The employment mode of the future? It's freelancing

The employment mode of the future? It's freelancing

There is a lot work in the world, but sometimes it seems difficult to get people to where the work is. Yet as most of us work with computers, we are actually be able to participate on projects all around the world. Freelancing is nowadays mostly associated with the creative industry, but will become standard in most industries very soon.

Everybody things a freelancer enjoys a lot more freedom and flexibility than people who have to do their time at the office. It's not entirely true though as everybody has appointments and deadlines. Anyway you save time when you no longer have to stand for two hours every day in traffic to commute to the office. You can organize your work so you're able to pick up the children from school or practice yoga, and work from home or from a café if you want to.

Freelancing is not only comfortable for the individual: in 2013 for the first time more than a billion dollars were paid for work that was found and handled online between people that never saw each other in person. Both companies and individuals profit from technology that allows to cooperate regardless of the place you work from. Companies are also under immense pressure to improve efficiency: they need more work done in less time, with less money and fewer people.

Hiring experts ad hoc is also driven by the globalization itself – you don't really care if your programmer works from the Philippines anymore. Thus companies can draw on talents that they can't find at home. In the US it takes an average of 92 days before a company has filled a job. Post a request on one of the many online freelancers pool and you'll have the person you need in no time.

Outsourcing to freelancers and project-based work is of course being practiced already. But the overall trend shows that in near future there will probably be a lot more self-employed and much less permanent employees than today. Companies will look for the exact people they need at the very moment, increasing the flexibility of their operations.

We will look for and find work rather on a global than on a local level, switching between ad hoc teams and industries. Constantly learning and self-educating ourselves will become a crucial skill, as much as communication and self-promotion.

Online project-based work is of course not a model for every industry and every individual. Some jobs cannot be handled online and some people prefer to work for the same employer every day, maybe even a lifetime. But for many the life of a freelancer may be – or will have to be – the perfect solution.

Learn more about the work life of the future here.

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