July 11th 2023
The traditional 9-5 work model that’s been a staple for businesses for more years than you can count, is on the way out. This sounds like a strong statement to make, doesn’t it? Well, hear me out.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning back in 2020, many people had to find new ways to pay the bills, especially if their workplace had to be shutdown as the entire world came to a standstill. This gave people the opportunity to outsource their already honed talents to businesses who could accommodate a remote working relationship through freelancing.
So, what makes freelancing so lucrative nowadays?
What is Freelancing?
Firstly, we need to define what exactly freelancing is. Many people understand its core concept, but there are approaches to freelancing that some may overlook.
At its basic level, freelancing is where an individual provides a service without the need for a formal hiring process and is paid in return for the quoted amount before the project began. You may be thinking “wouldn’t builders or plumbers fall into this category?” and you’d be slightly correct – these however fall into the ‘contractor’ category. The main difference between freelancers and contractors is that freelancing generally requires the internet for the work to be delivered.
Freelancers are typically self-employed, meaning that they have the freedom to work when they choose to, which can lead to a much better work life balance. The downside to this, however, is that they need to cover all the costs of any sick days and holiday periods, as well as their own taxes, pensions, and national insurance contributions.
Freelancers, while typically thought to work from home, can also choose to work from their client’s offices if they so choose. This approach allows them to be more directly involved in decision making during the project and gives more time for face-to-face interactions with those involved too.
Why is the Number of Freelancers Rising?
Freelancing is not a new phenomenon, by any stretch of the imagination. People have been choosing to work freelance for decades. If there was one event which catapulted freelancing into the spotlight, however, it was the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time of global struggle, businesses had to wrack their brains to find creative and effective solutions to how they were going to continue in their operation.
Remote working (and therefore freelancing) became the norm for so many people looking to make ends meet. By the time that businesses were opening back up, many of them opted to allow their employees’ remote lifestyle continue, and thus the new age of hybrid work patterns was born.
Hybrid working or flexible working (working some days in the office, some days from home) allowed businesses to cut down on expensive office costs dramatically, whilst also giving their employees more opportunity to be with friends and family during the day. It’s safe to say it was an all-round winner.
For some people though, their freelancing efforts during the pandemic worked out so lucrative that they simply carried on post-pandemic too. This is where we see the dramatic uptick in freelancers in today’s business world.
The Rise of the ‘New Work Life’
When we reference the ‘new work life’, we’re really talking about hybrid work models – which can also apply to freelancers too. Mentioned briefly before, this allows workers to not spend every day in the office, allowing them to work some days out of the comfort of their home.
Not only does hybrid working help companies to save money, but it also proved (particularly during the pandemic) to have no negative effect on overall productivity within teams at work. This bred a revitalised sense of ownership of their work within employees, and trust from the higher ups that the work was indeed being done.
When it comes to freelancers, they now have access to a global market, with businesses continuing to put their trust in outsourced professionals. We mentioned that freelancers typically require the internet to deliver their work, and with the advancements in technology in recent decades, the digital toolbelt of the freelancer grows stronger and stronger with every passing year.
It’s human nature to choose the path of least resistance, and that makes the rise of freelancing no mere accident. Choosing when and how you work has given freelancers a renewed sense of pride and freedom in their lives.
What are the Benefits of Freelancing?
We’ve mentioned that there are benefits to freelancing, but what exactly are they? Let’s take a closer look at why this way of working is in its prime right now.
High Income Potential
Freelancing offers the potential to earn a lot of money. If choosing to work on bigger projects, freelancers can easily take on one or two at a time each month, while smaller projects can reach up to one or even two per week depending on the dedication of the individual. If worked out on a day-rate basis, a freelancer could be earning much more than a typical 9-5 office-based job.
Adapting to Evolving Workforce Needs
Freelancers can offer more adaptability to the needs of a business. While freelancing requires individuals to be experts at what they do to be able to deliver, they tend to wear many hats. Getting one on board can actually save money for businesses who would need two or three people internally to complete the same project.
Freelancers Are Their Own Brand
Freelancing requires as much pitching as a job interview. They convince businesses that their services are relevant and useful to them. They are effectively promoting themselves as a brand, meaning that they will always be dedicated and productive.
Freelancing Enhances Professional Development
Employees within a business will sometimes look to climb the corporate ladder into higher positions. Sometimes they might not looking for upskilling and reskilling opportunities within their company, though. Freelancers, however, are continually learning and developing skills that they can offer their next client.
The Demand is Expected to Keep Growing
Freelancers have hit the big time in recent years, with many businesses opting to outsource all or parts of their projects. This is likely not going to slow down any time soon as businesses catch on to the benefits that freelancers provide, meaning the demand for them will only continue to grow.
Freelancing, for many, is the new normal. And a welcome change of pace, at that. The freedom that it provides is second-to-none in the working world, and with businesses saving money along the way, it’s unlikely that there will be a sudden drop off in the lucrative nature of freelancing.
If you’re a company that’s utilising freelancers right now, and are considering sizing down to a smaller office, head over and take a look at our range of serviced offices and managed office spaces today, to see what we have available in your area.