Empowering the Freelance Economy

WFH has made payroll staff think and act like freelancers, says research

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Salaried workers are now thinking and acting more like freelancers, according to a report by Freelance Informer partner, ETZ. But are hiring companies and recruiters on the same wavelength?

Factors such as the economics of downsizing offices; the redressing of the work-life balance; and reducing the environmental impacts of commuting have all created an appetite for a permanent increase in work-from-home and remote working.

Research suggests a significant percentage of employees are moonlighting by freelancing in off duty hours. Survey data extrapolated over the entire working population suggests as many as 3 million UK workers would accept a cut in pay in return for working fewer hours.


WFH and remote working have also created a big shift in attitudes and expectations of workers and has impacted corporate HR management.

“Employees are now more likely to be cavalier and mercenary – they are more impatient than ever, wanting promotion after less than a year; expecting to change employers in less than two years; insisting on work arrangements to balance work and life better, even to the point of accepting a reduction in pay for greater flexibility,” said the ETZ report.

Employees on payroll, for example, want some of the benefits associated with freelance working, such as greater flexibility to work where and when they want.

Gallup describes Millenial and GenZ as “job hopping” generations, less committed to the organisation and engaged more by the work and co-workers than by employers.

On payroll staff also want more of what they have always wanted too… namely more investment in CPD, and greater choice and autonomy over their work.

With these developments in mind, inhouse talent executives are being urged to think and act more strategically. As Talent Architects their goal is to align the workforce more precisely to the needs of the organisation. This means leaving no stone unturned in building the right workforce by acquiring the services of the right people.

“Talent architects need to assemble teams with the right mix to fit the needs of the enterprise. It’s likely such teams will be diverse and inclusive, so they will be multidisciplinary, multigenerational, multi-ethnic and gender-equal. One of the fallouts of building such teams, is that HR executives may feel driven to recruit talent directly,” said the report.

You can read the full ETZ report here.

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