The rise of the freelance economy

The desire to work flexibly is taking workers out of the office to become their own boss, a new study has revealed.

Instant Offices, which published the report, said the freelance sector is growing year-after-year, thanks to major changes in the way millennials like to work.

The latest figures show that some 4.8 million Brits classify themselves as “self-employed”, with around 42 per cent of those in a freelancing role. This makes up around six per cent of the working population.

The key take away from the study is how young women are changing their views on motherhood and working. The traditional ‘stay at home’ mum is on the way out, according to the study, with the number of female freelancers growing by 55 per cent since 2008.

Likewise, new mothers are increasingly choosing to go into the line of freelancing, with numbers rising by 79 per cent over a similar period.

Age in general is playing a key role in driving those figures up, with the number of adults born in the 80s and 90s choosing to freelance rising by 66 per cent since 2008.

Kayte Jenkin, of the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), added that growth in the freelance economy is already outperforming traditional self-employed businesses.

“Freelancer-owned businesses might be expected to generate greater revenues than other own account businesses, owing to the more valuable knowledge and skills exercised, suggesting a slightly higher turnover figure, perhaps £130-135 billion, approximately 3-4 per cent of business turnover,” she said.