May 14, 2019
Freelancing has boomed in the last decade, with more and more 9-5 office workers deciding to go freelance to gain the increased flexibility and opportunities that it offers. We explore the key reasons for this growth and how it can benefit a business.
Online resources, such as websites promoting project-based requirements have made it much easier for freelancers to operate because work is now easier to find. Freelancers can significantly cut the need for random cold-calling and prospecting by focusing on pitching for live projects that have been posted on freelance websites.
More businesses are using these types of sites as they seek the right solution for their needs. While many companies are still reliant on recruitment agents to source full-time personnel, they are increasingly using a freelance-based website to post a project in order to fulfil a short-term requirement.
With businesses becoming increasingly confident of using freelancers across a range of job roles, and more appreciative of the benefits of flexible working, the demand for freelancers will continue to grow.
Flexibility is a key reason why more and more professionals are choosing freelancing over a traditional in-house jobs.
Now that gender roles are more equal (though there is still a very long way to go!), and people have more non-work commitments, there is an increased demand for a better work/life balance. Therefore, many highly talented and hard-working specialists find that a traditional 9-5 job is too restrictive to their lifestyle.
Freelancing allows more flexibility to work at their personal optimum times, whether this is during a normal 9-5 day, or in the evening and weekends.
The proliferation of freelancers can be of great advantage to businesses looking for cost-effective ways to manage a project. Businesses have less costs attributed to hiring freelancers as there is a reduced need for training, IT support, office space and financial packages.
Feasibility of being a freelancer
There are an increased number of cost-effective options for professionals to set up as a freelancer. Many can quickly and easily set themselves up with a laptop, some low-cost software, a website or facebook page, and a place with good WiFi.
While many set up at home, there are plenty of locations where freelancers can set themselves up in a work environment without the long-term commitment of renting an office. For example, The Brew's free workspace in the Coffice allows freelancers to work outside the traditional office, with access to superfast Wi-Fi, plug sockets at every seat and a warm and relaxing atmosphere. There are then opportunities to organically grow their business by collaborating with others in a coworking office environment.
Project-based work not only offers variety for the freelancer, but it provides business owners with the option to hire people that are experts in the particular field of the project. This means businesses can outsource their work rather than hiring a large in-house team to perform tasks, reducing the need for large office spaces and increasing budget control.
Freelancing used to be a lonely vocation, but there is now a plethora of networking platforms and events created to connect freelancers. With additional options of social media forums and affordable shared office spaces there are many opportunities for a sole trader to engage with like-minded people.
Thanks to a combination of technology advances and the gradual shift away from 9-5 working, it has become increasingly easy for professionals to, not only move into freelancing, but to make a long-term success of it.
Naturally some sectors will become too saturated with freelancers and some will inevitably struggle to source and maintain clients, but for the savvy and hard-working, freelancing will increasingly meet the needs of the individual and of the businesses needing quality support without the commitment of hiring staff on a permanent basis.