- Study Finds Contract Jobs Increased as a Result of COVID Pandemic and Great Resignation
Worksome, an enterprise platform helping corporations compliantly hire and manage contract workers, released its annual State of Freelancers report. The study polled freelancers and contract workers globally, seeding insights around compensation, challenges associated with contract work, and sentiment versus full-time employment. The study also looked at the overall economic need for freelance workers, reporting a 45 percent increase in demand since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Globally, we’re seeing workers eschew the traditional job trajectory in favor of a career that can provide the flexibility and freedom of choice they desire”
According to a recent study conducted by Upwork, 59 million people are freelancing in the U.S. alone, accounting for 36 percent of the total workforce. Spurred by a desire for more flexibility, the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting Great Resignation, freelancers account for a larger portion of our workforce globally than ever before. Worksome’s data not only confirms the increase in the number of freelancers but also shows a spike in worker happiness among those who do contract work. More than 72 percent of those surveyed in the Worksome study consider themselves happier consulting versus staying in a full-time salaried position.
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“Globally, we’re seeing workers eschew the traditional job trajectory in favor of a career that can provide the flexibility and freedom of choice they desire,” stated Worksome co-founder and CEO, Morten Petersen. “Corporations that are unable to meet or exceed the benefits of freelancing will continue to lose workers to the Great Resignation. Corporations that have the foresight and flexibility to engage with this ever-growing pool of contracted talent will find themselves able to better adapt to the changing future of work. Those that insist on clinging to the ‘traditional’ work structure will continue to struggle with hiring and retaining top talent.”
“Organizations have a responsibility to look at their corporate policies in light of the shifting workforce trends and make decisions around how they can best support their employees while continuing to meet business goals,” noted Christina Petersen, co-founder and CPO of Worksome. “What we’re seeing across corporations is a push to return to ‘life before COVID’ – a goal that’s misaligned with the changing sentiment toward work and ignorant of the challenges that continue to impact modern workers, especially those struggling to juggle competing demands from work and home. We’re at a keystone moment in history that will continue to shape the future of work for decades to come. There are big advantages available for companies willing to evolve and integrate flexibility to their workforce structure.”
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Other insights gleaned from the Worksome study:
- Sixty-one percent of freelancers have more free time than their 9-5 counterparts.
- Job flexibility and work-life balance are the more important motivators for 78 percent of freelance workers, upending the second-most important factor, money, by 8 percent.
- In accordance with an ethos trend found commonly in the Gen Z sector, “purpose” was also listed as a top freelance factor with 66 percent saying doing work that matters is a top benefit of freelancing.
In addition to the above benefits, freelancers are also often out-earning their corporate salaries. Those freelancers who previously worked full-time reported a rise in income, with over half (53 percent) saying they make more as a contract worker than they did as a permanent employee.
Despite the multiple benefits of freelancing, there are still challenges. Freelancers admitted that the most common difficulties include finding the right jobs, setting rates, and navigating complex tax and accounting processes.
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