While 76% of freelancers said they are happier working independently, many negative stereotypes exist for these employees.
With 45% of tech jobs projected to be freelance by 2028, this new way of work is becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason: More than 76% of freelancers said they are happier working independently than they were when they worked for an employer, according to Upwork's Freelancing in America report, released Wednesday.
The report, conducted by Edelman Intelligence and co-commissioned by Upwork and Freelancers Union, surveyed 536 knowledge workers to determine how employees feel about the freelance lifestyle. Some 72% of freelancers said they are satisfied with the amount of work they receive.
SEE: The gig economy: An insider's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
"There is incredible diversity within the freelance economy," said Adam Ozimek, Chief Economist of Upwork, in a press release. "What many don't understand is that the skilled work performed by independent knowledge workers is in important ways more similar to full-time professional jobs rather than the one-off, relatively low-skilled gigs many associate with the freelance economy. We find that businesses are rarely seeking the lowest cost option, and instead have a clear preference for quality, which in turn requires skills and experience."
However, the enterprise is flooded with misconceptions about the gig economy and freelancing. The report identified the following three most common myths about the freelance working style:
1. Freelancers lack meaningful career opportunities, and the trend will eventually come to an end
Many people believe independent workers will return to the traditional way of work because of a lack of career opportunities, the report found. But freelancers are overwhelmingly optimistic about their work: 92% said they expect work opportunities for freelancers to increase in the future, and 90% said the best is yet to come for freelancing.
2. Freelancers don't make enough money
Another big myth about freelancers is that these employees don't earn enough to make a living or support themselves for the long-term. However, some 66% of freelancers said they earn more than they did with their traditional jobs. Of that 66%, 81% said it took them less than a year to reach this level of income.
3. The stress and uncertainty of freelancing affects the happiness of independent workers
Perhaps the biggest misconception of all, traditional employees view independent work as unstable and a cause for dissatisfaction. Freelancers, on the other hand, said that the ability to choose their own schedule actually improves their quality of life. The majority of freelancers (76%) said they feel much happier freelancing than they were at their traditional jobs. Over half (54%) said there is no amount of money that would make them go back to traditional office work.
For more, check out TechRepublic's article on The 20 hottest freelance skills that will help you land a gig.
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