makes the process easier for Event Managers too, as they can easily see what crew they have, what gaps need filling. With Liveforce this can all be done managed and resolved in a matter of moments.
Schedule a demo, let us know what you think.
**All quoted stats taken from this source