The rise of the freelancer
Australian business landscape changing due to increase in freelancing
A recent survey by global workplace provider, Regus, has revealed that the number of freelancers is on the rise, with 60 per cent of Australian respondents observing an increase in this profession over the past five years.
The global report that surveyed 22,000 business people across more than 100 countries identified key trends in the Australian market, with the rise of freelance workers particularly prevalent in small businesses (64 per cent) compared to larger enterprises (51 per cent).
Commenting on this, CEO of Regus Australia and New Zealand, Paul Migliorini, said that small businesses were more likely to benefit from the freelance movement, enabling them to reduce overheads, cut out lengthy and costly recruitment processes, and react to market changes faster – providing them with a leaner business model.
“Freelancers can benefit small businesses because they will offer a well-honed skill set in a particular area that can be utilised as and when the business needs it, which means they are ideal for one-off projects or short-term work commissions. Further to this, being self-employed will most likely ensure that the freelancer will work hard to provide an exemplary service with a view to earn further business opportunities.”
Why is Freelancing on the rise?
Flexibility: 77 per cent of Australians said that fixed working hours are less suited to their duties.
Work:life balance: 57 per cent of Australians believe that freelance workers have a better work:life balance than retained employees
Freedom: Significantly more Australians want the freedom to work where they like, with a professional home office topping the most productive out-of-office environments at 67 per cent. Outside of the home a business centre proved to be the most desirable location (46 per cent).
Business Mindsets: 75 per cent of Australians have noticed an increase in outsourcing of projects, meaning the business mindset is now more open to external working relationships - creating more opportunities for freelancers.
Interestingly, freelancer numbers are documenting rapid growth in consultancy, with 71 per cent of respondents from the consultancy industry reporting an increase – followed by the banking and insurance industry (55 per cent) and ICT sector (54 per cent).
In response to this, Mr Migliorini added: “I’m not surprised that consultancy is seeing the highest number of freelancers. For those who have a fine-tuned skill or area of expertise, many professionals are using that to their advantage and offering their services in that area. It’s a great way to impart knowledge and also build your personal brand, which is so important in this day and age.
“Furthermore, with companies like Freelancer.com.au now listed on the ASX, it’s clear that work habits are shifting, with both employers and employees seeking more flexible ways of operating. This is further supported by the Regus’ survey finding that having to work fixed hours is now considered to be a limitation, with 77 per cent of Australian workers saying these are not suited to their duties.”
Regus is the global workplace provider.
Its network of more than 2,300 business centres in 850 cities and 104 countries provides convenient, high-quality, fully serviced spaces for people to work, whether for a few minutes or a few years. Companies like Google, Toshiba and GlaxoSmithKline choose Regus so that they can work flexibly and make their businesses more successful.
The key to flexible working is convenience and so Regus is opening wherever its 2.1 million members want support - city centres, suburban districts, shopping centres and retail outlets, railway stations, motorway service stations and even community centres.
Founded in Brussels, Belgium, in 1989, Regus is based in Luxembourg and listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, please visit: www.regus.com.au