6 Reasons Why Professionals Choose Freelancing Over Traditional Jobs
In the past 10 years, the freelance economy has been growing at a rapid pace, increasing three times faster than the traditional workforce in the US. Studies suggest that self-employment is currently growing at an average rate of 3.5% in many countries around the world. In the UK and US, nearly half of the workers are freelancers. In India, the freelance workforce has 15 million people, making it the second-largest in the world. These statistics indicate that freelancing is growing and it is so much more developed than it was ten years ago. Given this information, we could predict the next ten years will see an upsurge in the number of freelancers worldwide.
With that being said, what are the main factors pushing more and more professionals into freelancing and influencing the growth of the gig economy?
1. TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION TOPPLING TRADITIONAL WORK STRUCTURES
Over 77% of freelancers said technology made it easier to find freelance work. Technological advances created a world where millions of businesses and freelancers can find each other and collaborate online with just a few clicks.
Businesses are extending their workforces by hiring freelancers, consultants, and other non-traditional workers. Instead of hiring full-time staff, companies prefer to supplement its main staff with short-time online talent who lend skills and knowledge and get work done with increased quickness.
In the case of freelancers, more than a decade ago, many of them were working regular 9-5 jobs. But as technology innovation opened new possibilities and the economy slowed, they had to invent jobs of their own instead of waiting for job markets to go back to normal or rely on business cards and handshakes at networking events.
2. APPEALING BENEFITS SUCH AS FREEDOM, FLEXIBILITY, AND VARIETY
Contrary to popular belief, the lack of jobs is not the main reason for pushing more and more professionals into freelancing. The flexible lifestyle and freedom, constant variety, adjustable work schedule, working from anywhere are the most appealing benefits to them.
According to recent surveys, a quarter of freelance workers say that working from the comfort of their own home is their ideal work situation. Another quarter needs its own office in order to separate work and personal lives, and 23% of freelancers prefer being on the road. Also, hubs and coworking spaces are the ideal spots for 20% of freelancers, 4% choose their clients’ office, 2% goes for coffee shops, and 1% have other preferences.
3. OPPORTUNITIES TO FREELY CHOOSE CLIENTS AND PROJECTS
Freelancing provides a unique opportunity to choose your own clients, projects, and work hours. The majority of freelancers would rather diversify their portfolio with different clients than stay with a single contractor for extended periods of time This is probably why the average freelancer has 4.5 clients per month. The freelancing statistics indicate that just 13% of freelancers work on a single project at a time. The same percentage of freelancers (13%) is juggling anywhere between 5 and 9 projects. Just 4% of freelancers are brave enough to get into 10 or more projects at the same time, while the rest work on 2–4.
4. HAPPIER AND MORE PRODUCTIVE LIFESTYLE
Statistics show that freelancers are happier and more productive, and can even earn more than they would in a traditional job. According to a study conducted by Standford Graduate School of Business, working from home can improve performance by 13%. By inducing a sense of comfort and relaxation, working from home leads to improved productivity. Additionally, employers who have implemented a work from home strategy saw a yearly profit increase of $2,000 per worker.
5. HIGHER INCOME THAN EARNINGS FROM TRADITIONAL JOBS
Statistics show that freelancers can even earn more than they would in a traditional job. Freelance work can be an excellent way to make a living, and for nearly a third of all freelancers based in the US, it has become more than a reliable source of income. The gig economy stats show that even though it takes a lot of dedication and effort, you can also be one of the freelancers earning $75K or more per year. However, during their first year at least, not so much. According to a survey from early 2019 that involved more than 1,400 freelancers writers, close to a third of them earned less than $10 per hour during their first freelancing year.
6. RISE IN ONLINE FREELANCING PLATFORMS
A growing number of online platforms offer excellent earning opportunities. Many job sites have enabled freelancers to find meaningful work based on their skills and experiences.
The platform Upwork, one of the most popular freelancing platforms, helps freelancers from around the world find work. Using the platform, they earn over $1 billion every year from 3 million jobs. This makes it the largest marketplace for freelancers. In Australia, Airtasker is the largest job marketplace. In South Korea, Elancer is a pioneer in the industry with more than 20 years of experience and more than 370K+ of registered freelancers.
Gig workers enjoy a flexible lifestyle and the freedom of being their own boss, but many sacrifice their financial security and income predictability. The main setbacks are the uncertainty of payments and work availability, as well as isolation, which some consider a benefit. The freelance statistics show us that freelancing is rapidly becoming the future of the business world. Moreover, freelancing might just be the way to live better and happier lives.
Freelancing in America:2019
UpWork: 2020 Future Workforce Report.pdf