Traditional forms of work are becoming less and less popular. Instead, remote work and freelancing have taken over as more powerful alternatives and are quickly shaping the future of work with more people starting their own businesses. So what can freelancers expect in 2020?
IT Talent Shortage throughout Europe
Companies around Europe are struggling to find IT professionals with relevant experience to join their teams. According to the Joint Employment Report 2020 by the European Commission, labor shortages remain substantial in the EU, with countries that report low unemployment especially suffering from this shortage.
A study by Bitkom (Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media in Germany), showed that in November 2019, 124,000 vacancies were open for IT specialists in Germany (51% more than in 2018).
But Germany is not alone in this regard. The shortage of tech professionals is an increasing concern for all Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Norway – as well.
Every unfilled IT position costs sales, burdens companies’ growth and slows down the necessary digital transformation. Ultimately, this is a threat to the competitiveness of the entire country and the UE.
This is, of course, an opportunity for IT freelancers that can be recruited much faster and are also able to start on a project more efficiently thanks to their expertise and past experience. Companies will need to open up to hiring freelance IT experts to overcome the shortage and to keep growing.
In Germany, the demand will further increase heavily resulting in rising prices. In the Netherlands, there is a downward trend as well since more employees have decided to become self-employed.Program manager]
Remote work & Mixed Workforce in Organizations
Remote work acceptance varies depending on countries and industries. Digital industries are better suited to remote work but some argue that other industries may not benefit from this flexible way of work.
If we just focus on the IT industry, we see that developers and IT professionals are demanding this flexibility (at least part-time). See that Buffer’s remote work report shows that 98% of the people said they would like to work at least some of the time remotely.
This movement is especially embraced by parents who need this flexibility of working from home to combine their career with childcare and home life. Ultimately, flexibility is also one of the main reasons why freelancers start their own businesses (so said 35% of the surveyed freelancers in our freelancermap study).
Freelance Rates Increase
With their expertise and flexibility, freelancers effectively counter the shortage of skilled workers and with this high demand for freelancers, their hourly rates are expected to continue to rise.
According to our freelancer study, freelancers working in the IT consulting field were charging on average $115 / hour worldwide in 2019, followed by SAP experts with an average hourly rate of $104.
The survey also showed that 44% of all surveyed freelancers were planning to increase their rates in 2020.