The specifics of working as a Freelancer – report

The specificity of the work as a Freelancer

Freelancing is becoming popular day by day as it provides ease of business and employment right in the comfort of your home. Freelancers call themselves self-employed and enjoy the freedom of setting the price for their projects and skill set. The general statistics about freelancers showed that they comprise 35% of the global workforce. We would like to present you our report: The specifics of the work as a Freelancer.

Key Findings of working as a Freelancer report

  • Freelancers comprise 35% of the global workforce
  • Almost 30 million freelancers are long-term oriented
  • Freelancing can help all type of companies whether in need of skilled workers or others
  • The majority of freelancing services are offered by skilled workers
  • Three popular platforms offering freelancing services are Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com
  • 95% of freelancers possess two or more skills
  • Most projects a freelancer can handle, consecutively, are 2-4 in number
  • Most ideal freelancing workplaces are home and office environments

General Statistics of working as a Freelancer report

  • Among the workforce of 3.5 billion, 1.1 billion are freelancers
  • In 2019, 57 million freelancers worked from home
  • When asked about trading their job with daily jobs, 75% responded in negative
  • 68% of freelancers switched their daily jobs for freelancing as they got more flexibility of schedule in freelancing
  • Among all the freelancers, 55% still have their full-time jobs
  • Gender stats showed that 65% of males and 35% of females are freelancers

Types of Projects

When it comes to freelancing, there are a wide variety of jobs to choose from. Due to these facts, many companies are using online platforms to employ people with specialized skill sets. This specialty in the job offers more reliable and focused outcomes rather than a single skill set possessed by regular employees. Both skill-based and non-skill-based jobs are offered through freelancing platforms. The figures state that:

  • Among the skilled workers, 45% offer services in programming, consulting, and marketing
  • Not having a skill set does not mean that you cannot be a freelancer. In non-skilled-based jobs, 26% of freelancers sell goods while 30% sell other services
  • The high-paying jobs are related to software and coding and the software and coding experts make up to $1000 an hour
  • 75% of freelancers offer design and art-related services making it the biggest workforce in the world of freelancing
  • Another big workforce in freelancing belongs to the entertainment industry where 55% of workers get their jobs through freelancing

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Freelance market and platforms

Due to freelancing popularity, many platforms were developed and accommodated the freelancers. However, every platform is not proved to be reliable. The three most popular platforms in the freelancing world are Upwork, Fiverr, and freelancer. The stats about freelance market and platforms says that even 33% of Fortune 500 companies use freelancing platforms to outsource their work

Contractors data: Upwork

Upwork is generally known as a reliable platform for freelance services as freelancers go through a proper procedure to make an account and prove certain capabilities to get work such as testimonials, ratings, and evidence of professional work. Freelancers at Upwork also earn more as compared to other platforms. Their skills and professional capabilities allow them to set a higher price for the same task offered on other platforms at a relatively lower price. Upwork stats showed that:

  • Upwork has 17 million active users
  • It earned approximately $87.5 million in the last quarter (Q4 2020), an amount that is deducted at $.15 per share
  • Freelancers earn more than $1 billion per year from 3 million jobs offered at Upwork
  • Content writers make $34937 per year on average where the hourly rate of writers range between $15-80, much more than the minimum wages set by some countries
  • Front end developers charge on average $15-150 per hour for different web services
  • Graphic designers have an average rate of $45 per hour and the range varies from $20 to $150 depending on the services

Contractors data: Fiverr

Fiverr is another platform that is easy to use and popular among every segment. The biggest benefit of using Fiverr is that it offers more ease to create an account and offer the services. It is based on the 5 dollar concept that freelancers can attract customers with lesser rates. Most of the time, this concept does not prove favorable for the sellers. Despite this, it is widely popular among the young generation. The key facts related to Fiverr are:

  • Fiverr has over 7 million users
  • Fiverr generated a revenue of $189 million in 2020
  • On Fiverr, the average spending per buyer is $250
  • Fiverr offer services in 200 categories approximately
  • Writers, graphic designers, and web developers make up most of the workforce on Fiverr

Contractors data: freelancer.com

Freelancer.com is another platform that offers services in a variety of categories. It is the most widely used platform and hosts the largest gathering of freelancers

  • Freelancer.com has over 31 million users
  • The site currently offers over 19,000 jobs
  • Users can choose to work as a freelancer for a handful of industries with over 1,800 different categories for jobs
  • Over 14,000 freelancers are available for work every day
  • The categories of services include writing, software development, design, data entry, science, engineering, marketing, sales, accounting, and even legal services
  • There are many other sub-categories of services offered by the platform.

Freelance Workplaces [home, co-working, centers]

The biggest attraction of freelancing is its flexibility in choosing the workplace. On a regular job, the people do not have the choice to take up comfortable spaces in the office. They have to follow a set pattern of the company for which they are working. In freelancing, people are free to choose how they want to work. Sometimes, they prefer the comfort of home, other times they build an office environment. It all depends on their preferences. The statistics about the freelancing workplaces are as follows:

  • For 25% of freelancers, the ideal workplace is their home
  • Working from home can improve performance by 13%. By inducing a sense of comfort and relaxation, working from home leads to improved productivity. Additionally, employers who’ve implemented a work from home strategy saw a yearly profit increase of $2,000 per worker
  • For the other 25%, the office is the excellent choice to separate their personal and professional lives
  • For the next 20%, hubs and co-working spaces are best for freelancing
  • 4% of the freelancers also choose their client’s office as an ideal workplace
  • 2% choose the cafes and coffee shops, and
  • 1% have other preferences

Freelancing by discipline

Freelancers come from a wide range of disciplines. Some of the disciplines offer more flexibility for engaging in freelancing while others do not. The figures showed the following result:

  • The freelancers who commit the most time to work come from the fields of management and human relations. They work 39 hours per week on average
  • The next in line is engineering and manufacturing freelancers who commit 38.2 hours per week to the freelancing
  • IT professionals, the ones with high paying jobs, come third spending 37.4 hours on their work
  • Translators and writers work on average 34 hours per week
  • Data for the other disciplines is currently unavailable

freelancing infographic - The specifics of working as a Freelancer - report

Miscellaneous

Some other findings of specifics of working as a freelancer report:

  • There is a gender gap in freelancing earnings. According to a study men make $150000 on average per year while women make $25000 on average per year from freelancing. It concludes that men make 4 times more money than women
  • Freelancing statistics further show that 16 % of freelancers hold a post-graduate degree while 24% have a bachelors’ degree. Overall, 40% of freelancers are highly educated as compared to the traditional workforce where only 39% have high education
  • The generational gap can also be seen in freelancing
    • Generation Z is the largest freelance workforce group, 53% of those aged 18-22 freelanced in 2019
    • Millennials (aged 23-38) are next with 40% of freelancers
    • Gen X workers (aged 39-54) follow with 31%
    • The smallest generation group among freelancers is Baby Boomers (aged 55+). Among them only 29% are working as freelancers
  • Freelancing helps in improving the lives of workers as is claimed by 64% of freelancers. They also get more opportunities as compared to traditional workers.

Sources

Stanford University of Business, 99 firms, Upwork, Fiverr, Ddiy.co, And.co, Forbes, Small Business Trends, Freelancers Union, Website Planet, LinkedIn, I-Programmer, Glassdoor.

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