Predictions for the future of freelancing in NZ 26.09.2017 : 08:32am
There’s a lot of hype and excitement about where freelancing is going, with heavyweights like Forbes and Fast Company weighing in with their predictions for the future of freelancing. These predictions are mostly for the US or UK, so as the future of freelancing in NZ, we thought we’d have a look at what it all means for New Zealand.
The following is an excerpt from our eBook - Yudoozy’s Comprehensive Guide to hiring freelancers. Get your free copy here.
A number of reports on the future of work are quick to throw out bold statements like over 40% of the workforce will be freelancers by 2025, or that the full time job is a dying breed. While only time will tell for the long-term future, what about in the next few years, especially in New Zealand?
Overseas trends indicate that freelancing will continue to steadily grow as big players like Google, Yahoo, Facebook and IBM expand their freelance workforces. Researchers think New Zealand will follow suit, particularly in the regions, as more people start working remotely from home in the next few years. The Government is getting behind this too, with amendments to the Employment Relations Act meaning that any employee has the right to request flexible working arrangements.
So what’s happening now?
While the industry disagrees over the percentage of the workforce that will be freelancing in the future, one thing they can agree on is that freelancing is set to grow. Freelancing will continue to grow as more people seek flexibility with their work - at all levels. While it’s well documented that younger workers want more flexibility, older and more experienced workers are moving to freelancing too for the change of pace it brings. Something we’ve noticed at Yudoozy is that seasoned creatives with multiple years of agency experience are trying their hand at freelancing because they want to try something new and work for a range of clients.
For businesses, freelancing is set to increase as more and more businesses look to grow their remote and agile workforces. With all the changes and disruptions that are happening in a number of industries, not just creative and digital, hiring freelancers can help businesses be more adaptable as by using skilled freelancers who can start ASAP, there is no lengthy recruitment process. Efficiency is another bonus for employers, as freelancers are only paid for the actual amount of hours they worked to get the job done.
There is also talk of policy changes to “normalise” the processes around freelancing, in terms of protection for freelancers and making payment more clear for both employers and freelancers. Introducing policies and regulations is a bonus for employers, as if some of the risks for freelancers are mitigated, then it will become a viable option for even more workers. More freelancers = a larger talent pool for employers to choose from. For any employers who are hesitant to take on freelancers, having a more formal process will also be a big benefit as with a clear process in place, everything becomes a little more clear.
Overall, it’s an exciting time for freelancing, with some big developments set to come in the next few years with changes to many industries and the nature of work itself.