The aftermath of COVID-19
The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new era of work in the United Kingdom, marked by a significant rise in the number of freelancers and sole traders. Albeit it has yet to recover from the numbers at the start of 2020. In this article, we have looked into the post-COVID landscape of freelancers in the UK. Exploring the factors driving their surge and the profound implications this shift holds for the future of work.
“As of April 2023, there were around 4.44 million self-employed workers in the United Kingdom. During this provided time-period, self-employment in the UK has grown steadily, from a low of just 3.2 million in December 2000, to a peak of over five million at the start of 2020. In the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, however, self-employment has fallen to levels not seen since the middle of 2015” (source: D. Clark, Statista.com 13. June 2023).
The advantages of using freelancers
After the low of 2020, the pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote work and highlighting the importance of adaptability. Freelancers, already accustomed to working independently and remotely, were well-prepared to face the challenges of the new normal. Consequently, many individuals who lost their jobs or sought alternative ways of working turned to freelancing, contributing to the exponential growth of the freelance economy in the UK.
Post-COVID, organisations have come to recognise the advantages of tapping into a flexible talent pool. Freelancers offer an unparalleled advantage by providing specialised skills and expertise without the constraints of traditional employment arrangements. This paradigm shift has leveled the playing field, allowing freelancers to compete based on their abilities and deliverables. Companies can access a global talent pool while freelancers can seize new and exciting opportunities across various industries.
Advancements in technology have revolutionised remote collaboration, enabling seamless interactions between freelancers and clients across the UK and the globe. Digital platforms and marketplaces have emerged as crucial intermediaries, connecting freelancers with potential clients and streamlining the hiring process. These platforms provide transparency, user ratings, and reviews, fostering trust between freelancers and clients, facilitating mutually beneficial working relationships.
The perception of freelancing as an unstable career choice is gradually shifting. The visibility of successful freelancers and the recognition of their contributions have challenged traditional notions of work. As a result, dedicated support systems have emerged to address freelancers’ needs. Freelancer associations, coworking spaces, and online communities offer networking opportunities, resources, and mentorship, fostering a sense of community and professional growth.
Which type of freelancer professions have increased the most
Freelancers encompasses a wide range of professions, but there are several specific fields that have experienced more growth than others in the UK post-COVID such as:
- Digital Marketing and Content Creation.
- Web Development and Programming.
- Remote Consulting and Coaching.
- Creative Services..
- Writing and Translation Services.
- Virtual Assistance and Administrative Support.
- IT and Technical Support.
While freelancing empowers individuals with autonomy, concerns regarding financial stability and access to benefits persist. The pandemic has underscored the importance of establishing safety nets for independent workers. In response, the UK government has introduced initiatives such as the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and explored the possibility of extending benefits to freelancers. Striking a balance between autonomy and security will be crucial for the sustainable growth of the freelance economy.
The post-COVID era in the UK has witnessed a remarkable surge in freelancers, reshaping the traditional work landscape. The embrace of agility, expanding opportunities, remote collaboration, and evolving perceptions have all fueled the growth of the freelance economy. Although challenges remain, the future of freelancing in the UK appears promising, with freelancers playing a vital role in driving innovation, meeting diverse business needs, and contributing to the overall economic fabric. As the nation moves forward, it is imperative to provide adequate support and foster an enabling environment for freelancers to flourish in this new era of work.
How to become a professional freelancer by use of administrative tools
Being a freelancer, you need to take care of all administrative aspects of the business yourselves. That’s why it is important to have solid and easy to use administrative programs such as invoicing (like www.InvoiceNet.co.uk), accounting and time tracking to secure faster payments and to minimize the time needed to carry out the administrative part of the business. As of now, you can do a lot of this in Excel, but it gives you less financial insight, less tracking of when your customers are due to pay you, no tax summaries etc.
In conclusion, proper (and often non expensive) administrative programs are valuable tools for freelancers in the UK. It also enhances professionalism, saves time, ensures accuracy, expedites payment processes, provides financial insights, and integrates with accounting systems. By leveraging invoicing software, freelancers can streamline their administrative tasks, focus on their core work, and maintain healthy financial management practices.