The age of freelancing is here – here’s how organisations can benefit

The relationship between working for yourself and organisations is undergoing a profound transformation, writes D. L. Dallmar

Freelancing is not a new phenomenon. It goes back centuries, when slaves in the Americas taught themselves to read and write and kept in touch with each other as a means of free labour.

Freelancing can be traced back to the emergence of independent contractors in the 20th century and the movement towards on-demand economy in the 21st.

The rapid increase in the number of people working as a freelancer is unprecedented. It is estimated that there are now 33 million freelancers in the US and 6.4 million freelancers in the UK. Their numbers will continue to grow, because they represent the future of employment.

Any organisation today, whether a small shop, social media agency or a big media conglomerate, could contract out work – starting with part-time projects and eventually turning into full-time employment. The rise of the gig economy demonstrates the huge popularity of freelancing. In the UK today, over 70% of all part-time workers (except those in care or retail) are freelancers.

If we take this analysis one step further, we can see the potential role that freelancing can play in organisations’ future strategy. The trend is to outsource core components of an organisation to freelancers and to identify multiple potential sources of freelance work.

Freelancing is not a job, it is a new type of work and an innovative model. We see organisations be the chief investor, managing the process and driving the thinking.

In such an environment, working for yourself (or the organisation), could open new opportunities for career growth. The relationship between organisations and freelancers is undergoing a profound transformation and there are hundreds of small to medium sized companies that are using freelancers to change how their business works.

Freelancers’ leadership may also be crucial for organisations and they can take advantage of these capabilities to drive bottom-line growth.

The role of Freelancing Is Changing Work is a specialised partnership between Acobe and JLP’s Freelancing Is Changing Work. Both Acobe and JLP are digital startup start-ups that deal with HR management and issue advice for organisational change and lead change management efforts.

Freelancing Is Changing Work is a platform providing advice on working for yourself, people focusing on freelancing for a living and organisations embracing freelancing and talent-based business models. The two companies come together through a shared mission to help organisations unlock their talent, increase profitability and improve their bottom line through working with freelancers.

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