Future of work trends show that the workforce favors flexibility over the traditional 9 to 5. While flexibility includes working remotely it also means working independently, untethered to a specific corporation or manager. Workers who crave this independence support the rise of the gig economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2005 to 2015, the number of freelancers increased 19% and that number continues to increase. The gig economy is made up of more than just Uber drivers, AirBnb hosts, and TaskRabbits. It’s freelance marketers, financial advisors, accountants, analysts, HR consultants, and more. As the evolution of app-based technology increases the volume of gig economy jobs, all types of workers are more empowered to choose when and how to work to better support their working preferences.
Given the gig economy’s rise in popularity and the growing evidence that it is here to stay, here’s a list of five reasons why you should join this frontier of the future of work.
Being a freelancer comes with freedom. You have the independence to decide which projects and assignments to tackle without pressure from upper management. Michael Hopkins, cofounder of the Solo Project and emcee at our recent Flex Summit shared a story of a freelancer or “soloist,” who said that working autonomously helped her to realize that, “You have a lot more control over your life than you think you do.” Joining the gig economy also empowers you to have the physical freedom to live anywhere without feeling the pressure to be near your organization's headquarters or office.
The World Health Organization now recognizes burnout as an official medical condition diagnosed by the professional health community. While many find it difficult to know when to turn off work, those in the gig economy can create their own schedules to better balance their work and personal lives. Freelancers restructure their lives to find windows to focus on their work but also to take the necessary mental breaks and time for oneselves in order to produce better work and increase productivity.
Being in an office does not necessarily translate to a productive work day. Trips to the watercooler or accidentally falling into a rabbit hole of Twitter threads can lead to entire hours wasted and delayed work product. According to our latest data on workplace productivity, the modern workforce does not account for individual working preferences, ultimately hindering productivity. As a freelancer, you know yourself best and what times of day work well for to do your best work. You can structure your day to meet your working preferences to ensure you’re meeting your deadlines and producing quality work.
Those contributing to the gig economy are trendsetters when it comes to the future of work. They’ve discovered the workplace is changing and evolving to reflect the needs of the workforce. Freelancing will open doors to discovering new and entrepreneurial ways to approach your work while also introducing you to the latest tech trends and tools to help you collaborate and tackle your projects faster and more efficiently.
Being a freelancer means that you can take on the projects that bring you the most satisfaction to help reach your creative or business goals. Working on different types of projects means that you are less likely to fall victim to doing the same type of work everyday. It also gives you the chance to learn, reflect, and discover what kind of work inspires you and type of worker you want to be.