Going Independent is a Growing Trend: Freelancing

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The pandemic has reinforced the changing expectations for today’s workers - Forbes even used the term “freelance accelerator,” shrinking the difference between a freelancer and an employee as both are working remotely. It has pushed more traditional workers to try new and flexible career options.  In the past, freelancers may have been seen as those who couldn’t find work, but they are often now becoming workers who have become sought-after specialists. Being a professional freelancer has garnered some attention as part of the growing trend of workers who are going independent - freelancing and independent consulting.   These are some interesting statistics related to the changing trends in how we work remotely in the U.S.:

  • 32% of freelancers say that their demand has increased due to COVID-19.  
  • Due to the effects of COVID-19, 12% of the US workforce began freelancing during the onset of the pandemic.
  • The US ranks first on the top 10 list of global freelance markets. 
  • 59 Million Americans performed freelance work in 2020.  
  • Among these, freelancers represent 53% of Gen Z (age 18-22), 40% of Millennials (age 23-38), 31% of Gen X (age 39-54) and 29% of Boomers (age 55+). 

Harvard Business Review (HBR) published an article reflecting on this emerging trend - how Boomers are aging out of the workforce, and Millennials and Gen Z are taking over and bringing with them very different priorities about who should do what work—and where, when, and how it should get done.  Almost all Fortune 500 companies are using one or more of the freelancing platforms - such as Catalant, InnoCentive, Kaggle, Toptal, and Upwork according to their survey of nearly 700 U.S. businesses that use them:

  • They seek help with short- and long-term, tactical and strategic, specialized, and general projects.
  • 90% of the leaders they surveyed believe that these platforms will be core to their ability to compete in the future.

As investor interest in the emerging market of freelance startups grows, we see record numbers of professionals choosing to freelance over full-time employment. The shift to remote work is proven to be more feasible, lucrative, and productive.  Freelancing is a great career option for professionals looking for autonomy that comes from working for themselves.  

  • A freelancer spends an average of 43 hours per week working.  
  • Freelancers doing skilled services earn a median rate of $28 an hour, earning more per hour than 70% of workers in the overall U.S. economy.  
  • 68% of freelancers admitted their quality of life has improved since going independent. 

Have you decided to work from home and be your own boss?  How are things going for you?  Working from home has its benefits, but what do you do with the more challenging aspects? How do you stay connected to the company you’re serving, so there’s more room for collaboration and shared ownership in projects?

Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are great collaboration tools in real-time, but Kiwi makes you a power user.  Do you need to look at a Sheet right next to your Doc to write a Slide presentation on stats or trends? Kiwi can help with that. Instead of tabbing through one browser window, Kiwi allows you to work side-by-side in separate windows.  You can also have a window open for your calendar as you organize your schedule while you check your email side-by-side.  With the Business version, you can use the power of search with one click with Google Contacts and Cloud Search. Everything you were doing in Workspace restores just like it was when you re-open Kiwi.  Become a Google Workspace power user today!