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© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.1 Intelligent Engagement
Freelancing in Australia: 2015
Results Deck
October 27, 2015
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 2
• An online survey of 1,000 Australian adults who have done paid work in the past 12 months
• Data collected August 17 – August 23, 2015 by independent research firm Edelman
Berland
• 2014 data referenced in this presentation is from Edelman Berland’s July 19 – July
31, 2014 survey
• Results are weighted to ensure demographic representation in line with the Australian
Bureau of Statistics Labour Force Survey
• Overall margin of error of ±3.1% at the 95% level of confidence
Research methodology
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 3
Audiences
NON-FREELANCERS
Definition:
- Individuals who earned income
through work but have not engaged
in supplemental, temporary, project-
or contract-based work, within the
past 12 months.
Sample n = 676
FREELANCERS
Definition:
- Individuals who have engaged in
supplemental, temporary, project-
or contract-based work, within the
past 12 months.
Sample n = 324
AUS WORKERS OVERALL
Definition:
- AUS adults 18+ who have earned
income from work within the past 12
months, including both freelancers
and non-freelancers.
Sample n = 1,000
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 4
Upwork commissioned Edelman Berland, an independent research firm, to conduct a study of the
freelance workforce within Australia with the following objectives:
1. Quantify the number of people freelancing in Australia for the second year in a row
2. Assess why people are freelancing
3. Explore the impact of investments in digital infrastructure on the economy
4. Gauge the outlook for freelancing, especially among Millennials as they become the majority of
our workforce
This results deck is organized in sections to detail results on each of these objectives.
Study objectives
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 5
1. Quantify the number of people freelancing in Australia for the second year in a row
• The percent of the Australian workforce freelancing increased by 2 percentage points since
2014, from 30% in 2014 to 32% now. Based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ August 2015
estimate of the civilian labor force at 12.5 million, that equates to nearly 4.1 million people –
370,000 more people who have done freelance work than last year.
2. Assess why people are freelancing
• Australians are freelancing by choice – 57% said they started more by choice – primarily
driven by flexibility and freedom.
• The majority (51%) of freelancers who left traditional employment now earn more – and 69%
indicated they earned more within a year or less.
• Technology is making it easier to find freelance work (68% of freelancers agree, compared
to 59% in 2014).
• 58% of freelancers say they would not quit freelancing and take a traditional job with an
employer -- no matter how much it paid.
Key findings (by objective)
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 6
Key findings (by objective)
3. Explore the impact of investments in digital infrastructure on the economy
• Nearly two-thirds of freelancers (65%) report that investment in Australia’s digital
infrastructure will grow the economy.
• More than 3 in 4 freelancers (77%) believe that increased opportunities for freelancers are
a positive step for the economy… and 62% think we need more open discussion about
freelancing.
4. Gauge the outlook for freelancing
• 72% of freelancers believe the best days are ahead for freelancing.
• Among all freelancers, nearly 3 in 4 (73%) would recommend freelancing to their friends and
family – with Millennials even more favorable at 75%.
• More than 3 in 4 (79%) non-freelancers said they are open to doing additional work
outside their primary jobs to earn more money, if it were available.
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 7
Quantifying the Freelance
Workforce
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
8
• Our survey of over 1,000 Australian workforce members rigorously screened respondents to
determine the percent who earned freelance income in the past year. Results showed that 32% of
the Australian workforce is doing freelance activity – up from 30% in 2014.
• Based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ August 2015 estimate of the civilian labor force at
12.5 million, we estimate that the Australian workforce currently includes nearly 4.1 million
people doing freelance work.
• This is an increase of 370,000 freelancers since our 2014 survey.
The percent of the Australian workforce freelancing
increased to 32% in 2015. Nearly 4.1M Australians
are now freelancing
"THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION - JULY 2015." Bureau of Labor Statistics - U.S. Department of
Labor, 7 Aug.
2015, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf.
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
9
Starting with the general Australian workforce, each respondent ran through a series of questions that carefully
qualified their employment status and income in order to detect freelancing that might otherwise go unrecorded.
The following definitions and examples explain 5 segments of freelancers captured:
1. Independent Contractors (30% of the independent workforce / 1.2 million professionals) – These “traditional”
freelancers don't have an employer and instead do freelance, temporary, or supplemental work on a project-to-project
basis.
2. Moonlighters (19% / 764 thousand) – Professionals with a primary, traditional job who also moonlight doing freelance
work. For example, a corporate-employed web developer who does projects for non-profits in the evening.
3. Distributed Workers (31% / 1.3 million) – People with multiple sources of income from a mix of traditional employers and
freelance work. For example, someone who works the front desk at a dentist’s office 20 hours a week and fills out the rest
of his income driving for Uber and doing freelance writing.
4. Temporary Workers (16% / 639 thousand) – Individuals with a single employer, client, job, or contract project where their
employment status is temporary. For example, a data entry worker employed by a staffing agency and working on a
three-month assignment.
5. Freelance Business Owners (4% / 163 thousand) – These freelancers have one or more employees and consider
themselves both a freelancer and a business owner. For example, a social marketing guru who hires a team of other
social marketers to build a small agency, but still identifies as a freelancer.
In order to qualify, freelancers had to have earned freelance income within the past 12 months.
How did we quantify freelancers?
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
10
4%
16%
19%
30%
31%
639K
Moonlighters
Distributed
Workers
Temporary
Workers
Freelance
Business Owners
Independent
Contractors
S102New: Behind the scenes-Freelancer Specific Classification-Tracking n = 324
163K
764K
1.2M
1.3MGrowth in freelancing since
2014 was most notable in
the Distributed Workers
segment (from 23% of
freelancers in 2014 to 31%
now)
The freelance workforce: 5 freelancer
segments
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 11
Why People are Freelancing:
Going Solo vs. Traditional
Employment
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
12
The majority of freelancers are starting by
choice
Choice
57%
Necessity
43%
Which is closer to the reason you originally
started freelancing?
Q48. Which is closer to the reason you originally started freelancing? n = 324
Q53. What do you think is different about the freelance job market today compared to 3 years ago? More people are
choosing to work independently [Strongly + Somewhat Agree] n = 324
63%of freelancers agree that more
people are choosing to work
independently today
compared to 3 years ago
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
13
60%
49%
65%
40%
51%
35%
18-34 35-54 55+
Reason for Freelancing - by Age
[Freelancers]
Choice Necessity
The youngest and oldest generations are most
likely to start freelancing by choice
Q48. Which is closer to the reason you originally started freelancing? n = 324
* Small base size (n=54). Results should be considered directional only.
*
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
14
Flexibility and freedom are key drivers for
freelancing
Q35b. Please indicate the degree to which each of the following is a reason why you freelance? (Top 2 Box) n = 94 full-time, n=163 part-
time. Note - small base size for full-time freelancers. Results should be considered directional only.
76% 75% 74% 72%
68%
50% 51%
57%
52% 52%
To work from the location of my
choosing
To have independence from things
such as office dynamics
To have flexibility in my schedule
(i.e. what days or times I work)
To be in control of my own financial
future
To be able to choose my own
projects
Top 5 Reasons for Freelancing
Full-time freelancers Part-time freelancers
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
15
Schedule flexibility and good work/life balance are
top characteristics freelancers associate with
freelancing
Q23: In your opinion, how well does freelancing fit each of these characteristics?(Top 2 Box) n = 324
78%
74% 73% 73% 72% 72% 72%
Flexibility to work when I
want
Good balance (between
my work and personal
life)
Opportunities to learn
new things (challenging)
Allows control of my own
destiny
Ability to work on
interesting projects
Flexibility to work where I
want
Provides the opportunity
to pursue work I am
passionate about or find
meaningful
Top Descriptors of Freelancing
Freelancers
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
16
Why do Australians freelance? In their own
words…
Q35a: Other than to earn money, why do you freelance? [Open End] n = 324
“Freedom, love of doing what I do.”
“To meet different people and to have more freedom and satisfaction.”
“Freedom to work your own hours.”
“Enjoy freedom and have opportunity to do what I like.”
Other than money, why do you freelance? (Open-
ended)
“Passion and love for what I do.”
“I umpire netball as my freelance work. I love netball and enjoy the fitness that umpiring provides.“
“Because I love to design and I want to build up my folio.”
“It employs skills I have in a worthwhile and interesting manner and keeps those skills current.”
“To gain additional skills and more importantly, wider range of experiences.”
“It gives me an opportunity to expand my knowledge and practice skills.”
1. Freedom
2. Pursue passion
3. Build skills
4. Flexibility
5. More Opportunities “For the flexibility to spend time with my kids.”
“To work from home and to have the flexibility to fit work around my life.”
“I recently moved countries and have been unable to find employment. I have skills, so freelancing is the sensible
option to earn an income.”
“I relocated but am still working for clients of previous business.”
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
17
Flexibility is a bigger driver for freelancers
overall than the type of work
Q35c. Which is a bigger reason why you freelance? n = 324
61%
39%
The flexibility it provides
(schedule flexibility, location
flexibility, time with family, etc.)
The work opportunities it
provides (type of projects,
interesting work, ability to work
with multiple clients, etc.)
Which is a bigger reason why you freelance?
Flexibility is especially important to
Gen X (72%) and parents with
children under 18 (66%)
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
18
More than a third of freelancers say they have
been able to move thanks to the flexibility their
career provides
Q50a. Please indicate your agreement with the following statements about freelancing. n = 324
60%of freelancers agree that freelancing
provides the opportunity to work from
anywhere
43%of freelancers agree that in the past, they
have been able to move to a different
location because of the freedom
freelancing gave them
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
19
The majority of freelancers who left traditional
employment earn more now, with 2 in 3 earning
more within the 1st year
Q29b. As a freelancer now, do you earn more or less than when you had an employer? (freelancers who left a traditional job) n =
121
Q29c. After leaving your job with an employer, how long did it take you to earn more as a freelancer than you did with an employer?
31%
21%
17%
24%
6%
0%
Immediately Less than 6
months
6 months –
1 year
1- 2 years 3- 5 years 6 years or
more
After leaving your job with an employer, how long did it take
you to earn more as a freelancer than you did with an
employer?
[Freelancers who earn more now than with employer]*
69%
L…
Sa…
More
51%
As a freelancer now, do you earn more or
less than when you had an employer?
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
20
More than half of freelancers say they wouldn’t stop
freelancing, no matter how much money they were
offered
Q29a: In the past, did you quit or leave a job with an employer in order to freelance? n=324
Q50e. How much more would a traditional job with an employer need to pay in order for you to definitely take
that traditional job and stop freelancing? n = 324
20%
1%
5%
7%
6%
4%
58%
How much more would a traditional job with an employer need to pay in order for
you to definitely take that traditional job and stop freelancing?
$50,000-
$99,999
$100K+
*Due to rounding, may add to over 100%
There is no amount
of money where I
would definitely
take a traditional
job.
>$5,000
$5,000- $9,999
$10,000-
$19,999
$20,000-
$49,000
37%of freelancers
have quit a job with an
employer in order to freelance
<$5,000
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
21
Q60. Have you ever obtained a freelance project online? n = 324
Q61. How long on average does it take you to find freelance projects that you look for online? (i.e. between looking for an opportunity and starting work of it) n = 132
An increasing number of freelancers are
obtaining work online
13%
32%
28%
15%
5%
8%
Less than
24 hours
1-3 days 4-6 days 1-2 weeks 3-4 weeks More than a
month
How long on average does it take you to find freelance
projects that you look for online?
[Freelancers who have obtained a freelance project
online]
No
59%
Yes
41%
Have you ever obtained a freelance project
online?
45% find projects
in 3 days or less
In 2014, 30%
of freelancers
had done a
freelance
project online
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
22
Technology is making it easier to find
freelance work
Q53_5. What do you think is different about the freelance job market today compared to 3 years ago? Please indicate your level of
agreement with the following statements: Technology has made it easier to find freelance work. n = 324
68
%Agree that technology has made
it easier to find freelance work
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 23
Freelancers and the Economy
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
24
Freelancers believe more investment in digital
infrastructure will help the Australian economy grow
Q87. Please indicate your agreement with the following statements. n = 324
7% 7%
29% 28%
63% 65%
Australia’s government should invest more
resources in the country’s digital infrastructure
(e.g. NBN)
Investment in digital infrastructure will help
Australia’s economy grow
Agreement with Economic Statements
Agree
Neither agree
nor disagree
Disagree
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
25
Freelancing is also seen as key to improving
our economy
Q78. Which is closer to your view of the impact freelancers have on our economy? n = 324
77%of freelancers believe that increased
opportunities for freelancers are a
positive step for our economy
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
26
… and nearly two-thirds of freelancers think we
need more open discussion about freelancing
Q77. Which is closer to your view of the discussion in our country around freelancers? n = 324
62%
38%
Which is closer to your view around the discussion
in our country around freelancers?
[Freelancers]
We need
MORE OPEN
DISCUSSION
of how to empower the
freelance segment of our
workforce
We already
talk about
freelancers
enough
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
27
Freelancers come from a variety of political
parties
Q86: Which political party do you align yourself with? n = 324
28%
23%
19%
10%
5%
15%
Australian
Labor Party
Liberal Party
of Australia
The Australian
Greens
Independents The Nationals Other
Which political party do you align yourself with?
[Freelancers]
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
28
Half of freelancers are more likely to vote for a
candidate that supports their interests
Q74: If a candidate for political office supported your interests as a freelancer, how would that impact your vote? n = 324
50%
40%
10%
If a candidate for political office supported your interests as a freelancer,
how likely would that be to impact your vote for that candidate?
More Likely It would make no difference Less Likely
Millennials (57%) are more likely to
vote for a candidate who supports
freelancers’ interests than Non-
Millennials (44%)
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 29
The Outlook for Freelancing
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
30
Freelancers are optimistic about the future: the
majority think freelancing’s best days are yet
to come
Q57. How do you see the future of freelancing in general? (2015) n = 324
72% of freelancers
believe the best days are
ahead for freelancing
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
31
Q57. How do you see the future of freelancing in general? n = 324
Q41. How likely are you to recommend freelancing to your family or friends? n = 324
Best days
are…
How do you see the future of
freelancing in general?
Best days
are behind
31%
Millennials are most optimistic about the
future of the freelance job market
Not Likely
25%
How likely are you to recommend freelancing
to your friends or family?
Not Likely
29%
Millennials Millennials
Adults 35+ Adults 35+
81%
Best days
are ahead
75%
Best days
are ahead
69%
75% likely
71% likely
72% of all
freelancers see
best days
ahead
73% of all
freelancers
likely to
recommend it
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
32
More freelancers are seeing an increased
demand for their services this year compared
to 2014
Q44. In the past year, have you seen the demand for your freelance services (increase, decrease, stay the same). n = 324
29%
50%
21%
In the past year, have you seen the demand for your freelance services change?
Increased Demand No Change Decreased Demand
+5% since 2014
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
33
More than a third of all freelancers expect their
income from freelancing to increase in the coming
year
Q42. In the coming year, do you expect your income from freelancing to (increase, decrease, stay the same). n = 324
42%
47%
11%
Increase Stay the same Decrease
In the coming year, how do you expect your income from freelancing to change?
+9% since 2014
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
34
Freelancing gives Australians extra confidence
going into retirement
Q84: How confident are you that you will be able to maintain your current standard of living after you retire? n = 1000
11% 9%
17%
31%
47%
50%
25%
10%
Freelancers Non-Freelancers
How confident are you that you will be able to maintain
your current standard of living after retirement?
Very confident
Somewhat confident
Not very confident
Not confident at all
72%
60%
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
35
9 in 10 freelancers would consider freelancing
after they retire to earn additional income
Q85: Would you consider freelancing after you retire to earn additional income? n = 324
Would you consider freelancing after you retire?
89% Yes
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
36
Two in five moonlighters have considered quitting
their primary employment and going solo
Q11: Do you have an employer (i.e. a company that employs you)? n = 1,000
Q12: Do you have more than one employer, job, or contract project? n = 774
Q13: Do you do any work outside of your primary position to supplement your income or earn additional money? n=611
Q37. Have you ever considered quitting your primary job in order to work completely independently? (Moonlighters) n = 61. *Small base size.. Results should be considered directional only.
Yes
40%
No
60%
Have you considered quitting your job in
order to work completely independently?
[Moonlighters]*
764K
Moonlighters
Workers with a primary employer
who have done work outside of
their main job to earn additional
money within the past year
If these Moonlighters
quit their jobs, that
would be nearly
306KNew Independent
Contractors
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
37
Most non-freelancers are open to freelancing
Yes
79%
No
21%
Would you be willing to do additional work outside of your primary job if it was
available and enabled you to make more money?
[Non-Freelancers]
Q21. Would you be willing to do additional work outside your primary job(s) if it was available and
enabled you to make more money? N = 676
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 38
Who Freelancers Are
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
39
Men tend to freelance more than women
Q1: What gender do you more closely identify with? n = 1,000
59%
41%
54%
46%
Male Female
What gender do you more closely identify with?
Freelancers AUS Workers Overall
Note: “AUS Workers Overall” includes all AUS adults who have earned income
from work within the past year, including freelancers and non-freelancers
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
40
Freelancers tend to be young, with nearly half
under the age of 35 – but almost 20% are 55+
Q2: What is your current age? n = 1,000
47%
36%
17%
37%
45%
18%
Under 35 35-54 55+
What is your current age?
Freelancers AUS Workers Overall
Note: “AUS Workers Overall” includes all AUS adults who have earned income
from work within the past year, including freelancers and non-freelancers
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
41
42%
26% 30%
58%
74% 70%
18-34 35-54 55+
Freelance Participation by Age
Freelancers Non-Freelancers
More millennials freelance than any other age group
Q2. What is your current age? n = 1,000
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
42
Almost half of freelancers cite caregiving as a
reason they freelance
Q35b: Please indicate the degree to which each of the following is a reason why you freelance? n = 324
43
%of freelancers say they
freelance to have a
schedule that allows
them to provide care for a
family member
“It fits in my lifestyle around the kids and family life.”
“Caring duties for kids and disabled wife so can't take regular work with
decent pay.”
“Work/life balance I can work when I want, where I want which is easier
with kids.”
“Can spend more time with kids and freelance at convenience.”
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
43
Freelancers are more educated than the
average worker
Q68: What is the highest level of school you have completed or the highest degree
you have received? n = 1,000
28%
20%
16%
36%
35%
24%
11%
30%
Secondary school or less Vocational/technical school Some university/higher education University degree+
What is the highest level of school you have completed?
Freelancers AUS Workers Overall
Note: “AUS Workers Overall” includes all AUS adults who have earned
income from work within the past year, including freelancers and non-
freelancers
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
44
Freelancers live all over the country
Q70. What state do you live in? n=1,000
33%
22%
18%
13%
7%
3% 2% 2%
32%
25%
20%
12%
7%
2% 1% 2%
New South Wales Victoria Queensland Western Australia South Australia Australian Capital
Territory
Northern Territory Tasmania
What region do you live in?
Freelancers AUS Workers Overall
Note: “AUS Workers Overall” includes all AUS adults who have earned income
from work within the past year, including freelancers and non-freelancers
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
45
But are more likely to live in urban areas than
suburban or rural areas
Q71. What type of area do you currently live in? n=1,000
35%
56%
9%
26%
62%
12%
Urban Suburban Rural
What type of area do you currently live in?
Freelancers AUS Workers Overall
Note: “AUS Workers Overall” includes all AUS adults who have earned income
from work within the past year, including freelancers and non-freelancers
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 46
Appendix
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
47
• AUS Workers Overall: AUS adults 18+ who have earned income from work within the past 12 months,
including both freelancers and non-freelancers.
• Freelancers: Individuals who have engaged in supplemental, temporary, project- or contract-based work,
within the past 12 months.
• Full-Time Freelancers: Individuals that describe their current freelance work status as “full-time freelancer.”
• Part-Time Freelancers: Individuals that describe their current freelance work status as “part-time freelancer.”
• Non-Freelancers: Individuals who earned income through work but have not engaged in supplemental,
temporary, project- or contract-based work, within the past 12 months.
• Non-Freelancers Employed Full-time: Individuals that describe their current work status as “employed full-
time” and do not do any additional work outside of their primary job to supplement their income.
Glossary
© Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.
48
Upwork
Upwork is the world’s largest freelance talent marketplace. More than 4 million businesses and 10 million
independent professionals tap into www.upwork.com to work together via the Internet. As our increasingly
connected and independent workforce goes online, talent—like software, shopping and communications before
it—is shifting to the cloud. This innovation is freeing professionals from set time and place work, while also
making it faster and easier for businesses to hire. Upwork is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with
offices in San Francisco, California and Oslo, Norway.
This study commissioned by:

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Freelancing in Australia: 2015

  • 1. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc.1 Intelligent Engagement Freelancing in Australia: 2015 Results Deck October 27, 2015
  • 2. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 2 • An online survey of 1,000 Australian adults who have done paid work in the past 12 months • Data collected August 17 – August 23, 2015 by independent research firm Edelman Berland • 2014 data referenced in this presentation is from Edelman Berland’s July 19 – July 31, 2014 survey • Results are weighted to ensure demographic representation in line with the Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour Force Survey • Overall margin of error of ±3.1% at the 95% level of confidence Research methodology
  • 3. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 3 Audiences NON-FREELANCERS Definition: - Individuals who earned income through work but have not engaged in supplemental, temporary, project- or contract-based work, within the past 12 months. Sample n = 676 FREELANCERS Definition: - Individuals who have engaged in supplemental, temporary, project- or contract-based work, within the past 12 months. Sample n = 324 AUS WORKERS OVERALL Definition: - AUS adults 18+ who have earned income from work within the past 12 months, including both freelancers and non-freelancers. Sample n = 1,000
  • 4. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 4 Upwork commissioned Edelman Berland, an independent research firm, to conduct a study of the freelance workforce within Australia with the following objectives: 1. Quantify the number of people freelancing in Australia for the second year in a row 2. Assess why people are freelancing 3. Explore the impact of investments in digital infrastructure on the economy 4. Gauge the outlook for freelancing, especially among Millennials as they become the majority of our workforce This results deck is organized in sections to detail results on each of these objectives. Study objectives
  • 5. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 5 1. Quantify the number of people freelancing in Australia for the second year in a row • The percent of the Australian workforce freelancing increased by 2 percentage points since 2014, from 30% in 2014 to 32% now. Based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ August 2015 estimate of the civilian labor force at 12.5 million, that equates to nearly 4.1 million people – 370,000 more people who have done freelance work than last year. 2. Assess why people are freelancing • Australians are freelancing by choice – 57% said they started more by choice – primarily driven by flexibility and freedom. • The majority (51%) of freelancers who left traditional employment now earn more – and 69% indicated they earned more within a year or less. • Technology is making it easier to find freelance work (68% of freelancers agree, compared to 59% in 2014). • 58% of freelancers say they would not quit freelancing and take a traditional job with an employer -- no matter how much it paid. Key findings (by objective)
  • 6. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 6 Key findings (by objective) 3. Explore the impact of investments in digital infrastructure on the economy • Nearly two-thirds of freelancers (65%) report that investment in Australia’s digital infrastructure will grow the economy. • More than 3 in 4 freelancers (77%) believe that increased opportunities for freelancers are a positive step for the economy… and 62% think we need more open discussion about freelancing. 4. Gauge the outlook for freelancing • 72% of freelancers believe the best days are ahead for freelancing. • Among all freelancers, nearly 3 in 4 (73%) would recommend freelancing to their friends and family – with Millennials even more favorable at 75%. • More than 3 in 4 (79%) non-freelancers said they are open to doing additional work outside their primary jobs to earn more money, if it were available.
  • 7. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 7 Quantifying the Freelance Workforce
  • 8. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 8 • Our survey of over 1,000 Australian workforce members rigorously screened respondents to determine the percent who earned freelance income in the past year. Results showed that 32% of the Australian workforce is doing freelance activity – up from 30% in 2014. • Based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ August 2015 estimate of the civilian labor force at 12.5 million, we estimate that the Australian workforce currently includes nearly 4.1 million people doing freelance work. • This is an increase of 370,000 freelancers since our 2014 survey. The percent of the Australian workforce freelancing increased to 32% in 2015. Nearly 4.1M Australians are now freelancing "THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION - JULY 2015." Bureau of Labor Statistics - U.S. Department of Labor, 7 Aug. 2015, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf.
  • 9. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 9 Starting with the general Australian workforce, each respondent ran through a series of questions that carefully qualified their employment status and income in order to detect freelancing that might otherwise go unrecorded. The following definitions and examples explain 5 segments of freelancers captured: 1. Independent Contractors (30% of the independent workforce / 1.2 million professionals) – These “traditional” freelancers don't have an employer and instead do freelance, temporary, or supplemental work on a project-to-project basis. 2. Moonlighters (19% / 764 thousand) – Professionals with a primary, traditional job who also moonlight doing freelance work. For example, a corporate-employed web developer who does projects for non-profits in the evening. 3. Distributed Workers (31% / 1.3 million) – People with multiple sources of income from a mix of traditional employers and freelance work. For example, someone who works the front desk at a dentist’s office 20 hours a week and fills out the rest of his income driving for Uber and doing freelance writing. 4. Temporary Workers (16% / 639 thousand) – Individuals with a single employer, client, job, or contract project where their employment status is temporary. For example, a data entry worker employed by a staffing agency and working on a three-month assignment. 5. Freelance Business Owners (4% / 163 thousand) – These freelancers have one or more employees and consider themselves both a freelancer and a business owner. For example, a social marketing guru who hires a team of other social marketers to build a small agency, but still identifies as a freelancer. In order to qualify, freelancers had to have earned freelance income within the past 12 months. How did we quantify freelancers?
  • 10. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 10 4% 16% 19% 30% 31% 639K Moonlighters Distributed Workers Temporary Workers Freelance Business Owners Independent Contractors S102New: Behind the scenes-Freelancer Specific Classification-Tracking n = 324 163K 764K 1.2M 1.3MGrowth in freelancing since 2014 was most notable in the Distributed Workers segment (from 23% of freelancers in 2014 to 31% now) The freelance workforce: 5 freelancer segments
  • 11. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 11 Why People are Freelancing: Going Solo vs. Traditional Employment
  • 12. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 12 The majority of freelancers are starting by choice Choice 57% Necessity 43% Which is closer to the reason you originally started freelancing? Q48. Which is closer to the reason you originally started freelancing? n = 324 Q53. What do you think is different about the freelance job market today compared to 3 years ago? More people are choosing to work independently [Strongly + Somewhat Agree] n = 324 63%of freelancers agree that more people are choosing to work independently today compared to 3 years ago
  • 13. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 13 60% 49% 65% 40% 51% 35% 18-34 35-54 55+ Reason for Freelancing - by Age [Freelancers] Choice Necessity The youngest and oldest generations are most likely to start freelancing by choice Q48. Which is closer to the reason you originally started freelancing? n = 324 * Small base size (n=54). Results should be considered directional only. *
  • 14. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 14 Flexibility and freedom are key drivers for freelancing Q35b. Please indicate the degree to which each of the following is a reason why you freelance? (Top 2 Box) n = 94 full-time, n=163 part- time. Note - small base size for full-time freelancers. Results should be considered directional only. 76% 75% 74% 72% 68% 50% 51% 57% 52% 52% To work from the location of my choosing To have independence from things such as office dynamics To have flexibility in my schedule (i.e. what days or times I work) To be in control of my own financial future To be able to choose my own projects Top 5 Reasons for Freelancing Full-time freelancers Part-time freelancers
  • 15. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 15 Schedule flexibility and good work/life balance are top characteristics freelancers associate with freelancing Q23: In your opinion, how well does freelancing fit each of these characteristics?(Top 2 Box) n = 324 78% 74% 73% 73% 72% 72% 72% Flexibility to work when I want Good balance (between my work and personal life) Opportunities to learn new things (challenging) Allows control of my own destiny Ability to work on interesting projects Flexibility to work where I want Provides the opportunity to pursue work I am passionate about or find meaningful Top Descriptors of Freelancing Freelancers
  • 16. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 16 Why do Australians freelance? In their own words… Q35a: Other than to earn money, why do you freelance? [Open End] n = 324 “Freedom, love of doing what I do.” “To meet different people and to have more freedom and satisfaction.” “Freedom to work your own hours.” “Enjoy freedom and have opportunity to do what I like.” Other than money, why do you freelance? (Open- ended) “Passion and love for what I do.” “I umpire netball as my freelance work. I love netball and enjoy the fitness that umpiring provides.“ “Because I love to design and I want to build up my folio.” “It employs skills I have in a worthwhile and interesting manner and keeps those skills current.” “To gain additional skills and more importantly, wider range of experiences.” “It gives me an opportunity to expand my knowledge and practice skills.” 1. Freedom 2. Pursue passion 3. Build skills 4. Flexibility 5. More Opportunities “For the flexibility to spend time with my kids.” “To work from home and to have the flexibility to fit work around my life.” “I recently moved countries and have been unable to find employment. I have skills, so freelancing is the sensible option to earn an income.” “I relocated but am still working for clients of previous business.”
  • 17. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 17 Flexibility is a bigger driver for freelancers overall than the type of work Q35c. Which is a bigger reason why you freelance? n = 324 61% 39% The flexibility it provides (schedule flexibility, location flexibility, time with family, etc.) The work opportunities it provides (type of projects, interesting work, ability to work with multiple clients, etc.) Which is a bigger reason why you freelance? Flexibility is especially important to Gen X (72%) and parents with children under 18 (66%)
  • 18. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 18 More than a third of freelancers say they have been able to move thanks to the flexibility their career provides Q50a. Please indicate your agreement with the following statements about freelancing. n = 324 60%of freelancers agree that freelancing provides the opportunity to work from anywhere 43%of freelancers agree that in the past, they have been able to move to a different location because of the freedom freelancing gave them
  • 19. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 19 The majority of freelancers who left traditional employment earn more now, with 2 in 3 earning more within the 1st year Q29b. As a freelancer now, do you earn more or less than when you had an employer? (freelancers who left a traditional job) n = 121 Q29c. After leaving your job with an employer, how long did it take you to earn more as a freelancer than you did with an employer? 31% 21% 17% 24% 6% 0% Immediately Less than 6 months 6 months – 1 year 1- 2 years 3- 5 years 6 years or more After leaving your job with an employer, how long did it take you to earn more as a freelancer than you did with an employer? [Freelancers who earn more now than with employer]* 69% L… Sa… More 51% As a freelancer now, do you earn more or less than when you had an employer?
  • 20. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 20 More than half of freelancers say they wouldn’t stop freelancing, no matter how much money they were offered Q29a: In the past, did you quit or leave a job with an employer in order to freelance? n=324 Q50e. How much more would a traditional job with an employer need to pay in order for you to definitely take that traditional job and stop freelancing? n = 324 20% 1% 5% 7% 6% 4% 58% How much more would a traditional job with an employer need to pay in order for you to definitely take that traditional job and stop freelancing? $50,000- $99,999 $100K+ *Due to rounding, may add to over 100% There is no amount of money where I would definitely take a traditional job. >$5,000 $5,000- $9,999 $10,000- $19,999 $20,000- $49,000 37%of freelancers have quit a job with an employer in order to freelance <$5,000
  • 21. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 21 Q60. Have you ever obtained a freelance project online? n = 324 Q61. How long on average does it take you to find freelance projects that you look for online? (i.e. between looking for an opportunity and starting work of it) n = 132 An increasing number of freelancers are obtaining work online 13% 32% 28% 15% 5% 8% Less than 24 hours 1-3 days 4-6 days 1-2 weeks 3-4 weeks More than a month How long on average does it take you to find freelance projects that you look for online? [Freelancers who have obtained a freelance project online] No 59% Yes 41% Have you ever obtained a freelance project online? 45% find projects in 3 days or less In 2014, 30% of freelancers had done a freelance project online
  • 22. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 22 Technology is making it easier to find freelance work Q53_5. What do you think is different about the freelance job market today compared to 3 years ago? Please indicate your level of agreement with the following statements: Technology has made it easier to find freelance work. n = 324 68 %Agree that technology has made it easier to find freelance work
  • 23. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 23 Freelancers and the Economy
  • 24. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 24 Freelancers believe more investment in digital infrastructure will help the Australian economy grow Q87. Please indicate your agreement with the following statements. n = 324 7% 7% 29% 28% 63% 65% Australia’s government should invest more resources in the country’s digital infrastructure (e.g. NBN) Investment in digital infrastructure will help Australia’s economy grow Agreement with Economic Statements Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree
  • 25. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 25 Freelancing is also seen as key to improving our economy Q78. Which is closer to your view of the impact freelancers have on our economy? n = 324 77%of freelancers believe that increased opportunities for freelancers are a positive step for our economy
  • 26. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 26 … and nearly two-thirds of freelancers think we need more open discussion about freelancing Q77. Which is closer to your view of the discussion in our country around freelancers? n = 324 62% 38% Which is closer to your view around the discussion in our country around freelancers? [Freelancers] We need MORE OPEN DISCUSSION of how to empower the freelance segment of our workforce We already talk about freelancers enough
  • 27. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 27 Freelancers come from a variety of political parties Q86: Which political party do you align yourself with? n = 324 28% 23% 19% 10% 5% 15% Australian Labor Party Liberal Party of Australia The Australian Greens Independents The Nationals Other Which political party do you align yourself with? [Freelancers]
  • 28. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 28 Half of freelancers are more likely to vote for a candidate that supports their interests Q74: If a candidate for political office supported your interests as a freelancer, how would that impact your vote? n = 324 50% 40% 10% If a candidate for political office supported your interests as a freelancer, how likely would that be to impact your vote for that candidate? More Likely It would make no difference Less Likely Millennials (57%) are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports freelancers’ interests than Non- Millennials (44%)
  • 29. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 29 The Outlook for Freelancing
  • 30. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 30 Freelancers are optimistic about the future: the majority think freelancing’s best days are yet to come Q57. How do you see the future of freelancing in general? (2015) n = 324 72% of freelancers believe the best days are ahead for freelancing
  • 31. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 31 Q57. How do you see the future of freelancing in general? n = 324 Q41. How likely are you to recommend freelancing to your family or friends? n = 324 Best days are… How do you see the future of freelancing in general? Best days are behind 31% Millennials are most optimistic about the future of the freelance job market Not Likely 25% How likely are you to recommend freelancing to your friends or family? Not Likely 29% Millennials Millennials Adults 35+ Adults 35+ 81% Best days are ahead 75% Best days are ahead 69% 75% likely 71% likely 72% of all freelancers see best days ahead 73% of all freelancers likely to recommend it
  • 32. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 32 More freelancers are seeing an increased demand for their services this year compared to 2014 Q44. In the past year, have you seen the demand for your freelance services (increase, decrease, stay the same). n = 324 29% 50% 21% In the past year, have you seen the demand for your freelance services change? Increased Demand No Change Decreased Demand +5% since 2014
  • 33. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 33 More than a third of all freelancers expect their income from freelancing to increase in the coming year Q42. In the coming year, do you expect your income from freelancing to (increase, decrease, stay the same). n = 324 42% 47% 11% Increase Stay the same Decrease In the coming year, how do you expect your income from freelancing to change? +9% since 2014
  • 34. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 34 Freelancing gives Australians extra confidence going into retirement Q84: How confident are you that you will be able to maintain your current standard of living after you retire? n = 1000 11% 9% 17% 31% 47% 50% 25% 10% Freelancers Non-Freelancers How confident are you that you will be able to maintain your current standard of living after retirement? Very confident Somewhat confident Not very confident Not confident at all 72% 60%
  • 35. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 35 9 in 10 freelancers would consider freelancing after they retire to earn additional income Q85: Would you consider freelancing after you retire to earn additional income? n = 324 Would you consider freelancing after you retire? 89% Yes
  • 36. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 36 Two in five moonlighters have considered quitting their primary employment and going solo Q11: Do you have an employer (i.e. a company that employs you)? n = 1,000 Q12: Do you have more than one employer, job, or contract project? n = 774 Q13: Do you do any work outside of your primary position to supplement your income or earn additional money? n=611 Q37. Have you ever considered quitting your primary job in order to work completely independently? (Moonlighters) n = 61. *Small base size.. Results should be considered directional only. Yes 40% No 60% Have you considered quitting your job in order to work completely independently? [Moonlighters]* 764K Moonlighters Workers with a primary employer who have done work outside of their main job to earn additional money within the past year If these Moonlighters quit their jobs, that would be nearly 306KNew Independent Contractors
  • 37. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 37 Most non-freelancers are open to freelancing Yes 79% No 21% Would you be willing to do additional work outside of your primary job if it was available and enabled you to make more money? [Non-Freelancers] Q21. Would you be willing to do additional work outside your primary job(s) if it was available and enabled you to make more money? N = 676
  • 38. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 38 Who Freelancers Are
  • 39. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 39 Men tend to freelance more than women Q1: What gender do you more closely identify with? n = 1,000 59% 41% 54% 46% Male Female What gender do you more closely identify with? Freelancers AUS Workers Overall Note: “AUS Workers Overall” includes all AUS adults who have earned income from work within the past year, including freelancers and non-freelancers
  • 40. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 40 Freelancers tend to be young, with nearly half under the age of 35 – but almost 20% are 55+ Q2: What is your current age? n = 1,000 47% 36% 17% 37% 45% 18% Under 35 35-54 55+ What is your current age? Freelancers AUS Workers Overall Note: “AUS Workers Overall” includes all AUS adults who have earned income from work within the past year, including freelancers and non-freelancers
  • 41. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 41 42% 26% 30% 58% 74% 70% 18-34 35-54 55+ Freelance Participation by Age Freelancers Non-Freelancers More millennials freelance than any other age group Q2. What is your current age? n = 1,000
  • 42. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 42 Almost half of freelancers cite caregiving as a reason they freelance Q35b: Please indicate the degree to which each of the following is a reason why you freelance? n = 324 43 %of freelancers say they freelance to have a schedule that allows them to provide care for a family member “It fits in my lifestyle around the kids and family life.” “Caring duties for kids and disabled wife so can't take regular work with decent pay.” “Work/life balance I can work when I want, where I want which is easier with kids.” “Can spend more time with kids and freelance at convenience.”
  • 43. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 43 Freelancers are more educated than the average worker Q68: What is the highest level of school you have completed or the highest degree you have received? n = 1,000 28% 20% 16% 36% 35% 24% 11% 30% Secondary school or less Vocational/technical school Some university/higher education University degree+ What is the highest level of school you have completed? Freelancers AUS Workers Overall Note: “AUS Workers Overall” includes all AUS adults who have earned income from work within the past year, including freelancers and non- freelancers
  • 44. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 44 Freelancers live all over the country Q70. What state do you live in? n=1,000 33% 22% 18% 13% 7% 3% 2% 2% 32% 25% 20% 12% 7% 2% 1% 2% New South Wales Victoria Queensland Western Australia South Australia Australian Capital Territory Northern Territory Tasmania What region do you live in? Freelancers AUS Workers Overall Note: “AUS Workers Overall” includes all AUS adults who have earned income from work within the past year, including freelancers and non-freelancers
  • 45. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 45 But are more likely to live in urban areas than suburban or rural areas Q71. What type of area do you currently live in? n=1,000 35% 56% 9% 26% 62% 12% Urban Suburban Rural What type of area do you currently live in? Freelancers AUS Workers Overall Note: “AUS Workers Overall” includes all AUS adults who have earned income from work within the past year, including freelancers and non-freelancers
  • 46. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. Intelligent Engagement 46 Appendix
  • 47. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 47 • AUS Workers Overall: AUS adults 18+ who have earned income from work within the past 12 months, including both freelancers and non-freelancers. • Freelancers: Individuals who have engaged in supplemental, temporary, project- or contract-based work, within the past 12 months. • Full-Time Freelancers: Individuals that describe their current freelance work status as “full-time freelancer.” • Part-Time Freelancers: Individuals that describe their current freelance work status as “part-time freelancer.” • Non-Freelancers: Individuals who earned income through work but have not engaged in supplemental, temporary, project- or contract-based work, within the past 12 months. • Non-Freelancers Employed Full-time: Individuals that describe their current work status as “employed full- time” and do not do any additional work outside of their primary job to supplement their income. Glossary
  • 48. © Copyright 2015 Daniel J Edelman Inc. 48 Upwork Upwork is the world’s largest freelance talent marketplace. More than 4 million businesses and 10 million independent professionals tap into www.upwork.com to work together via the Internet. As our increasingly connected and independent workforce goes online, talent—like software, shopping and communications before it—is shifting to the cloud. This innovation is freeing professionals from set time and place work, while also making it faster and easier for businesses to hire. Upwork is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with offices in San Francisco, California and Oslo, Norway. This study commissioned by: