The Freelance Revolution: Implications For Your Business

The modern workplace has come about through a series of both revolutionary and evolutionary changes – our society has evolved from an agrarian economy to an industrialised one, then through mechanisation and digitisation, and the latest and most rapid changes we are witnessing right now is the ‘freelance revolution’.

Sarah Horowitz of The Atlantic wrote eloquently about this silent and rapid game-change in the way our modern workplaces operate, and about how employees offer, source and produce work.  It was such a great piece, and had such resonance with my experiences and what I have observed of the latest trends not just in PR but in workplaces generally, that it was too good not to share.  You can read it in full here.

Horowitz writes that the Freelance Revolution as it has been called, otherwise known as the Gig Economy or the  Rise of the Creative Class, marks a seed change in the way we work and think about our careers, with a stronger emphasis than ever on flexibility, self-determination and work-life balance.

She says that we no longer do we work at the same company for 25 years, waiting for the gold watch, expecting the benefits and security that come with full-time employment.   Rather, today, careers consist of piecing together various types of work, juggling multiple clients, learning to be marketing and accounting experts, and creating offices in bedrooms/coffee shops/coworking spaces. Independent workers abound.

The significance of this change, Horowitz writes, cannot be underestimated.  “We haven’t seen a shift in the workforce this significant in almost 100 years when we transitioned from an agricultural to an industrial economy. Now, employees are leaving the traditional workplace and opting to piece together a professional life on their own. As of 2005, one-third of our workforce participated in this “freelance economy.” Data show that number has only increased over the past six years.”

For my part, I have been an active participant in this new wild frontier of work flow management, having sourced various services – such as graphic design, web coding, printing and many more from short-term contractors as far away as Ukraine, Canada and the Philippines.  By tapping into these services, I can harness the power of a global workforce, with whom I can negotiate directly on price, and with whom I do not need to build a relationship any longer than the time it would take them to complete the job, with no ongoing commitments or costs.

I would be interested to know from among the readership of this blog, how (or if?) you have experienced the Freelance Revolution?  How do you go about finding your new flexible workforce? Has it changed your work, or that of your workplace? Does it work as well for business owners and managers as it does for the freelancers? I would love your input on this very important topic.

Yours in PR


1 Comment »

  1. […] Atlantic Monthly says it best… It’s been called the Gig Economy, Freelance Nation, the Rise of the Creative Class, and the e-conomy, with the “e” standing for electronic, entrepreneurial, or perhaps eclectic. Everywhere we look, we can see the U.S. workforce undergoing a massive change. No longer do we work at the same company for 25 years, waiting for the gold watch, expecting the benefits and security that come with full-time employment. We’re no longer simply lawyers, or photographers, or writers. Instead, we’re part-time lawyers-cum- amateur photographers who write on the side. […]

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