In the last ten years, there has been a huge surge in self-employment. There are now 4.7 million people in the UK who are self-employed. More than ever before – and it is a rising trend.
The rising trend of self-employment
Talk to people who work for themselves and they will give you a variety of reasons for doing it. Some do it for the freedom to escape from the daily office grind – no boss telling them what to do, no one watching over them with a leash. Self-employment gives them true freedom to work when they want and how they want.
Others are entrepreneurs, looking to build up a business. Hoping to grow their business, to employ people and build up the assets of the company, with a view to becoming independently wealthy themselves and to make their shareholders wealthy too.
Some end up self-employed without a choice. Through lack of jobs, or poor economic factors, they are forced to look to work for themselves, utilising their skills in new ways.
Whatever the reasons, the increase has been rapid since the economic downturn. But what is unusual is that this isn’t just a blip.
Not just the economy
It is usual whenever there is a recession or downturn for self-employment to increase. This was seen in the recession in the early 90’s. But what is unusual in the present situation is that the numbers haven’t dwindled as the economy has picked up, which is what happened in the late 90’s and early noughties boom.
The number of self-employed people has continued to rise steadily despite economic growth suggesting that other factors are the cause. This is certainly borne out when we look at the type of people who are seeking self-employment.
Who are the new self-employed?
One of the biggest increases in self-employment has been through older workers from 55 to 65. Those who are taking partial retirement and semi-retirement are continuing to work to keep their hands in and to supplement their pensions.
There’s also an increase in parents who are at home looking after children and then want to utilise their existing skills, or find new areas to work in to build up a business. These are looking for flexibility in their working environment, so that they can decide who can look after the children or who can do the school run. The need to work at times that aren’t the usual 9-5 and without the strictures of an office life.
Lastly, there has also been a huge increase in younger workers working in what’s called the gig economy. These are creatives and freelancers, using technology and online services to deliver results for clients and customers. These are finding that they have more autonomy as to how to solve customers’ problems and how to provide a service by working for themselves.
The one thing that unites these different demographics of self-employment is that each of these groups are using creative means to solve issues for their customers. They are servicing the new economy, where customers are looking for solutions that are more agile, to cope with the fast-changing world.
Self-employed workers are in the best position to offer agility and creativity, because they can work in an agile way. To do this effectively, however, they need the facilities and the right support for their businesses. Which means they need the right working environment to be able to service customer’s needs.
Self-employment is here to stay
Self-employed Britain is increasing. It is not a marginal section of the labour market anymore. It’s an important part of the economy, and will continue to be so. Even though the economy is booming again, the numbers of self-employed is still increasing. And longer lives and the impact of information and communications technology means that it is easier and easier to manage a labour input that comes in fragments.
This means that self-employed people need suitable space to work in, that suits a new way of working. Some start out from the 3rd bedroom, but the time comes for most self-employed people when a more professional space is needed – somewhere away from the distractions of home.
This is what we have strived to create at Ourworx, a flexible, creative space that is geared specifically to small business needs. We understand that agile businesses need agile solutions. With our flexible packages, super-fast fibre broadband, 24-hour access and everything else you need comes inclusive in the deal. Giving you everything you require to make it in the “gig economy” as a self-employed person.
No matter whether you are a young creative start-up, semi-retired professional, or a working parent, Ourworx has it all for the self-employed.Back to News