The gig economy continues to bloom as nearly 90 per cent of 18-26-year-olds see it as a viable career path in the long-term, according to a new study.
Research by Adecco Group and LinkedIn has found that more skilled professionals are rejecting regular nine to five jobs in favour of the flexible work lifestyle offered by the gig economy.
The study, Flexible Working: a career and lifestyle pathway, has found evidence to support the theory that the UK is entering a new economic era in which flexible working is becoming an attractive part of the status quo, rather than a stopgap solution.
In fact, the research revealed that around 82 per cent of 18-26-year-olds in the gig economy aspired to be an independent professional, and 89 per cent see it as a long-term career path.
Not only has the freelance job market changed compared to three years ago, the perception of freelancing as a career has become more positive. This latest revelation by Upwork could explain the rising attraction of the gig economy among youngsters.
This is exacerbated further by the increase in the number of online platforms available for independent professionals, with 71 per cent saying this is where they get their clients and obtain work from.
There are currently 15 million contractors altogether across Europe and the UK.
Adecco Group and LinkedIn also found that 54 per cent of these freelancers had chosen to work flexible hours in order to have a better work/life balance. Only 36 per cent regarded it as something to do between permanent roles.
According to LinkedIn data, most of those forging careers within the gig economy are highly-skilled professionals. And 91 per cent of those that use the social network are in the mid to late stages of their careers.
Alain Dehaze, Adecco Group’s CEO, said: “Flexible working offers a huge and exciting opportunity for everyone in a rapidly changing world of work. The emerging gig economy has the potential to grow to three times the size of the temporary staffing market.
“However, much more has to be done at policy level to support independent workers, from fairer legislation and social benefits to providing better training.
“Flexible workers are shaping the future of work. It is time to dispel the myths, remove the barriers and help them get there.”