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freelancing 2020

Generational shifts, the toll of caring amongst NHS cuts and rising public transportation costs are expected to encourage more to move into freelance work in 2020, new research has revealed.


The research, conducted by Workifyd, analysed patterns and shifts that affect the freelancing landscape to predict what the future of freelance might look like as we move into the year 2020.

The research uncovered that transport considerations are proving increasingly important. For example, while the overall cost of train travel has risen 46% since 2009, wages have increased by just 23% over the same period. With fares set to increase beyond inflation again in January, workers living in the suburbs of a town may consider freelancing to avoid the costly commute.


One region which could be making a significant contribution to this shift is the north of England. As recent research suggests that Londoners will benefit from triple the amount of transport spend compared to those in the north of the country, many northerners may opt to freelance to take advantage of southern wages, without the need to travel. Similarly, freelancers working while travelling – known as ‘Digital Nomads’ – will also see an uplift in 2020.

While many consider today’s workforce to be made up mostly by Millennials, the research also indicated that the 2020 freelancer will in fact be led by Baby Boomers and Xennials. Recognised as a demographic able to strike the right balance between a strong work ethic and a laid-back attitude, Xennials (those born between 1977 and 1983) particularly could be the ideal prototype for a highly successful freelancer in 2020. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers might look to supplement the rising cost of retirement whilst being unlikely to find full time work post retirement age.

The carer community may also play a part in the 2020 freelancer landscape. According to recent projections, it can be estimated that 8.8 million adults in the UK are now carers. With so many people needing to be at home to care for a loved one – whether through choice or cuts to NHS funding – the nation’s carers are highly likely to contribute to the gig economy in some capacity.

 As well as transport issues, generational differences and family commitments, industry newbies will likely also look to capitalise on the opportunities that freelancing provides. An increasing amount of university students and career switchers are opting to gain ever-important industry work experience as a side-hustle while they earn in other roles, allowing them to gain experience and build a portfolio of work in the industry they’re looking to work in without compromising a steady form of income.



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