The future of labour is changing fastly. Freelancers are taking over the world. Based on a post of futurist Jacob Morgan, I described 9 reasons Why.
Jacob Morgan is an Author, speaker, futurist and writer. He is a contributor of Forbes.com and posted the article “8 reasons why freelancers take over the world” which is also connected to his YouTube channel: #TheFuturein5.
Based on Episode 21: Why Freelancers Are Taking Over The World and Jacob’s post in Forbes, I wrote this post and the 9 reasons Why Freelancers Are Taking Over The World. In the post I tried to add my own experiences in the European market.
The 9 reasons why freelancers take over the world are:
- Later retirement
- Decreasing time of working for same company
- Marketplaces and platforms
- Job instability
- Technology and mobility
- Decoupling healthcare from employment
- Freelancer ecosystem
- Better live-work balance (extra reason, not from Jacob
The world is becoming a global city. Culture, currency, language matters less and less. Nowadays there is already a global market for freelancers that do remote work. The challenge I see is the quality vs the price. As the market is very transparent the hourly rates for pure remote work are extremely low. As a result remote freelancers need to make all kind of tricks to get their work reasonably paid.
2 Later retirement
People are getting older so they need to work longer. On the other side there is the life-time career in the same company is not existing anymore. But when you become a freelancers when you leave your employer as an employee, it means you are still available and stay more or less within the workforce of the company’s you worked with. In a way becoming a freelancers solves the problem of later retirement. In practice I see it around me. People quit their job and become freelancer but also stay working for the same company. It is a win-win situation. The company only pays when the services is needed. The freelancer earns more per hour as he only get paid for real work.
3 Decreasing time of working for same company
Older people are used to work longer for the same company, but the younger people are, the shorter they work in average for the same company. According to Jacob, Millennials (or generation Y) stay in average 3,5 half years with the same company. The life time jobs are not existing anymore. On one side people don’t want this but on the other side, companies don’t offer it anymore. People are fired by thousands to make the figures for the shareholders look better. It is not criticism but it is the way it goes and actually I think on the long term it makes most people more happy and at least more independent.
4 Marketplaces and platforms that enabling freelance work
Marketplaces and platforms that enabling freelance work are growing in all kind of niches and sizes. It is not only Odesk and Elance that make it easier for freelancers to find clients but you can also think about Uber and Lyft for freelance taxi drivers and Etsy for artists. Jacob also mentioned niche markets like Upcounsel, a freelance place for Laywers
5 Job instability
As mentioned already in point 3 Decreasing time of working for same company, companies don’t care to much about their employees in bad times because figures are more important. I don’t think it was better in the past but now becoming a freelancer is a solution to manage the job instability by yourself.
6 Technology and mobility
Smart phones, broadband, more internet, more web, more people, more information, access everywhere improves communication. It is easier to communicate with potential clients (employers) and with other freelancers. It makes the world smaller.
7 Decoupling healthcare from employment
A very important reason to take a job was to be insured for healthcare. Nowadays healthcare insurance you can do on your own. Insurance companies offer various products for freelancers so their is no need to have a job.
8 Freelancer ecosystem
A very important reason that freelancers will take over the world is the freelancer ecosystem that is growing and growing. All kind of products and services are developed to help freelancers, with for example legal, financing, administrative issues. Networks and communities of freelancers are growing to help each other. The funny thing is that freelancers can do everything together.
Another development is that their are build freelance services around fast growing changes in the market. For example Pillow offers freelance services around AirBnB.
9 Better live-work balance
This point is not from Jacob but something I see around me. People with well paid jobs quit their job to have more freedom and create a better balance between work and living. In the ideal situation they only take freelance work that they see also as their live and not only a way to make a living.
Jacob Morgan (source: forbes.com)
It is just the beginning…
Although freelancers are existing already as long as there are jobs (at least I think so), we are on the beginning of big changes in employment relations. The -easy to outscource- jobs and the -on request- jobs will come first but there is big challenge to make groups of freelancers acting as project groups and maybe as a company. Personally I see this as challenge to make it working but help is needed. If you think you can contribute then contact me.
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