The term “freelancing” is comparatively young, even if it didn’t appear yesterday, nor even a year or two ago. Its roots go deeper, although no one will tell you the exact year when specialists in various fields of activity started to call themselves freelancers. However, it is safe to say that the first remote workers appeared already in the 90s.
The reasons why people go freelancing in different countries are the same: flexible schedules, the ability to choose projects, and places of work. The disadvantages are also similar: the constant search for clients, instability of earnings, lack of bonuses from employers, for example, health insurance, and banal non-payments.
According to SIA research, the freelance market in Europe has been growing by 3.4% annually over the last ten years. Statista estimates that by 2028, the number of freelancers in the US will increase from 57 to 90 million, which is almost half of the US workforce. Just during 2019, freelancers brought $1 trillion to the US economy.
Companies like Google already have more remote employees than full-time contract staff. The share of freelancers is projected to reach 45%.
Why Did Freelance Appear?
There are several factors that made freelance an attractive type of employment for an increasing number of talented professionals around the world. Here are some of them:
- The emergence of new technologies and the Internet opened remote collaboration possibilities.
- Unstable economic conditions that have led many talented professionals to self-manage their skills.
- The tendency to hire temporary and outsourcing workers to reduce employer costs.
- Increased frustration in the corporate environment and employee dissatisfaction.
- A growing interest in flexible schedules and the ability to adjust work-life balance.
All these things have led to a dramatic change in attitude towards freelancing worldwide. The old stereotype, which portrays freelance employees as people lacking energy, ambition, or talent, has given way to a modern image of freelancers as purposeful entrepreneurs, endowed with talent, professionalism, and efficient performance.
What Are the Main Benefits of Freelance?
Remote work opens a lot of new possibilities for both employers and freelancers:
- You can run your freelance business from anywhere in the world, as well as receive updates on major events. This approach allows you to take your business with you. It is complete freedom concerning the workplace, environment, and colleagues
- Freelancing format reduced the cost of organizing the workplace. It is very important at the moment when the global crisis is covering all businesses. The high cost of rental often makes many projects unprofitable.
- Remote work allows you a certain degree of independence. You can constantly develop and seek new horizons, based solely on your skills, ambitions, and desires.
- For the customer, it is the speed of work performance, avoidance of additional taxation, social and insurance payments, quality guarantee, confirmed by the results of work that can be checked at any time.
Many of these benefits come with months, if not years of hard work. But in any work, to achieve the goal, you must be very industrious. So it is obvious that freelance deserves these efforts.
Communication between Customer and Freelancer
About 20 years ago physical distance was a serious obstacle for many types of collaboration seriously limiting their possibilities or making them completely impossible. The Internet made a revolution in this regard. Interaction in real time gave impetus to commercial projects which were not feasible earlier. The development of various communication tools boosted freelance development. Now an abundance of these instruments provides high-quality communication between customers and freelancers. Video connection here is of utmost importance. A special niche belongs to explainer videos. The video format is the best approach for the customer to get a highlight on freelancer skills and for the freelancer to get an idea of the company policy.
What Freelance Professions Are in Greatest Demand?
Programmers are in the greatest demand on all freelance platforms so far. The prevailing number of orders are related to mobile application development, online store maintenance, web page layout, site maintenance. The designers are not far behind the software developers. Website designers and graphic design professionals are very popular today. Then come the trends in the creation of logos, banners, and illustrations. Copywriters occupy the next position in the ranking of professional leaders. Statistics show that term paper writing services, advertising texts, as well as re-write are required twice less than designers, and four times less than programmers. SEO experts and SMM managers ranked fourth and fifth. Most often, clients order search engine promotion, lead generation, social media promotion, targeted advertising. The sixth position belongs to translators.
The Future of Freelancing
According to EY.com, 40% of companies plan to increase the number of temporary employees over the next five years. Even big companies that are employing 100,000 and more would like to switch 30% of their work staff to remote format during the same period.
Tony Steadman, EY’s chief human resources consultant in America, notes: “We are simultaneously looking at cost optimization initiatives and employers’ need for better decision-making through the involvement of employees who seek greater flexibility. Such goals determine the growing trend of hiring temporary staff. “
According to SmallBizTrends.com, some researchers forecast that half of the US working population will move into a free economy over the next five years, and half of the British workers will be self-employed during this period.
A very interesting opinion was expressed by FastCompany about the future of freelancing. It says that platforms for finding employees and co-working are the two areas of the most actively developing freelance economy. Services that follow a different model have to bridge the gap that separates them from consultants and companies that work more flexibly than ever before. It should be remembered that the new economy of freelancing is not based on a temporary work approach. Independent workers are becoming more predictable, experienced, and professional. They want, and in most cases get, more flexibility than traditional workers.
How will freelancing change in ten years? It is very difficult to predict. However, it is beyond doubt, the coming era is the era of freelancing. Yes, it is impossible to do a lot of things remotely, but most office operations can be perfectly managed by freelancers. The development of communications has made possible what the employers of the past did not even dream of: save them from expensive office maintenance costs without losing the performance efficiency. The availability of technologies that gave a boost to freelancing and the growing need for businesses to reduce costs will continue to give impetus to the freelance revolution. And experienced and talented employees will be able to enjoy the perfect work-life balance. We can safely say that very soon the development of freelance will lead to the emergence of standards and norms of such employment, as well as the emergence of social buns from exchanges and employers.
Leslie Anglesey is a freelance writer, journalist, and author with a passion for telling stories about the economical and social situation in the world.