With Thursday 16th June having been National Freelancers Day, it is fascinating to see the recently released data indicating that many firms have called upon freelance skills to an even greater extent.
Many companies across the UK are still seeing the effects of the pandemic in their day-to-day business. For some, it has led to more staff working from home than previously, while for others, it has meant reducing the numbers of permanent staff they employ.
This, in turn, has seemingly contributed to greater demand for UK freelancers, according to a survey reported by LondonlovesBusiness.
What emerged from the new data?
Some 1,500 UK freelancers and 1,000 business owners were polled for the research, which found that – according to 42% of freelancers questioned – demand for their services has increased since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. With regard to more recent events, 31% said the rise in demand was a consequence of firms in the UK deciding to reduce their numbers of permanent employees.
The study also discovered that so far this year, about half (49%) of UK freelancers had upped the amount of work they have taken on. 43% of respondents said this was due to demand, while more than half (51%) said they had made this decision to help them counteract increasing cost-of-living concerns.
Indeed, the cost-of-living situation was a big theme of the survey findings, for businesses and freelancers alike. Almost a quarter (23%) of the business owners questioned said that increasing costs would force them to reduce staff in 2022, while a fifth – 20% – indicated that they planned to use more freelancers.
For their part, freelancers participating in the poll expressed a preference for heightening their workload instead of increasing their rates. 61% of respondents said they had left their rates unchanged despite the pressures exerted upon them by the current economic situation.
Freelancers worrying about the future
Although it seems that freelancers are taking on more work now than before the pandemic, concerns have been expressed by these independent professionals about their future.
The LondonlovesBusiness story said that 40% of freelancers intended to raise their prices at some point this year, while 28% had done so already. The most common reason for this policy was, of course, the escalating cost of living, as cited by 68% of respondents.
Of those freelancers who have put their rates up, 63% said they had done so by as much as 10%, while 32% had increased their prices by between 11% and 25%.
For a quarter of freelancers, while this way of working gave them enough money to live on, it didn’t enable them to save money. An additional 25% of freelancers expressed fears about their ability to make ends meet in the future, and 63% of respondents claimed the increasing cost of living was impacting their retirement plans.
Allow us to help you adapt to the latest challenges you face
As the world comes to terms with the aftermath of the pandemic and the current cost-of-living situation, it is clear that some sectors will never be the same again. With greater reliance on home working and freelancers, we can now say that we are firmly into a new era of work.
With our own in-depth knowhow and experience in relation to sole trader accountancy support in Wellington, Plymouth and Newton Abbot, our team at TS Partners is well-placed to help you power through the significant tests you currently face as a business or freelancer. Please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or email for further information.
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