How workers approach work has evolved more in the last 18 months than it has in the last decade. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the course of employment and businesses altogether. In its its 11th Annual State of Independence in America report, released last week, MBO Partners shows that the number of independent workers or freelancers in the US has risen to 51.1 million. Simply put, almost 34% of workers have moved to independent careers. The majority of such workers are women, Gen Z, and millennials.
This exponential rise can be explained by the economic distress caused by the pandemic and what workers have had to do in order to survive.
The study suggests that though businesses are restarting in America, some workers are still facing the brunt of the pandemic and are either unemployed or have reduced work hours. A large proportion of such employees have resorted to part time or freelancing jobs for financial security. More than 68% of independent professionals reveal that freelancing and working independently is more safe in terms of job security and finances.
It was not surprising to see that 55% of these independent careerists are women. The data shows that 11 million women in America lost their jobs during the pandemic. Independent work was a sure shot way of coming back to work. Also workers who started their careers during the pandemic - the Gen Zers and some millennials - have chosen to go the entrepreneurial route.
The evolved work models have enabled workers to prioritise work-life balance, personal lifestyle, mental well-being, and professional excellence. The study further confirms that the independent professionals are more content and satisfied with their work, have higher levels of satisfaction, work-life balance and seem financially sheltered compared to traditional jobs.