People say the way we work is changing. They’re wrong. The way we work has already changed, and so too have the ways in which we all get satisfaction from our career.
We’re not happy spending 40 hour weeks in cubicle farms that stifle creativity, and we’re tired of the traditional and rigid 9-5 working day. We want freedom, flexibility, choice and independence. And what’s more, we want it now.
In recent years there’s been a huge shift in the way work is approached, especially in the UK. The era of independent working has arrived. Say hello to choice, control, flexibility and independence.
With around 4.5million people working for themselves in the UK, 2million of those who class themselves as freelancers, contractors, interims or independents, the future of work has arrived.
Of the 120,000 people who each year trade in the supposed safety of permanent employment in favour of complete control over their career, few return back to a life that guarantees them a pay cheque at the end of each month.
Some say the recession played a telling role in the rise of the independent worker here in the UK. Redundancies were made and people were essentially forced into working for themselves, simply down to a lack of other options. Sure, to a certain extent that's true. But you'll do well to find many self-employed people ready and willing to return to permanent employment.
Others say a change in employer attitudes led to the self-employed revolution, and that in 2015, companies are now much more likely to engage with freelancers because they understand the advantages of working with them. With as many as 85% of business leaders recently stating that contractors add value to their business, these guys have a point.
But more than anything else, what has been the driving force behind the undeniable rise of the contingent worker? No prizes for guessing, it’s technology.
Sat at the very heart of it all, the ongoing, terrifyingly fast-moving digital revolution, means that business can now be done in a single tap. Everyday, we meet, chat, share and complete transactions online, anytime, anywhere. And the arrival of business on-demand, hand-in-hand with massive improvements in communications technology has been key in freeing everyone up. Why would you spend years chained to a desk when you can just as easily work from home, the local coffee-shop or even by the pool? You just wouldn’t.
Technology has done more than simply allow remote working though. New age tech has enabled the independent workforce to spread it’s wings and really take-off. We now work remotely, anytime and anywhere we please.
With around 2million freelancers in the UK, more people than ever before now enjoy freedom over who they work for, when they work and how they find work. Control over our careers isn’t a far-away and distant dream anymore. Thanks to technology, it’s well within our grasp.
Why did you start working for yourself? Get involved in the conversation...