The Slash Workers report by AND CO has found that freelancing isn’t just the future of business, it’s the now and freelancers are loving their life (as if you didn’t already know!) They interviewed 300 independent workers in February and March 2017 and basically found out how they feel about every aspect of the freelancing game.
“We launched this study because we wanted to quantify the evolving makeup and motivations of today’s independent workforce. The data revealed a host of unique insights into this new worker class, but most significant was the multifaceted nature of these ‘Slash Workers,’” said Leif Abraham, co-founder of AND CO. “Skilled in a range of talents and exceptionally agile in their career paths, these workers demand a new framework for managing their day-to-day lives, and that’s precisely what we’re building at AND CO.”
Here’s some of what they found:
- Meet the Slash Workers: 95% of respondents surveyed are “Slash Workers,” that is people who sell two or more talents to multiple clients vs. specializing within a single job function.
- Freedom is the New Wealth: Despite a minority of freelancers (23%) saying that going independent has made them more financially stable, they’re overwhelmingly happier since they’ve gone solo: 68% say their quality of life has improved.
- Freelance Isn’t a Fallback: Just 6% of respondents said they were freelancing until a full-time opportunity comes along, shattering the commonly-held stereotype that freelancers have no other option. More than 40% of respondents said they intend to freelance “forever.”
- Not About the Benjamins: The No. 1 reason freelancers cite for going independent: personal growth (40%), followed by flexibility (27%). Just 7% did so for a perceived financial upside.
- Open the Floodgates: Two in three freelancers in the study have been independent for less than three years. The largest share of newly-minted independents are creatives.
- Death of the Office: 25% of freelancers surveyed said they are “digital nomads,” working and traveling remotely in cities around the world. Looking ahead, 60% of respondents said they’d consider adopting a nomadic lifestyle in the future.
- R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Freelancers reported getting stiffed by clients across all income levels, with 44% saying they’ve had trouble collecting payment before. More than 60% of respondents said there is a general lack of respect for the freelance community.
- Freelance Wage Gap: Male respondents were 4.5X more likely to earn more than $150K a year than female respondents, yet more men said they had been stiffed by a client.
- What’s Missing? 61% of freelancers say they miss the feeling of community that a traditional workplace affords. More than half said they wished more companies would offer remote work options for freelancers.
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