Gig economy, side hustle, independent work, freelance, entrepreneurship, being your own boss… All these words have something in common, and that’s the command of your own professional life. Independent work has taken off over the past few years, and more and more professionals are taking their skills and sharing them on a freelance or independent basis. Could this be for you, could this be a way you could outsource work instead of hiring people full time? Well, there’s one way to find out – let’s read on!
What is Independent Work?
Remember back in school when you had independent work time? You’d sit at your desk in a quiet classroom, everyone trying to figure out that assignment. Well in the professional world, independent work has a different vibe, but it’s not so different, really.
Like those classroom days, independent professionals are responsible for their own work. There’s no one taking the bulk of it, but independent workers also are not covering for coworkers who don’t carry their load. They carry out the creation, the delivery, the communication – all the responsibility. And it’s picking up speed around the world. Whether it’s someone’s sole means of income or they use independent work to supplement another job, it’s a smart way to use talents and not be tied to the 9-5.
According to McKinsey.com, the report, Independent work: Choice, necessity, and the gig economy, shows that up to 162 million people in the United States and Europe (which is roughly 20 to 30 percent of the working-age population) engage in some type of independent work.
With the evolvement of digital platforms, this type of work is becoming easier and easier. The pandemic showed a lot of people that they can do something new, maybe turn a hobby, like photography, into a lucrative form of income. Perhaps someone has always loved taking pictures of dogs. They’d be the one snapping photos of dogs at the park just for fun. Lo and behold, this can become a great side hustle or professional endeavor. With digital promotion, before you know it, clients could be lining up, cute canines in tow ready for photos.
The essence of independent work is working for oneself in a freelance or entrepreneurial capacity. It’s a great way to outsource work on a need basis instead of employing full-time creatives. It allows the independent worker the time and means to pursue other work while allowing the client a wide variety of options. So you see, it’s a win-win way to work.
The Rise of Independent Workers
When Covid hit, many people stepped out of their office and into the home to work. But even before that, people were looking to take their careers into their own hands. More and more creatives were turning to independent work and more and more companies were outsourcing them instead of hiring full time. One big reason for this is the rise of Gen Z workers.
Gen Z has decided they are tired of a lot of the traditional ways of the world. And one of these is the work-life they’ve seen the older generation be tied to. In fact, many Gen Z’ers cite the importance of a fulfilling and supportive workplace as a main criteria in a job search. So it goes without saying that they are happy to set their own terms as independent workers.
This data from MBOpartners help to illustrate this. Gen Z represents about 16% of current independent work, and given the demographic traits, they will likely power a growth in solo entrepreneurship. As Gen Z acquires their marketable skills, they’ll use tech tools and platforms to find work and build careers powered by businesses of one.
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A few other interesting points on the rise of independent workers from MBOpartners:
- It’s predicted that in the next 10 years, around 50% of the American workforce will work in some independent capacity.
- Around 15% of American workers already participate in the “side hustle” or gig economy.
- Gen Z’ers are expected to be the most entrepreneurial generation yet, and we should see the gig economy increase substantially because of this.
- In 2020, 48% of the private workforce in the U.S. had worked independently at some time during their careers. The number will probably reach 54 percent by 2025, which is a rate of more than three times that of the growth of employment.
Businesses of one…nice ring to that, eh? And, remember, it’s in thanks to the rise of platforms that make it easy to market, whether it’s a platform like LinkedIn to showcase skills or something like our own Bunny Studio where creatives can join others to broaden their opportunities. Again, though, this is all thanks to the digital world and the ease of maneuvering around it.
No longer do freelancers have to work locally. They can take jobs around the world, conferencing, creating, and delivering in a digital capacity. And not only does this benefit the independent worker, but also the client or company hiring them.
When we delve into the independent workforce, we are going to see independent contractors for a myriad of professions. How about the plumber coming to fix your hot water heater? Perhaps you could call one of the big chain plumbing companies and get sent a random plumber, or you can call the independent contractor that you’ve developed a relationship with. You also know the money you’re paying them goes to them. They are probably happier, too.
So let’s look at creative work, like what we do at Bunny Studio. We have creatives from around the world, all with specialized skills. We match the best pro to each job to provide not only the best work for the client but the most fulfillment to our creatives. Independent contractors have the opportunity to turn their valuable skills into their job. Remember our dog photographer? Many independent contractors have left the corporate world to pursue their hobbies and turn their passion and skills into moneymakers.
Now that we’ve looked at the independent workforce and what drives them, let’s take a look at hiring independent workers for the jobs you need doing.
Types of Independent Workers in the Gig Economy
We’ve mentioned a couple already, like the plumber and the dog photographer. What about the hairdresser who left her salon to open her own independent business? Or the interior design professional who started his own service after helping friends create beautiful homes over the years? And of course, there are our creatives at Bunny Studio like:
- video producers
- voice artists
- resume writers
- podcast producers
- music professionals
- and more!
Let’s look at a couple of scenarios…
- You want to translate your website into Spanish so you can reach a broader market. Because it’s a finite project, you don’t really need to hire a full-time Spanish translator, but you could reach out to one for a specific job. You know you’ll be getting a highly skilled professional and you can form relationships in case you need the services again.
- You’re in search of a new job, but not sure how to update your resume. How do you find a credible and professional resume writer so you’re not simply getting a churned-out form resume? Look to an independent worker who specializes in resumes.
- How about you’ve just created a captivating film and you’d love some engaging narration. However, your voice isn’t the one you want. Hire a voice artist with just the right voice for this one-time project. Maybe it’s a big booming voice or a soft gentle one, whatever you want, you can get.
You can see, there’s a great benefit to hiring independent professionals. You can narrow in on exactly what you want, and once the project is fulfilled, you’re good. Again, you can foster relationships and come back to the creative if you were happy with the work. And if you weren’t happy, well, there’s no commitment.
But wait, let’s revisit that film…maybe you want a little editing done or you’d like to offer subtitles or get some background music. If you are connected to a platform like Bunny Studio, you can get all your creatives services in one place. What’s better than that? It’s like picking all your favorite desserts from the dessert bar – you don’t have to have the ones you don’t like, and the ones you love are right there waiting for you.
Hiring Independent Workers
When you hire an independent worker for a project, it may or may not be a long-term gig. And though you don’t have to think about things like health benefits or time off, you will have to consider things like:
- revisions or satisfaction guaranteed
- timelines and check-ins
- payment schedules
- ownership rights
- privacy issues
Whether you’re teaming up with creatives directly or hiring from a platform, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the above things covered, as well as anything else that pertains directly to you.
One exciting thing about the gig economy is the flexibility within it. The guidelines are up to the individuals, and if you want something in particular, you should be able to get it. You don’t need to sacrifice anything to get what you’re aiming for.
To Sum It Up
We think the big takeaway here is that the gig economy and independent work are a complete win-win for everyone involved.
Satisfaction and fulfillment are high in the world of independent professionals. You know they love what they’re doing, and they’re good at it. So they’ll put that care and pride in the work they do for you. Whether it’s a hobby turned professional or a career taken solo, these are the passionate experts, the budding artists, the driven professionals.
Within the gig economy, you can find just what you want and these professionals are waiting to take on your projects. Be a part of where the professional world is going.
If you’d like to work with any of our Bunny Studio creatives or speak with a member of our customer service team, please reach out to us and see how we work. Welcome to this new and exciting platform!