FlexJobs has surveyed 1,000 (US) freelancers and found, yet again, that these are not desperate and abused individuals forced into abusive contracts by uncaring, capitalist overlords.
In fact, as TechRepublic summarises:
the average full-time freelance worker is a female Gen Xer working in the writing, marketing, editing, or creative career fields. This person works primarily for small companies and individuals, and juggles two to three jobs at a time, the report found. The average worker freelances by choice, and has been doing so for at least three years, and envisions continuing this type of career for the long-term, though they have worked at traditional companies in the past.
Among the more interesting findings:
- 92% of freelancers said the freelance lifestyle is either extremely (55%) or somewhat (37%) important to them
- 70% said that work-life balance was a top factor in deciding to freelance, followed by “Desire to chose when I work” (62%) and freedom (56%)
- 84% said the biggest benefit was a flexible schedule
- 65% held either bachelor’s or graduate degrees
- The most popular ways of finding new clients (the biggest challenge cited by 69%) were through networking (63%) and job sites (47%)
As regards quality of life:
- 63% said freelancing had a “positive impact.”
- 60% said freelancing has helped them become healthier
- 66% said they are less stressed as a freelancer.
Interestingly though, “asked if freelancing is their primary source of income, 43% said yes, while 58% said no”. That chimes with a recent report from JP Morgan Chase (The Online Platform Economy in 2018) that found most participants in the online platform economy are active for just a few months in the year. My own view of the Chase report though, is that both the nature of the research and of the use of platforms skews the finding towards part-time rather than full-time freelancers.
Interesting reading though.
The TechRepublic article is here.
FlexJob’s press release is here.
And, the main FlexJob’s report is here.