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Freelancing 2021: facts and statistics and the personal and environmental benefits

One year and three months ago, no one had a notion about what would be the pandemic’s impact on the way we work. 

In between curfews and lockdowns, people lost their jobs or changed careers to become freelancers. Companies moved their workforce to work remotely or started to hire independent professionals. Remote work and freelancing presented a huge growth in 2020 without showing signs of slowing down. 

According to a World Economic Forum report, 84% of employers plan to expand remote working and, by 2025, it is expected to have 36.2 million Americans working remotely.

Regarding freelancing, 96% of new freelancers say they will do more freelancing in the future. Lastly, the population of digital nomads rose dramatically in 2020. Only in the US, it increased around 49% compared to 2019.

As people experienced the remote work benefits, we reached a point where nearly 40% of workers would rather quit their jobs than return to the office full time.

To say the least, this Pandemic accelerated the future of work and showed us the advantages of freelancing and remote work. 

Benefits of Freelancing for the people and the planet

Freelance and remote work might bring some challenges, but several studies show the professional /personal benefits and positive impact on the planet. 

Benefits for your personal and professional life

Ph. Anna Tarazevich – Pexels

Increases productivity & performance:

Increased productivity is one factor highlighted in this new work standard.

According to an Upwork report, 41,2% of workers pointed out they had less distractions compared to the office. While 46,3% stated the reduction of non-essential meetings as something positive during remote work. Moreover, a Flexjobs study shows higher productivity as people claim to be more productive when working remotely. And hiring managers recognize it

Fewer distractions mean more time to focus. Set up your customized workspace and enjoy your quieter work environment to boost your productivity.

Gives more flexibility and better work-life balance:

Working from where you want and when you want is something people value. It provides a positive impact on the overall quality of life and allows more time with family. To prove it, Buffer states that 40% of people feel that a flexible schedule is the greater benefit of remote work. Something full-time freelancers support as the top reason to choose a freelance career

Improves Health & Happiness and reduces stress:

Remote work is correlated with health, happiness and stress reduction.

According to FlexJobs, 77% of people said having a flexible job would allow them to be healthier, and 86% said they’d be less stressed, which is more associated with commuting. On the freelancer side, 64% of all freelancers stated their health has improved after deciding to follow this career path.

Increases savings and potential income:

Freelance and remote work can help you save time and money and can give you the opportunity to generate more income.

 According to the State of Telecommuting and Payscale studies, remote workers earn around $4,000 more annually than office-based employees and  8.3% earn more compared to non-remote workers with the same job and qualifications. While freelancers claim to make more money than they did with their previous jobs. 

Beyond being great for your pockets, this is good for the companies’ too. Telecommuting has the potential to save employers $41.9 billion per year.

Benefits of freelancing and remote work for the environment

Ph. Sigmund – Unsplash

During the first lockdown while the majority of people were working from home, it was clear the positive impact generated due to air pollution reduction, improved water quality, biodiversity appearances and deforestation rate reduction.

Reduces greenhouse gas emissions & Improves air quality:

Fewer cars on the road meant less use of fossil fuels, less traffic, air pollution and a lower carbon footprint. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Breathe London Data study showed a 25% emissions reduction during the morning commute and 34% during the evening commute. Beyond the benefits of reduced traffic, Flexjobs points out that telecommuters contributed to the greenhouse gas emissions reduction by an amount equal to 600,000 cars. 

By working remotely, you get to  spare time commuting while reducing your emissions. 

Saves Paper and Plastic:

By working from home, you might reduce plastic usage in certain situations (food delivery orders, coffee at the local shop, or use of disposable cups, bottles and utensils). Rather, you can stand up, prepare a fresh mug of coffee or tea or grab a glass of water without any disposable tableware.

Moreover, working online eliminates the disposal of 247000 trillions sheets of paper by sharing digital documents with the team, avoiding unnecessary paper sheets. Less paper means more trees. Each saved tree helps to remove up to 14,7 pounds of carbon dioxide.

Reduces energy consumption:

The results regarding energy saving consumption are not clear. According to the World Economic Forum, 26 studies suggest that work from home reduces energy consumption because of the spared travels and the lower office energy consumption. 

The truth is that it all depends on several factors and the way we control our home energy consumption. You can adopt good practices to make sure you reduce your energy consumption. For example, remember to:

  • unplug your unused equipment;
  • turn off lights and change your lights to more eco-friendly options;
  • try to fix your working hours according to daylight;
  • be comfortable but balance the time usage of  your heating/cooling systems.

Gives you extra time for Positive Impact:

As you don’t commute and you have a more balanced life, you have extra time you might want to use to do good for the planet. Grow your own food or garden, support a local association, create an awareness event  or clean trash in your neighbourhood. Every small step counts when it comes to generating a positive impact.

Want to be a freelancer?

Remote work and Freelance work have many benefits for the companies and the workers and, indirectly, creates a positive impact on the environment.

If you are interested in learning more about the environmental benefits check out this article 👉The positive Environmental Impacts of the Flexible Work Economy.

Working from anywhere while helping the planet. 

If these benefits are interesting for you and you want to join the flexible work revolution, find freelancing work at Work for Impact. You will have a chance to work with impact-driven clients and indirectly contribute to the 6% of the revenue we donate to associations and charities, worldwide. Find out more here.

Don’t just work! Make an impact 🙂