Global freelancer survey: our 8 biggest takeaways

We surveyed 700+ freelancers globally to learn more about their experiences and what motivates them.

June 19, 2024

In December of 2021 we surveyed freelancers globally and compiled 700+ responses to look for insights into the freelance world. We wanted to get a better understanding of why they freelance, what their challenges are, and how the companies that manage them can provide them with a better experience. 

Between the great resignation and COVID-19, surveys like this offer a great window into quickly shifting workforce trends. And those trends show no signs of slowing down. 

Below are the 8 biggest takeaways from the results of the survey. 

  • Freelance work pays well 
  • Flexibility is everything 
  • Burnout makes employees go freelance
  • Freelancers are happier 
  • Freelancers are more in demand than ever
  • Freelancers don’t always get paid on time
  • Freelancers have more free time
  • The Great Resignation is pushing employees to go freelance

Freelance work pays well 

If you’re considering going freelance, your wallet might thank you for it. 58% of respondents reported earning more money as a freelancer than they did as FTEs. 

Flexibility is everything 

If you manage freelancers, it’s important to understand their motivating factors so that you can get the best freelancer for each project that you have. Our freelancers ranked flexibility as even more important than money. Ensuring your freelancers have as much flexibility as possible allows them to do what they do best and will keep your top freelancers wanting your projects. 

Burnout makes employees go freelance

Burnout was the top reason selected that pushed people to switch to freelance during COVID-19. This is even higher than having no room for development. Understanding that your freelancers value work life balance and low stress — and tailoring the experience they have with you accordingly — is another big factor in retaining your best freelance talent. 

Freelancers are happier 

It turns out that making more money isn’t the only benefit of going freelance. 72% of respondents said they are happier as freelancers than they were before. 

Freelancers are more in demand than ever 

As full time employees resigned left and right during the Great Resignation, many employers had to turn to freelancers to fill immediate gaps in their organization and ensure things could run smoothly. It’s a great time to be a freelancer. And if you’re working for a company that doesn’t really leverage freelancers, it might be the time to re-evaluate your working model. 

Freelancers don’t always get paid on time (outside of Worksome)

When asked how fast they typically get paid by clients who don't use Worksome, only 42% said they get paid on time. Something as simple as automating payments can put you way ahead of your competitors in terms of freelance management. And it helps keep your best freelancers wanting to work for you.

Freelancers have more free time 

When compared with the earlier stat about freelancers earning more money, this builds a pretty compelling case for going freelance. Who wouldn’t want to make more money and have more free time? Sounds like a win-win!

The Great Resignation is pushing employees to go freelance

When you consider the fact that the majority of freelancers surveyed were already freelancing before the Great Resignation, this is actually a pretty big number. As more and more full time employees go freelance, the smartest companies will have hybrid models that use both FTEs and freelancers, so that they can get the best possible talent working for them. 

Managing freelancers can feel challenging but there are ways to make it easier. Implementing a freelancer management system can automate a lot of the more manual processes and give both you and your freelancers a smoother and easier experience. Learn more about how an FMS can help your business.