Trends Shaping The Future of Work

“160 million jobs, or about 11% of the projected 1.46 billion services jobs worldwide, could in theory be carried out remotely, barring any constraints in supply” *

 *McKinsey Global Institute, The Emerging Global Labor Market, Part I: The Demand for Offshore Talent in Services.

The wealth of human knowledge is now available online. It’s never been easier to learn a trade, with millions of people worldwide rapidly self educating or upping their knowledge and expertise on the web. From the revolution in online education (Coursera, Udacity, Khan Academy) to simply googling/youtubing any required information – the industry is being disrupted by software companies.

The same goes for the field of work – where white collar jobs are now headed to software and moving into the cloud (Marc Andreessen, Wall Street Journal, Why Software is Eating the World).

The future of work is changing, and these are some of the trends driving the change:  

  • Work and leisure hours have started to overlap
  • There is a huge demand for a better work-life balance
  • Technological developments are dissolving the boundaries of time and place
  • The need for a greater flexibility within the organisation
  • Jobs can be done on the move, anytime and almost anywhere
  • Emergence of cross-disciplinary skills among workers
  • Demographic and psychographic shifts are changing the face of the workforce
  • Emerging economies are getting a stronger global representation in the services market

Employers are gradually being pressured to give into demands for more flexible working arrangements. A four-day work week, a career break or sabbatical, digital nomad lifestyle, a 30-hour work week, or simply working from home – more flexible work policies enable us to pursue our side interests and have more balance in life. The gig economy is on the rise and it is disrupting the way we live and do things.

I strongly welcome this ‘rise of the freelancer’. It allows you to pursue any personal, commercial, or academic interests or even lead an independent career. And, if managed the right way, can create a greater value and flexibility for employer as well. It should be a win-win situation.

In fact, our team at Freelancer.com* believe that every time a project is posted on our marketplace, and subsequently delivered, the employer’s and freelancer’s lives are changed in some way. It could be as simple as making your project budget go a little further, getting a concept proven for your new business idea or delivering some incredible innovative work. Projects posted and the work done by freelancers help feed their families, spend more time with friends, travel the world or liberate them from restrictive 9­ to ­5 jobs. It is a different way of working, living and thinking that keeps on delivering. And we need to start planning for it today


*Freelancer.com is the world’s leading freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace with over 17 million users and 9 million projects and contests posted in over 850 areas of work.

This article is a guest post written by Eva Bandelj, International Marketing & Communications, Freelancer.com.