How the current COVID-19 epidemic has affected the freelance market

Did you know that freelancers are the fastest-growing workforce segment in the European Union? Well, they are. But how has the current COVID-19 epidemic affected this tendency?

COVID-19 has forced many companies into layoffs and the job market is undergoing an unprecedented shakeup. Data from Fast Company (link) shows that freelancers may be best positioned to pick up the work. The pandemic has thrusted fundamental problems that define working life into the spotlight. Freelance and remote work will increasingly be the norm. We’ve experienced the trends supporting this well before the current crisis. Due to the epidemic, it may be accelerated by the change which organizations, employers, and freelancers are making to adapt to these new realities.

In Free Agents™, evidence of this trend can already be seen from both businesses’ point of view and freelancers’ point of view in the last months:

  • A large increase in the number of jobs on the Free Agents™ platform.
  • 2 times more freelancers signing up on the platform.

Klaus Markholt-Hansen, Co-founder of Free Agents™, states that we’ll be seeing an increasing amount of freelance work in the future due to the extremely uncertain climate surrounding the job market: “In no time, businesses have needed to rapidly adapt to more flexible ways of running a business. We have already heard from our network that they believe we’ll be seeing an increasing amount of freelance work as the pandemic continues and ends. We expect everyone to be more open-minded to freelance work and we anticipate that the pandemic will drive huge growth in the market.”

As many companies have been forced into layoffs, it is easy to imagine the freelance industry to experience a drop as well. However, the trends point towards part-time contractors and freelancer consultants to pick up the work in the long-term. “Our network is increasingly expressing how they lack the right skills to meet future business demands. Freelancers can provide specialized skills and are a way to secure specialized resources on a less binding basis – which is what some companies need in times of uncertainty” says Klaus. This also means that we will see companies safeguarding cash flow by balancing fixed costs with rising demands for new capabilities and talent.

We’ve already seen contracted freelance work challenging the status quo long before COVID-19. Now, COVID-19 has forced companies into layoffs, but what is going to happen post-COVID-19? The recovery will eventually begin, and companies need to rehire – but the general trend and our statistics suggest freelancers be best positioned to pick up the work.

At Free Agents™, we believe that prospects for freelance work will continue to outpace employment growth. In other words: The door is knocked down for more freelance work and all you have to do is sign up here at Free Agents™, create a free profile, and get matched with exciting and challenging freelance jobs.