10 surprising facts about freelancers

Freelancer working from home

The 2017 Freelancing in America study has been released, and although we do things a little differently in Britain, the research of 6,000 workers is a strong precipitator of labour market conditions in western society. Here’s some surprising facts that are fresh from the poll…

1. Freelancers could soon become the workforce majority
According to figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), freelancers in Britain have increased from 3.23 million in 2000 to 4.86 million in 2016.

The Freelancing in America study reflects a similar trend across the pond, and the research forecasts that by 2027, freelancers will be make up the majority of the labour market at the current rates of growth.

2. Job security is being redefined
Of those polled, a staggering 63% of freelancers think having a diversified client portfolio is more stable than relying on an income from just one employer.

3. Top drivers for freelancing are freedom, flexibility and extra cash
The research shows that the top motivators to start freelancing are:
– Being your own boss and not have to answer to a line manager.
– Choosing the hours you want to work.
– Deciding which projects you want to take on.
– Making a choice over where you work.
– Managing your own “overtime” to earn extra money.

4. Income predictability is the top concern for freelancers
Not being paid for holidays and having to source your own clients and work projects are off-putting elements of the freelancing role, however income predictability (or lack thereof) is the number one barrier to going it alone, and the study finds this challenge is unique to freelancers.

More than half (55%) of freelancers say they’re concerned about their livelihood compared with fewer than three in 10 (29%) of employed workers.

5. They prefer the term ‘freelance economy’
When faced with a choice over which term they prefer to describe their market, 49% of people prefer the term “freelancing economy’ compared with just one in 10 who prefer “gig economy”.

“On-demand economy” is the second preferred choice for a quarter (25%) of those polled, followed by “sharing economy” (13%).

Freelancer working on a beach

6. Millennials are more open to freelancing
Almost half (47%) of millennial workers are open to freelance opportunities, according to the study. This is more than any other generation.

7. It’s about choice, not necessity
In 2017, 63% of freelancers say they choose to be a freelancer rather than do it out of necessity. And 50% say they wouldn’t take a conventional nine-to-five, no matter how much cash they’re offered.

8. They’re more realistic about the impact of automation
When asked how likely their role will be replaced by robots, two thirds (66%) of freelancers believe it’s very likely, compared with just one in three (34%) people in full-time employment.

9. Their skills are more up-to-date
The study shows that more than half (55%) of freelancers have updated their skills in the last six months compared with only one in three non-freelancers.

10. They’re finding more work online
More than seven in 10 (71%) freelancers say the amount of work projects they’ve obtained online has increased in 2017. Of those who are finding freelance opportunities online, 77% say they start the work within a week.


Posted by The Secret Businessman