Online staffing trends: 'Biggest shift in work since industrial revolution'


Worth a staggering $1 billion, the online working industry "the biggest shift in work since the industrial revolution", according to a new report looking into worldwide online staffing trends.

Elance's Annual Impact Report finds that millions of people are looking online for work to escape their local economy, overcome workplace discrimination and gain new found freedom in their working life.

In the UK, the report found that the number of freelancers working on Elance increased by 73% in the past year. There has also been a 50% rise in the number UK freelancers being hired around the world, finding work in places such as USA, Canada and United Arab Emirates providing skills such as writing and IT programming.

The report features some some interesting case studies and contact details of online freelancers and businesses hiring online.

This includes;

• A British man living on a boat, travelling the world and working anywhere with WiFi

• An Indian writer who has found work online despite his physical disabilities

• A Serbian structural design engineer who could not find work locally and now uses an online platform to work internationally.

The report provides key insights into why Elance’s network of online professionals surged 52% in the past year and hiring by businesses on Elance jumped 60%. The Report also benchmarks six key areas of impact: opportunity, productivity, happiness, community, flexibility and equality.

"Work has profound positive impacts beyond the traditional economic dimensions," said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance. "This report illustrates some of the impacts of online work to highlight the life-changing economic and social value being created by millions of entrepreneurs, companies and freelance workers who connect through our online workplace.”
Impact on the UK

As the UK battles with double dip recessions and the worst economic performance in a generation, smart companies and freelancers are getting online to find work and opportunities abroad. In the last year, Elance has seen a 73% increase in the number of freelancers registered in the UK. There has also been a 50% rise in the number UK freelancers being hired around the world, finding work in the creative, marketing and IT industries in the US, Australia and Canada

Key insights from the Report include:

The impact of online work on freelancers

• Online work connects people to a higher volume of job opportunities. The average freelancer receives an average of 5.8 new job opportunities per month.

• People working online are happier and more productive. Sixty-nine percent (69%) are happier when freelancing versus working in a traditional onsite job. The average freelancer estimates that they have 28 more personal days than they did when working in a corporate environment. As a result, 71% claim they are more productive.

• Freelancers expect to make more money in 2013. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of freelance professionals expect their income to increase in 2013.

The impact of online work on businesses

• Hiring freelancers online gives businesses a competitive edge. Hiring freelance talent provides a competitive edge for 85% of companies. Seventy-four percent (74%) of companies reported they will hire more freelancers in 2013.

• Faster hiring results in faster bottom-line impact. The average hiring time on Elance is 3.3 days versus employers taking an average of 5 weeks and 6 days to fill a role.

• The demand for high-quality talent, not costs, is driving businesses to turn to online freelancers. While hiring freelancers online typically leads to significant savings for businesses, the bigger driver is that higher quality talent can now be found online. In the past year alone, there has been a 153% increase in freelancers online with skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Read the full report here


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