2021: The year of the freelancer

After a year of turbulence in 2020 around the world, our latest insights suggest that 2021 will be the year of the freelancer! In the survey, we heard from over 1,000 freelancers and 500 businesses responding to a number of questions around plans they have for the year ahead.

The research found that 2021 could be an excellent year for freelance talent with increased demand, more opportunities on offer and the potential to earn more money. Despite the upheaval of 2020, there was already an abundance of opportunities with nearly half of business owners saying they had increased their use of freelancers during the year. That trend looks set to continue with 60% of businesses responding that they plan to use even freelancers in 2021.

Why are businesses turning to freelancers?

At 67%, the most popular reason for using freelancers was to introduce skills the business didn’t have in-house. The second highest reason was to take advantage of flexible talent to speed up projects, whilst only a third said the reason they had used freelancers was to save money. Interestingly, and perhaps as a response to COVID, 28% said they’d turned to freelancers to help move their business online.

Freelancers expecting their income to increase in 2021

The freelancers in our survey certainly felt more positive about the upcoming year with almost two-thirds saying they expect their earnings to increase in 2021 and 40% felt the climate was right to increase their rates.

“2021 really could be the year of the freelancer. Businesses are increasingly experiencing the benefits of using a more flexible workforce and people are taking the opportunity to take control of their work-life. Our research and recent performance clearly indicate there is every reason to believe that the freelance community will continue to grow over the next few years.”

“However, to be successful, it’s critical that people looking to make a success of a freelance career understand their skills and strengths and find the right company fit if they want to succeed in an increasingly competitive market. Freelancers offer true value, speed, and flexibility to organisations they assist, and next year this will be recognised even further.”

Xenios Thrasyvoulou, Founder – PeoplePerHour