Why Are There More Freelancers Today?


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The number of freelancers in the UK is rising.

In fact, there are now more than 2 million freelancers in the UK (with freelance work being their primary occupation). Not to mention, a report from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) found that between 2008 and 2017, UK freelancing increased by 46%.

So why are more people turning to freelance work? Let’s take a look.


1. Work-Life Balance

Depending on the type of freelance occupation you have, many cite enjoying a better work-life balance as their main reason for going freelance (70% to be exact). In the same study, 55% also said they wanted the power to choose where they work. 


2. Transferable Skills

If you have a set of desirable skills, they can readily be transferred to other sectors. This may be prompted by unforeseen circumstances and none more so than the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

An excellent example of this is how freelance drivers have adapted during the world health crisis. Where perhaps a driver may have previously run their own business as a mobile DJ or bouncy castle enterprise, they’ve now morphed into delivery drivers instead.

This change isn’t surprising when you consider the government added delivery drivers to their list of ‘key workers‘ – alongside doctors, nurses and education workers. 


 3. There’s Less Financial Risk for Businesses

As the UK prepares to leave the EU at the end of 2020, no one fully knows the impact this will have on the UK job market.

As a result, more and more employers are using freelancers not only for short projects but also for longer-term work. Namely, because freelancers don’t receive the same benefits as fully employed members of staff, making them a more manageable investment for employers. 


4. Freelancers Are Productive 

A report from the University of Derby and Trinity Business School found that when SMEs used freelancers and those freelancers made up 11+% of the company, productivity levels increased. 

There are other positive reasons why companies use freelancers, according to research by OnePoll and Kalido.

Their findings show that firms use freelancers to bring in expertise that doesn’t exist in-house (37%). Not only that, but freelancers are also utilized to manage periods of peak activity (43%), meet a series of fast looming deadlines (32%) and to inject fresh thinking (16%). 


5. More Choice

There are multiple career choices for freelance workers in the UK. According to one report by price comparison site MoneySupermarket, the most popular sectors are:

  • Business support (22%)
  • Sales and marketing (22%)
  • Design (20%)
  • Writing and translation (17%)
  • Website development (9%)
  • Video, audio and photo (9%)
  • Software development (6%)
  • Social Media (4%)

That said, there are tons of other niches freelancers could dabble in, including dog walking, couriering, hairdressing, tutoring and so on. 


Final Thoughts

Suppose you’re considering freelance work as either a full-time career or a potentially profitable sideline. In that case, it doesn’t have to be a daunting prospect. There’s plenty of advice out there on how to launch your freelance venture. Good luck!


To learn more, get in touch with us today.

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This blog was produced in collaboration with Vehicle Weighing specialists: Weightru.

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