Freelancing

Freelance Workforce Could Increase By 10 Million—What That Means For Employers – Forbes

Summary

Freelance or Fulltime written with color chalk concept on the blackboard

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The 57 million-member freelance workforce in the U.S. could soon get even larger. A new survey by freelance platform Upwork found that 20% of current employees—10 million people—are considering doing freelance work.

The 17% increase in the number of those who prefer being independent contractors would have important implications for business leaders.

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Freelance or Fulltime written with color chalk concept on the blackboard

getty

The 57 million-member freelance workforce in the U.S. could soon get even larger. A new survey by freelance platform Upwork found that 20% of current employees—10 million people—are considering doing freelance work.

The 17% increase in the number of those who prefer being independent contractors would have important implications for business leaders.

Bad And Good News

A larger freelance workforce would mean an increased risk for business leaders of losing talented full-time workers. The good news: corporate executives could have access to an expanded and deeper pool of skilled, talented and highly motivated independent workers, with none of the overhead associated with full-time employees.

“Freelancers are an important talent source for businesses and a growing part of the labor force, according to Adam Ozimek, Upwork’s chief economist. “As more people look for greater flexibility and remote work opportunities, businesses that don’t utilize freelancer talent will miss out on a share of professionals.”

Lessons From Covid Pandemic

Robert Nickell, founder and president of Rocket Station, said, “The pandemic taught the business world two lessons. The first…is that a remote workforce is not only viable but often preferable. The second… is that the average person wants flexibility and freedom in their life.

“As a result, a lot of people have started working in a freelance capacity, either on the side or to replace their traditional job. The genie is out of the bottle and there is no going back at this point, so employers need to be prepared,” he said.

Less Reliance On Overtime

“This means employers may not be able to rely on employees for overtime because of other commitments. It also means they need to develop a pool of freelance contractors to handle overflow work or replace employees who have chosen to go out on their own. Ideally, this should be done ahead of your needs so you can avoid interruptions to your business. Employers who are proactive will thrive as this issue grows, while those who are reactive will struggle,” Nickell said.

Greater Integration With Employees

According to Nickell, “The key is to have a clearly documented workflow process that enables outside freelancers to integrate smoothly. You have to remember that they aren’t familiar with how you do things, and they don’t have someone they can turn to and ask. Putting a process in place helps them execute tasks exactly the way you want them done within your timelines.”

The Coming Brain Drain

Jacob Villa, co-founder and marketing director of School Authority, said “Many of the employees who will turn to …….

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/edwardsegal/2021/08/03/freelance-workforce-could-increase-by-10-million-what-that-means-for-employers/