Freelancers are willing to trade money for career creativity and the freedom to choose their work, new research has found. More than 40 percent of freelancers said that the freedom of choice in their work topped the list as the most appealing feature of freelancing.
Next to having a choice in their work, freelancers chose the creative experience and opportunity as the second most appealing feature of freelancing. Just 19 percent of respondents listed the financial reward of freelancing as its most appealing feature. In particular, workers lauded freelancing for giving "time around my children" and "freedom from the stink of internal politics."
Freelancing, however, did have some drawbacks, the study also found. Almost 40 percent of freelancers said the inactivity between assignments was the least appealing aspect of freelance work. One in four freelancers also complained about the insecurity that freelancing provided. Other specific problems respondents cited with freelancing included "having to spend ages chasing payments and doing accounts" and "missing out on the social aspects and networking."
Even with those problems, freelancing remains a growing option for many workers. The study found that 39 percent of respondents began freelancing around 2009, but just 28 percent of freelancers said they were freelancing because they could not find a permanent position for other reasons.
The information in this research was based on the responses of more than 1,000 creative, design and marketing freelance professionals. The research was conducted by Major Players, a top United Kingdom recruiter.