Flexibility attracting people to freelancing

Friday 29 January 2016

A new study has shown that more flexibility and a better quality of life are just some of the things that are attracting more and more people to freelancing.

There has been an upward trend of people choosing to be self-employed since the late 90s, and it shows no sign of stopping. 

According to the study, flexibility to choose their own work hours (37 per cent) and being able to make more money (39 per cent) are the main reasons that people chose to freelance. 

Nearly a third of those surveyed (32 per cent) favour freelancing because it allows them to achieve a better work-life balance. The report suggested that nearly a quarter of all employees are now freelancing to some degree, showing that it is becoming a far more common option for people.

The data, which focused on office workers in the US, reflects a wider international trend, as it is estimated that one in seven of all workers are now self-employed in the UK, and this is expected to grow over the coming years.

Conducted by Staples, it found that 12 per cent of employees now rely completely on freelancing for their income. However, a much larger percentage of people are using it as a way to bolster their wage, alongside their regular job.

However, this doesn't just put employees in a better position, as freelancing can have a positive impact on businesses as well. This method of working enables companies of all sizes to access a pool of highly skilled people who can help them undertake specialist projects.

“For businesses, augmenting staff with temporary, contract workers is not new,” said Neil Ringel, executive vice president at Staples Advantage. “While the organised online marketplace makes it easier to tap into a pool of skilled workers, businesses need to pay attention to the needs and expectations of freelancers and independent contractors as they can be quite different.”

Deciding to go freelance full time can be a big decision, as can choosing whether to be a sole trader or registering as limited company. This choice can have a significant impact on your business model and the overall success of your brand. Getting professional advice about which option is best for you and your business can help make this decision much easier.

By Victoria McDonnell

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