Around 57.3 million people are freelancing worldwide, including nearly half of millennials, with the majority of the US workforce expected to freelance by 2027
According to Accenture’s Technology Vision 2017:
Driven by a surge of on-demand labor platforms and online work management solutions, legacy models and hierarchies are being dissolved and replaced with talent marketplaces.
Let’s unpack that.
Old Vs. New
The way we’ve been doing things is to have full-time employees come into the office to complete projects.
But that’s not so relevant anymore.
Not in a tech age where innovation needs to be as fast as lightning and where companies without the agility to move forward are the business equivalent of dinosaurs.
Image credit: One More Theory: The extinction of the dinosaurs
It’s A Big World Out There
You may need a specialist for a specific project. And if you’re trying to get the person for the task, there’s no reason to limit yourself to your zip code.
Your Python developer might be from India. Graphic designer, Slovenia. Copywriter, UK.
Now, we need to be clear about one thing: the data I’ve presented here refers to anyone who takes part in the gig economy, whether they’re a salaried professional otherwise or not.
Image credit: FOM International
Skilled vs. Non-Skilled
On the non-skilled side, you’ve got services like Uber that make it effortless for anyone with a decent car, driver’s license, and spare time to start making money on the side.
Many Uber drivers I’ve spoken to do work gigs or are students or are doing it between jobs.
And on the other side, you’ve got individuals who are so specialized that it wouldn’t be worth their time to do anything other than freelance.
Freelancers Flipping the Tables
Take a software engineer who might make $2,50000 a year in a tech company. He or she might be able to double or even triple their income by working for several organizations simultaneously.
On the other hand, companies need such specialists in order to keep ahead of the competition.
So what we’re seeing is a gradual reversal of the power dynamics—at least for highly skilled individuals—where now freelancers get to choose their terms. Contrast this with the past, when companies could squeeze freelancers.