This Is How Freelancers & Startups Are Changing The Workforce

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Have you ever thought about freelancing, working in a co-working space or delving into the general future of our workplaces? This article looks at the impact on the changing nature of our workforce.

We are currently living through a fundamental transformation in the way we work. Demographic and social forces are resulting in a younger and more diverse workforce while evolving technology is continuing to change the way people work. It’s important to understand these changes, to properly prepare for current and future workplace trends and the growing changes to workers’ needs and wants. Technology now allows workers to work from anywhere, and communicate with anyone, at any time, all over the world and subsequently, workers are seeking more of this increased autonomy and flexibility in their lives. In recent years, there has been a rise in freelancers and startups moving out of their homes and offices, respectively, and moving into co-working spaces. Freelancers and small business are changing the way of the workforce, and this is altering our future workspace and life.

The Rise Of Freelancing

According to the report, Future Working: The Rise of Europe’s Independent Professionals, The growth in independent professionals in the EU since 2004 has been remarkable. Numbers have increased by 45% from just under 6.2 million to 8.9 million in 2013, making them the fastest-growing group in the EU labor market at that time. That number then rose to 9.6 million in 2015, according to new research published by IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed. These types of work are on the rise due to shifting economic conditions, corporate downsizing, and employee dissatisfaction. However, perhaps the biggest push factors have resulted from the rise of personal technology that allows us to work remotely from devices and apps and communicate with one another from everywhere. Subsequently, the appealing nature of co-working spaces, which offer freelancers unprecedented support and resources to work with more flexibility, are on the rise.

Future Workplace Trends

The workplace landscape is evolving fast. Millennials will soon be moving into the decision-making positions, and more businesses are likely to benchmark from the likes of modern workplaces, Google and Facebook, and utilize emerging new technologies such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and cloud technology into the workplace. There is a growing debate about how these technologies will impact our future. Workspaces are set to become less formal and more fun, termed ‘living workplaces’. Offices will have more of a home environment, with the kitchen as a centerpiece and more open and collaborative spaces, to encourage a more collaborative nature between employees. With the availability of technology and remote offices, employers can now offer more flexibility to employees. It’s predicted that flexibility for employees is only set to increase, and thus working remotely will also increase. Communication technology now allows employees to access company data and tools from outside the office. With more people wanting to live this remote employee lifestyle, it is predicted that there will be a continued rise of freelancers, and businesses will have more high-quality consultant options than ever before.

The Rise Of Co-Working Spaces

Co-working spaces are for those who wish to work together in a communal, collaborative setting, as opposed the traditional office where office space is occupied by employees of a single organization. They also tend to be eco-friendly and homely designed, like the ‘living workplaces’ mentioned earlier. These spaces are growing in popularity not only with freelancers, startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses but with large corporations as well. It’s emerging that there are many different benefits for all of these types of workers.

Co-working spaces are not only providing a sense of community for the independent and often isolated worker, but they are offering employees part of larger organizations to be flexible in their own environment, be inspired by and network with like-minded people. Workers say that overall, they have more job control. Co-working spaces are normally accessible 24/7 and people can come and go as they please. People can also choose to work in quiet spaces, so they can focus more, or choose to be in more collaborative spaces, where interaction is encouraged. However, can too much autonomy be a bad thing? Workers must rely on their own self-motivation and not be crippled by a lack of routine. Perhaps the success of these spaces purely depends on the personality and preferences of the workers. There are some who still view co-working as a quirky niche instead of the future of work. While it’s true that co-working isn’t for everyone, and certainly doesn’t work for every industry, co-working can serve as a model for creating better communities, and many businesses are now incorporating co-working into the business strategy.

The freelancer economy is growing, technology is advancing and co-working spaces appear to be just one trend, which is growing to solve the challenges of providing the support, flexibility, and autonomy to the changing workforce.



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