Flexibility Now Coveted by Most Job Seekers, Stretching CEOs’ Capabilities

GettyImages-473530656-compressorAsk any person today if they’d be interested in doing freelance work and, more often than not, the answer would be yes.

That’s a key finding of new research conducted by Boston Consulting Group, which, the consultancy suggests, provides further evidence that the global workforce is becoming more mobile.

Such a trend could offer CEOs broader scope to share top talent through a freelance model of employment. However, it also could mean having to offer more flexible work choices to compete for resources.

After questioning 13,000 job seekers across 13 countries, BCG found a convincing majority of 76% expressed an interest in working on a freelance basis—including 23% who were already working independently. The survey also found that 64% were interested in working overseas, while 7% had already moved to a different country.

“The advance of broadband and new digital technologies has made it much easier for an individual to hold freelance and additional jobs than it was even 10 years ago.

“The advance of broadband and new digital technologies has made it much easier for an individual to hold freelance and additional jobs than it was even 10 years ago,” BCG said of the results.

The survey was only in its second year and no comparative data existed on the freelancer question from the previous year’s results. Separate research put out in November, however, indicated that the U.S. freelance economy is indeed growing.

Conducted by research firm Edelman Intelligence on behalf of the Freelance Union, it found the freelance workforce grew to 55 million in 2016, up from 53 million in 2014, representing 35% of the U.S. workforce.

“The freelance workforce is the fastest-growing component of the economy. Figuring out where it is going is the most pressing question of our digital age,” Louis Hyman, an associate professor at Cornell University said of the results.

In BCG’s survey, only a third of the respondents engaged in freelance work nominated it as their main source of employment, indicating the majority still had a primary role as a company employee.

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Ross Kelly
Ross Kelly is a London-based business journalist. He has been a staff correspondent or editor at The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Finance and the Australian Associated Press.

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