The new year is set to be an excellent year for freelance talent according to a nationwide survey by online jobs marketplace PeoplePerHour. The survey has found increased demand, more opportunities on offer and the potential to earn more money.
The marketplace says 2020 was already abundant with opportunities and nearly half of business owners said they had increased their use of freelancers. However, the trend is set to continue with 60 per cent responding that they plan to use freelancers more in 2021.
At 67 per cent, the most popular reason for using freelancers was to introduce skills the business didn’t have in-house. 42 per cent took advantage of flexible talent to speed up projects. Only a third (35 per cent) said the reason they had used freelancers was to save money. Interestingly, and perhaps as a response to COVID, 28 per cent said they’d turned to freelancers to help move their business online.
The survey involving 500 business owners and 1000 freelancers found that 65 per cent of freelancers said they expect their earnings to increase in 2021 and 40 per cent felt the climate was right to increase their rates. The PeoplePerHour website experienced a big increase in interest this year with freelancer registrations up 111 per cent year-on-year.
However, despite the Coronavirus pandemic pushing one in six people out of work and into freelancing it was by no means the primary reason for choosing to make the switch in 2020. The vast majority (48 per cent) started freelancing to become their own boss, while 43 per cent said they wanted to gain more flexibility in their work-life.
“2021 really could be the year of the freelancer,” said Xenios Thrasyvoulou, founder of PeoplePerHour. “Businesses are increasingly experiencing the benefits of using a more flexible workforce and people are taking the opportunity to take control of their work-life. Our research and recent performance clearly indicates there is every reason to believe that the freelance community will continue to grow over the next few years.
“However, to be successful, it’s critical that people looking to make a success of a freelance career understand their skills and strengths and find the right company fit if they want to succeed in an increasingly competitive market,” Thrasyvoulou added. “Freelancers offer true value, speed, and flexibility to organisations they assist, and next year this will be recognised even further.”