The Millennium of Freelancers
Technology has been the biggest disruptor since the late 90s. Not only did it change our way to interact with people, but it also changed the way we do every basic thing in our life — listening music, shopping, reading a book, etc. It also changed the way we work. You can now work from your home or work for a client located on the other side of the planet easily.
Technology has also facilitated the development of freelancing. Freelancers bring a lot of benefits to companies. One of the biggest advantages is that companies can lower fixed costs. Part of the labor costs (which are fixed costs) can now be accounted as variable costs, thanks to freelancers. It is not surprising then that, according to Forbes, by 2020, 50% of the full-time workforce will be freelancers.
Besides these strong numbers, it is legitimate to ask ourselves if this is a fade or if the 21st century will be the year of freelancers? I do think it will be, and here are 3 reasons to believe freelancers will become more and more popular.
1. Financial Flexibility
Even though the economy is going back up, companies know that the globalization of the economy has brought a lot of instability. For the past 15 years, more than 10 economic crisis happened (small or big). One of the most important elements for companies is to be financially flexible — which lower the risk of going bankrupt. Freelancers enable companies to outsource part of their workforce. Hence companies can reduce the amount of services needed in slow periods and increase it during rush periods; which ultimately allows them to reduce they charges whenever they need to.
This is probably the most important point. Without technology, the boom of freelancers could not have happened. Indeed, technology has allowed freelancers to easily promote their services and companies to hire them in one click.
Platforms such as Fiverr, Freelancer or Upwork have allowed individuals to promote their services and find freelancer jobs. Through these platforms, freelancers can advertise their services to millions of people and companies at no to low costs. Technology has also allowed people to work from home (remotely). Individuals do no need to work for one and only one company anymore. They can work from home and choose the project they want to work on.
3. Skills Shortage
According to a recent survey published in Inc. Magazine (December 2015) 36% of the entrepreneurs in the US consider that the workforce skill level hampers the economy.
Freelancers are one solution to the skills shortage. Indeed, with freelancers, companies can potentially hire anyone to work on their project, regardless of their location. This small change is actually a game changer. It increases the number talents available for companies.
Freelancers are definitely changing the workforce landscape. They are creating new opportunities for business owners — lowering costs, creating flexibility, etc. Technology is the main factor for the development of freelancers. It has made it easier for individuals to promote their services, and work remotely. With the skills shortage that owners face, Freelancer might be one solution to resolve this lack of skills in companies.