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Is Today the Era of Freelancers?

This is an article “Is Today the Era of Freelancers?” by Marc Primo


Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic forced many professionals from offices into ‘work from home’ setups, the freelance industry is certainly poised to surpass its target figure of 64.6 million in the U.S. this year. That’s a huge increase from last year’s registered 57 million. So, did the current health crisis push the country’s workforce to pursue freelance jobs instead of the usual nine-to-five? Somehow, the figures tell us a different story.


According to www.financesonline.com, the number of freelancers in the country has always been on the rise, even way before the pandemic and is set to cross the 90 million mark before the current decade ends. However, it did give the industry a huge boost as many professionals have learned about the advantages of telecommuting and remote work. Somehow, giving up a desk job seems more lucrative for the majority who have tried regardless of how challenging it is to set up a service-oriented startup. But as they say, if the money is better and you can enjoy more flexibility, turning into a freelancer is surely the way to go, especially these days.


Upwork says it all


Let’s give the industry a more in-depth look through the eyes of one of the pioneering platforms for freelancers, Upwork. According to one survey conducted by the freelance services website, 75% of its members report earnings that equal or surpass what they get from doing their former office jobs.


Aside from the good pay, nearly 60% of today’s freelancers also said they enjoy long-term projects with multiple clients, assuring that there is no shortage of demand for services in the industry and that there’s even room for more. The majority of those who offer their services online remain hopeful for more projects and clients in the coming years, with 71% saying freelancing can indeed be a well-paying full-time career—and it’s hard not to agree.


The Gig Economy


As more individuals are becoming independent via freelancing nowadays, what does this mean for traditional businesses?


Well, it turns out that companies have also recognized the importance of freelancers in the U.S. workforce with more industries hiring from outside the organization and into the gig economy job pool.


Among the top industries that hire remote workers are those in the computer, IT, administrative, accounting, and finance sectors. Skilled services like computing, programming, writing, design, and marketing make up 45% of freelancers, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for other profit-driven niches in the industry. E-commerce, ride-sharing, and personal assistance are also making a killing in freelance-for-hire platforms, according to www.financesonline.com


Not all work and play


While taking on freelance jobs can be fulfilling for many professionals, maintaining a steady balance between work and play can be a challenge as well. This is because employment in the world of freelance varies according to your clients and time zone.


Data intelligence and customer research website Morning Consult recently found out that almost 60% of freelancers enjoy a less stressful 30-hour work week while 7% go up to over 50 hours a week on multiple projects.


Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, there are an estimated 1.1 billion freelancers who are active and the numbers continue to increase. Not only that, but more freelance organizations are currently setting up national and global policies that would ensure that every freelancer all around the world will be properly compensated for their services and offered due benefits.


With more bullish prospects expected in the gig economy, it’s probably safe to say that the new normal may have inadvertently brought a bigger revolution in the global workforce that will further reshape how business and employment apply to everyone in the near future.