28% of Brits planning to go freelance in next five years - Business Leader News

28% of Brits planning to go freelance in next five years

Remote has surveyed 3,000 business owners, freelancers and employees in the US and UK to reveal the benefits and challenges of freelance work (from both a business and worker perspective), how freelance work schedules differ from those of traditional employees, and what we can expect to see from freelancing in the coming years.

Nearly three in ten employees plan to do freelance work in the next five years

Remote’s survey revealed that almost three in 10 (28%) current employees in the US and UK plan to do freelance work in the next five years, and another 21% want to do it in the next 11 months.

Young people aged 25-34 are the most motivated of all, with 40% aiming to go freelance and over half (52%) saying they would consider it on a part-time basis.

The top five motivations for going freelance, according to employees

According to Remote’s survey, the top five biggest motivations driving current employees to consider going freelance are being in charge of when they choose to work (67%), their number of working hours (66%), and the type of work they do (64%); location flexibility (63%); and work-life balance (62%).

Rank Motivation % of Employees who agree
1 In charge of when you choose to work

(e.g. which days and time of day)

2 In charge of your number of working hours 66%
3 In charge of your clients and type of work 64%
4 Location flexibility and opportunity to travel 63%
5 Work-life balance 62%


The top five challenges holding people back from going freelance

Although many people understand the appeal of freelance work, most also recognize that it’s not without its own challenges. The top five areas of concern for employees are finding enough work (66%), managing irregular income (62%) irregular work (60%), managing clients’ expectations (60%), and clients not paying (59%).

Rank Challenge % of Employees who agree
1 Finding enough work 66%
2 Managing an irregular income 62%
3 Managing irregular work 60%
4 Managing expectations with clients 60%
5 Clients not paying 59%


Freelancers work over two hours more unpaid overtime than employees

Both employees and freelancers work five days a week on average with a similar number of contracted hours. However, freelancers are more likely to work overtime than employees.

The survey revealed that freelancers work an average of 13.3 hours of paid overtime and 9.7 hours of unpaid overtime per week, whereas employees work 8.8 paid and 7.4 unpaid overtime hours on average.

Freelancers do however also benefit from more vacation days, reporting an average of 23.5 days of vacation per year compared to an average of 19.6 for employees. Over half (54%) of freelancers also said they take more vacation as a freelancer than they did as an employee.

The top five business benefits of hiring freelancers

28% of employers Remote spoke with said they have had a positive experience working with freelancers. The survey revealed the biggest benefits of hiring independent contractors are that it saves time (65%), is cost-effective (62%), offers a fresh perspective (61%), doesn’t need long-term commitment (60%), and offers a larger pool of talent to choose from (60%).

Rank Motivation % of Employers who agree
1 Saves time 65%
2 Cost-effective 62%
3 Fresh perspective 61%
4 No long-term commitment 60%
5 A larger pool of talent to choose from 60%

The top five challenges businesses face when hiring freelance workers

Working with freelancers isn’t always easy; it comes with its fair share of challenges for business owners. According to Remote’s survey, the top five challenges are freelancer knowledge of the company (53%), communication (52%), inconsistent availability (52%) and pricing (50%), and high costs (50%).

Rank Challenge % of Employers who agree
1 Freelancer knowledge of the company 53%
2 Communication with freelancers 52%
3 Inconsistent availability 52%
4 Inconsistent pricing 50%
5 High costs 50%