Attitudes to freelancers have changed dramatically as a result of the pandemic, as businesses become more open to working with them to fill their skills gaps.
In fact, while more than half of freelancers still feel they could earn more if they were employed full time, 45 per cent of office workers admit they would consider, or have considered, going it alone.
What’s more, many full-time employees now feel less confident of progressing at work than their freelance colleagues in the wake of everything from Furlough to job losses.
These were the suggestions that arose from a study from the freelance platform, Fiverr, in which researchers spoke to 1,020 UK office workers and 1,002 freelancers before reaching the surprise conclusion that office workers are less satisfied with their pay than freelancers with only a third believing they will be able to retire early.
Freelancers also significantly backed their chances of progression in their current roles than office workers as the self-employed continue to benefit from learning new skills. Seven in ten also rated their work-life balance as good, marginally higher than office workers.
They also appeared happier and healthier than office workers and described their fitness and wellbeing as good as well as having a much higher level of feeling of being “completely autonomous” at work.
Peggy de Lange, Vice President of International Expansion at Fiverr said: “Our research is proof that freelancing continues to grow as an attractive model for work. The sentiment of office workers towards pay and progression is a good indicator of the frustration many employed office workers feel.
it is imperative that every step is taken to ensure that all staff are heard, understood and made to feel valued
“Contrastingly, the drastic difference between freelancers and office workers’ job satisfaction suggests that the self-employed are getting the best of both worlds in terms of productivity and work-life balance.
“It is clear that more needs to be done in integrating freelancers into the workforce. As the world switches to a hybrid model and the utilisation of freelancers for businesses continues, it is imperative that every step is taken to ensure that all staff are heard, understood and made to feel valued; regardless of whether they are permanent staff or not.”
Pre-Covid, the freelance sector was five million strong – 15 per cent of the country’s total workforce – after steadily growing up from just over three million in 2000, according to the ONS.
Separate research by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed indicated that more than two in five freelancers have lost over 40 per cent in turnover during the Covid crisis, with a high number now thinking of leaving self-employment.
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