We’re seeing an increase in the professional freelancers and contracted personnel who have the flexibility and work/life balance they desire.
The “Great Resignation” provides an opportunity for tech startups to serve a growing class of solo professionals. So is the “Great Resignation” we’ve been hearing so much about the start of the next seismic shift in the future of work?
We’re seeing an increase and mainstreaming of the professional freelancer and contracted personnel determined to have the flexibility and work/life balance they desire. And this follows the COVID-19 lock downs’ furloughs, redundancies, overwork, and burnout.
In this case, it appears that tech entrepreneurs and their venture capital backers are eager to make it happen despite the fact that freelancing is over a $4 trillion global industry. Technology has had little influence on its inner workings until recently.
There’s a lot of freelancer talent here, and there’s a lot of money.
We frequently imagine laptops at coffee shops, paper diaries, and pens and fumbling through confusing and time-consuming self-assessment tax filing when we think of freelance employment. The “gig economy,” which consists of often lower-paid and more manual activities performed on a flexible basis and aided by apps like Uber and Deliveroo, has also dominated the news.
Few people know that the solopreneur business is not much smaller than the enterprise sector. It is twice the size of India’s GDP–yet it lacks its own SAPs and Oracles.
This is fast changing, thanks to the rise of a thriving freelance-tech business that has piqued the interest of venture capitalists. As a result, backers are pouring money into what appears to be the next big thing in the workplace: freelancing and contracting as the “new normal.”
According to a McKinsey poll of 800 corporate leaders worldwide, 70% aim to expand their reliance on on-site freelancers. At the same time, 22% plan to hire more distant freelancers.
There are 60 million solopreneurs in Europe who are either single-person businesses or sole owners. Knowledge-based professions make up around 25% to 30% of them. As organizations transitioned to new working methods, demand for professional individuals remained strong. People in IT, marketing, administration, finance, design, and communication became valued as a life-or-death scenario.
In reality, in 2021, one of Europe’s top freelancing platforms experienced a 28 percent rise in income from active members. It went from 9,200 euros to 11,800 euros per month. This indicates that freelancers utilizing the Xolo platform grew their monthly income during the worldwide pandemic.
What role will technology play in empowering the next generation of freelancers?
The two major concerns of a typical solopreneur are obtaining clients and running the firm. If the former can be addressed primarily through a well-developed network of freelancing markets and word of mouth, the latter has been mostly unaffected by technological progress until now.
According to Xolo, just 3% to 4% of European freelancers use web solutions that are specially targeted to their requirements. In addition, traditional business administration takes time, with the average freelancer spending roughly 15 hours per month on it.
For example, chasing down clients for payment takes up a lot of time. That which takes time takes away from one’s personal life. And time away from personal life could be spent performing billable work or business growth.
A new freelance-tech industry has arisen in the last five or six years. Its lofty objective is to solve the challenges that freelancers encounter while running one-person firms. Building a technical infrastructure unleashes the creative force of hundreds of millions of one-person businesses. Invoicing is aided by SaaS platforms, automation, better communication, and collaboration technologies, and job markets are now thriving.
Contractors and freelancers are the future of work.
If we’re going to see more freelancers and a contracted workforce in the future, the firms conducting the recruiting will need their own set of tools. The tools to manage more freelancers’ faster and more flexible hiring and pay-rolling are becoming more critical than they’ve ever had before.
This isn’t a new trend. But, it’s giving businesses a new lease of life. An extra appeal, if you will. As a result of the disruption to our working practices during the last 18 months. For example, Fortune and Bloomberg reported that contractors outnumbered workers for the first time in Google’s history in 2018.
Businesses will want tools to manage and support a far more flexible workforce. As a result, traditional HR, payroll, and accounts payable systems and procedures will need to change. In addition, new platforms will need to be developed to handle a more extensive freelancing workforce at scale.
A platform that focuses on one aspect of the business-freelancer interaction will, in theory, provide a gateway for both parties, making the process easier and faster without the need for SaaS sprawl.
Businesses may tap into essential talents and expertise by frequently using freelancers and contractors. Their presence reduces total staff headcount and with it personnel costs such as pensions, insurance, taxes, and various forms of paid leave. In addition, this approach to a smaller, more active staff frees up funds to invest elsewhere in the company.
Image Credit: Sora Shimazaki; Pexels; Thank you
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