According to one case study, many businesses are, “writing blank cheques in the race for survival.”
During the pandemic, some specialist freelancers saw significant increases in their day rates as they became more in demand, demonstrating how pay for 25,000 UK freelancers has fluctuated during the pandemic depending on which profession they are in.
According to a survey conducted by YunoJuno, a UK executive freelance platform, pay of those working at companies like Google, BBC, GlaxoSmithKline, Sky, WeWork, Virgin, Accenture, and Ogilvy, as well as other FTSE 100 companies during the first three months of the pandemic (Mar-Jun.), have seen big winners include social media managers, now averaging £422 per day in the crisis (day rates up 27%) and in-demand project managers (day rates up 15% to almost £400) are also seeing a boom.
App & web development has seen (+6%), client services (+4%), and quality assurance and testing (+3%).
From February to April, YunoJuno experienced the fastest growth in available freelancers on the platform since it was founded in 2012. Those changing their status on the platform to ‘available’ increased by 5,000. This figure was then halved as demand for freelance workers increased once again over the summer.
“COVID is clearly the biggest threat to the UK economy and way of life in a generation,” says Shib Mathew, founder of YunoJuno says. “During this time, a large proportion of businesses continue their services through a labour force that does not need to be situated on-site. No other sector of the labour market is more prepared for this situation than the freelance industry.”
According to Mathew, many of the 6,000 businesses studied reported that the ability to deploy high calibre individuals for short periods of time to meet the needs of clients in the short-term, and that also help to future-proof their organisations in the long-term, has proved invaluable during this period of uncertainty.
“These professionals have both broad and extensive experience in operating in a remote format – understanding the imperative placed on strong communication, autonomous working and objective-driven results,” says Mathew.
Rates amongst brands and technology companies, including start-ups, have either remained consistent or increased, whereas within sectors like advertising there has been a decrease in rates offered to freelancers.
Alastair Williamson-Pound, Digital Consultant and Project Director, who has been using YunoJuno to source work since 2017, says that, while projects and contracts are smaller, businesses are prepared to invest heavily in the right staff.
“When it comes to a race for survival, there are businesses writing blank cheques in the area of tech adoption, business transformation and innovation,” says Williamson-Pound. “I have a portfolio of projects but they’re not your typical project at all. They’re more in the form of packages of days, like sprints of time, to be around and get stuff done and then take stock at a later date.”
The study follows research released by Trinity Business School, which showed that having a freelance element within your staff increased productivity and profits, with around 11% of total workforce being the point where positive impact began to be felt.