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How the growth of freelancers is enabling new technology

Posted over 4 years ago by Ellie Tibbs
Pexels Photo 1194713

According to recent estimates, the freelance sector contributes around £145 billion to the UK economy each year, with this figure anticipated to continue increasing as workers seek more flexibility in their lifestyle.

It is vital to recognise freelancers are split into different categories with project based workers (73%), gig-based (14%) and portfolio based (12%) freelancers the most commonly seen. An overall increase in these is sparking new technological developments, which are set to enhance connectivity across these categories and with employers.

laptop with code on screen

Not just limited to social media, the launch of platforms like Uber Work and UnderPinned seek to increase the availability and ease of freelance work through creating virtual offices. It is here where work can be found, projects managed and financial payments co-ordinated.

The introduction of these technologies increases the accessibility of freelance contracts and further provides a source of accountability for all parties involved. For instance, with around 70% of freelancers stating invoices were paid late during 2018, the introduction of new technologies which enforce stricter and more controlled processes can only be seen to benefit freelancers.

However technology is not just evolving due to the growth of the freelance sector, it is further innovating because of them.

Whilst the UK lags behind Europe in implementing digital transformations, nine out of ten companies would consider automating and digitising more processes over the next 12 months.

A core issue however, is that a digital skills shortage exists across the UK, where only 25% of business leaders believe the current workforce holds the required expertise to implement digital strategies.

Hands on keyboard

These shortages are predominant in regions like Wales, the North East and North West alongside the East and West Midlands, where implementing a digital transformation could be made more difficult.

To create short-term fixes and ensure projects are completed on time and to budget, 30% of corporations are likely to hire a freelance worker with a further 33% recruiting outside of the traditional talent pool.

With digital transformations following a process of insight and strategy development to road mapping and design/delivery involvement, these projects can benefit an entire workforce of Marketing Strategists, Project Managers and UX/UI designers to name only a few.

By using freelancers to ensure projects are completed effectively, companies can be anticipated to benefit. Namely, 62% of workers experience efficiency gains from the adoption of digital tools implemented during transformation projects, making businesses more profitable in the long-run.

The introduction of new technologies can have a significant effect on the financial prospects of freelancers and businesses alike, highlighting growth across this sector is likely to have a positive economic effect for the UK.

For a deeper discussion about how you could become involved in freelance work or a digital transformation project, or wish to recruit for one get in touch with us today.


Image credit:

Header: Closeup of black and blue keyboard by Marta Branco

Image 1: Photo of turned on laptop computer by Danny Meneses

Image 2: Photo of person typing on computer keyboard by Soumil Kumar