ODesk Spring 2013 Online Work Survey is out

ODesk, the online work marketplace, has published the results of a new survey it undertook with Millennial Branding, looking at online work trends. The findings are pretty astonishing, actually, showing a strong inclination in those that are freelancing at least some of the time to become fulltime freelancers:

From the press release:

  • 72% of those surveyed, and who still at “regular” jobs want to quit to be entirely independent; 61% say they likely will within two years
  • Freedom is the top reason those at “regular” jobs would like to quit; and 89% say they prefer to work when and where they choose (versus in a corporate, 9 – 5 job)
  • 90% of independent workers indicated that being an entrepreneur reflects having a certain mindset (rather than being strictly defined as having started a company)
  • Of the freelancing Millennials surveyed, 58% of those familiar with the term “entrepreneur” classify themselves as one

Of the freelancing Millennials surveyed, 58% of those familiar with the term “entrepreneur” classified themselves as one. Among all generations, freedom to work how they want is critical — 89% said they’d prefer to work when and where they choose (versus in a corporate, 9 – 5 job). In fact, among those surveyed who were still at “regular” jobs, freedom was the top reason they wanted to quit. When comparing freelance work to “regular” jobs, freelancing was seen as providing more freedom to:

  • Work wherever they like (92% agreed)
  • Work whenever they like (87% agreed)
  • Work on more interesting projects (69% agreed)
  • Travel while working (half said they’d prefer this to having to take vacation time)

Here’s an infographic summarizing the results.

043013_THISONE_V6

I spoke with Gary Swart yesterday in New York City, and oDesk is working with some really large household-name companies whose products we use every day. He confirmed that the fast-and-loose workforce trend is growing rapidly, even in companies that we think of as having large populations of full-time professional employees. We may have considered the growing contingent workforce strictly from the angle of companies reducing costs, but it’s clear that other forces are also at work, like full-time workers who want the flexibility and autonomy of being a freelancer and companies who need greater agility and flexibility, and therefore are turning to freelancers to help them on a contingent basis.

Relevant Analyst
Stowe Boyd

Stowe Boyd

Lead analyst, future of work Gigaom Research and stoweboyd.com

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