55% say working from home taught them it can be a legitimate career
The benefits of working from home during the coronavirus pandemic may be tempting some to consider transitioning to the freelance life.
More than two-thirds of non-freelance employees who’ve been working from home (68%) said they’re now more interested in the idea of picking up this kind of work or side hustle, according to new research from worldwide freelance jobs marketplace Fiverr.
On top of that, more than half (55%) said working remotely has made them realize freelancing could be a career.
Flexibility, novelty among top draws of freelancing
For many employees, freelancing was appealing before the pandemic. In fact, a survey earlier this year found that 36% of the workforce had freelanced in the past 12 months.
When respondents to the Fiverr survey were asked why they were more open now to the idea, some were driven by financial concerns, but the majority appeared to be lured by the lifestyle. The biggest percentage (51%) said the flexibility they’ve experienced working from home sparked the desire. That was followed by:
- 39% who want to try something new
- 35% who now have more time on their hands
- 26% who are concerned about their current job security
- 25% who are looking to change their career next year
- 23% who have seen a decrease in income and want a new revenue stream
For some who were already freelancing, working from home has given them extra time to add to their client base. In fact, nearly 2 in 3 freelancers (65%) said they’ve been able to take on more freelance work during the pandemic.
Remote working has also contributed to freelancers getting more done. Just over 3 in 5 respondents who freelance (61%) said working from home has made them more productive, leading to additional work.
Freelancing has its challenges
While an influx of freelance gigs could offer both a sense of freedom and financial reward, there are challenges to making the freelance life work. When non-freelance employees were asked which concerns would make them hesitant:
- 45% said having to market themselves
- 42% said having to find freelance jobs
- 31% said having to handle their taxes
- 25% said having to chase invoices
Some respondents were concerned about the types of jobs they might get. Nearly 1 in 4 (24%) said they were worried freelance jobs would be too long-lasting, while — on the flip side — 17% were concerned freelance gigs would be too short.
Those who decide to freelance full time will also have other considerations they may not have had to think about before. For example, they will likely be responsible for buying their own health insurance, and they may miss out on valuable company benefits, such as a 401(k) match.
Methodology: Fiverr commissioned market research firm Censuswide to survey 1,035 workers that work remotely or did so at some point during the year, including 51 freelancers. The survey was taken between Nov. 16 and 27, 2020.