This Hot Trend Could Make Freelancing A Lot More Fun — And Meaningful

from Forbes

Bill Joy, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems once noted, “No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else.”

Today, more leaders are waking up to the fact that many of those smart people are freelancers and contractors — who work for themselves, according to the 2018 Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report “The Rise of the Social Enterprise.

And that could be good news for freelancers who wish their careers weren’t just a random set of assignments and yearn to work with clients who can connect them with meaningful projects that have a common thread.

With more companies relying on freelancers and contractors to do important work, their leaders and human resources executives are giving a lot more thought to how best to cultivate them, the report found. The report is based on a global survey of 11,000 leaders of organizations in all size categories.

“Everyone is going to see an increase in this part of the workforce,” says Deloitte’s Global Leader for Human Capital Marketing Jeff Schwartz.

More here.

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  1. Business must always look forward in order to continue to thrive. With an ever changing world, which is doing so at an exponential rate, the landscape continues to take different forms and if one does not changing along with it, they are doomed to be left in the past and irrelevant in the future. America has had its day of economic booms stemming from the methods and procedures of the Industrial age, but the country and the world is obviously no longer situated in those times and must therefore move on from it. This begs the question of what is in store for the American workplace. The answers lies in the freelance work.

    With progression comes liberation. With the majority of the work done in the future being freelance, the American worker will be liberated from the confines of superiors and work to their specific interests and talents. As a result, markets will be more competitive and innovative with the newfound creative freedom workers will find themselves with. This does not come easily, however. The manner in which our nation educates its students indoctrinates them with the mentality of being factory workers, ones that are easily replaced. Freelance workers defeat this dynamic because they are only ones who can produce their own work. Firms will rely on these freelance workers to contribute innovative ideas in order to gain an advantage in the industry. Additionally, by having freelance work as the trend in business, markets will be quicker to adapt and evolve because products are no longer attached to a large, sluggish corporation. With technology developing at a pace that no one could have ever predicted, it has become easier for individuals to take up an enterprise of their own and to succeed free from the shackles of big corporations.

  2. As discussed in class, the number of freelancers in the United States is increasing and will be prominent by the time my generation hits the workforce. With that in mind, generation z, who are people born between the mid-1990s through the early 2000s; have to be aware of what type of economy they are entering into. In addition, people in generation z have higher expectations and aspirations than most generations before them. For instance, the article highlights one study that shows “those in Generation Z, 75% said they plan to start their own business, and more than 70% want work to support their personal interests”. Moreover, our parents and grandparents searched for work with steady hours and good health benefits. What makes me personally apprehensive about the large likelihood of me freelancing is that I will have to buy my own health insurance, which is very costly, especially for someone who might not have steady work. The article also points out that 39% percent of companies who responded to their survey did not involve their human resource department when hiring freelancers and 35% of companies did not include their human resource department when hiring independent contractors. Furthermore, the human resource department in companies, which will be almost all in the next couple of years, will be disrupted, as their software is not ready to manage non-traditional workers.
    A Deloitte’s 2018 Global Human Capital Trends report “The Rise of the Social Enterprise” found 39% of companies are concerned over the changing workforce and government regulation that will occur when they implement more freelancers into their workforce. I can understand were the companies are coming from because as of now there are few regulations companies have to follow when hiring a freelancer. The whole purpose of hiring freelancers instead of full time staff is for companies to lower employee costs, which includes salaries and benefits. With that said, I wonder if companies would have to follow the same guidelines they have to do with employee law or will they be able to get away with simply following contract laws when it comes to their freelancers. Deloitte also mentions the idea of training freelancers and if freelancers would be classified as W-2 workers. If freelancers are categorized as W-2 worker their taxes will be severely affected. In addition, with the new tax law, which does not expire until 2025, W-2 workers cannot deduct a limited amount of their unreimbursed business expenses as an itemized deduction. Freelancers and potential freelancers need to be aware of what skillsets they have and what value they can bring to a company.

  3. As the work trend shifts in the 21st century from traditional employee to a freelancer, so does the company’s need for labor. Hiring a freelance rather than a traditional employee has benefits to both, the employee and the freelancer. The employer no longer has to provide benefits but may be charged more money per hour or session as opposed, the wage of an employee. The freelancer is allowed to have their own schedule something that would not be possible for an employee. For a freelancer, the day they want to work is important to them, along with the time of day and the amount of hours they want to work per day.

    An employee would have to work a strict schedule with company rules and guide lines. Even though a freelancer still has rules to abide, they are a bit less constrict then a traditional employee. As freelancing continues to grow work in certain industries may be difficult. It will force freelancers to innovate new methods to get hired for work in their field. This will force freelancers to find their own health insurance and their own forms of retirement. If a person if not ideal at budgeting money, then maybe freelancing is not the option.

    The amount of experience of a freelancer will be an important factor in receiving work. According to the article most companies are only looking for freelancers who obtain, as much experience as traditional employees. I feel that the freelancing market is saturated with a mix of people, which will make, it easier for the more experienced to find work at significant rate. The freelances who do not obtain much experience will have difficult time finding work. If the industry becomes more saturated with freelancers, it will be tough to find work. Having a competitive advantage in the industry you freelance is important and, the way to stay relevant. Always have the motivation to learn, a person can always have room to improve in the field they are working.

    In conclusion, I believe it is a great that people want the ability to work for themselves and not an employer. It gives them power, responsibility, and freedom. The ability to work for yourself is a major step towards being self-made. Being your own boss allows that person to build, a sense of responsibility through the discipline of managing ones finances. Freelancing allows a person to work when, where, and how, they want to at their expense. This allows them to no longer follow, a code of conduct and lets them work how they want.

  4. I think freelancing is extremely beneficial for people with skill in areas of high demand. It is good for people to explore options and not be tied down to a certain company. On average, US workers have one of the longest work weeks in the world in terms of hours per week. People with full time jobs don’t have much say in the amount of time they have to work and I think it brings morale down a lot. When people are being sought after for their expertise it puts them in charge of their hours and makes life easier. Looking for a job after college is one of the most stressful parts of being a college student. Becoming a freelancer opens up the opportunity for new graduates to explore their options and live life a little without committing to anything long-term. As we’ve discussed in class, I think freelanding is really going to be a positive change for the economy. It could even increase availability of resources for companies. Companies are paying full time employees who are not needed 100% of the time. They can now start paying contractors slightly more for a limited amount of time so they do not have to continue paying someone who might sit around for a high percentage of time. The only people these companies will have to pay full time are higher executives who can manage the contractors the best way possible. This might be a scary idea for current non-essential full-time employees because companies are slowly starting to see the benefits of freelancers. The article says that 50% of the companies reported a high number of contractors in their workforce and 37% expect a rise in contractors in the future. It’s possible that this new increase in freelancers is coming with the development of internet companies needing coders and being able to connect with people easier. In the past few years there have been so many changes in the way companies operate and who they hire. The ones that can keep up with the changes do well and the ones that can’t are failing. It’s going to come down to who is willing to make big changes, start hiring contractors, and adapt to the internet. For people seeking jobs, they should start learning skills that make them more valuable. Companies cannot afford to waste valuable assets and they are not going to hire someone for a job they can get a contractor for cheaper. There is no way the upward trend in freelancers is going to stop soon and more people are going to start realizing it. The sooner we all start transitioning to a career in freelancing the easier it will be for us to find jobs out of college.

  5. As more time passes, so do the challenges a business faces in order to succeed in the world. When the time comes, businesses are required to make these changes, or find themselves out of business. America has rapidly changed over the last 50-100 years, at an extremely fast rate, changing the landscape of workers and which ones would create a successful environment. Employers are going to need to work harder to attract top level talent for their specific qualifications, which is where freelancers come in.

    The key thing to highlight here is freelance work. People are becoming less inclined to stay confined within the limitations of a workplace working under someone. Rather, they are choosing to work to their own strengths and talents by working for themselves. This is extremely beneficial for people with talent in an industry with high demands. This also explores the option of freedom without a long-term commitment required. With the expected increase in contractors, companies are either choosing to adapt or to not adapt with how they operate and manage their businesses.

    With that said, people should be seeking opportunities to acquire these valuable skills to in turn be in high demand by employers. Freelancing gives a sense of power and freedom to those as well as the ability to work at one’s convenience. This hot trend is important, especially for those seeking work directly out of college, as this can be much easier and more efficient.

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