Some of the capital’s biggest projects have relied on specialist contractors and freelancers to maintain momentum. From major infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Crossrail, through to ad-hoc support for major corporates, the flexibility of the freelance population is what really makes independent professionals so important to our economy as a whole.
In addition to the £109bn our freelancers turnover a year, the freelance economy also generates an estimated £30bn a year in “added value” to UK gross domestic product. From 2008 to 2015 the UK freelancer population has soared by 36 per cent to 1.91 million, due in no small part to a desire for a more enjoyable work-life balance.
Freelancing: a work-life balance for all ages
It’s not just graduates and young adults that are looking to get in on the action either. Interestingly, the demographic with the biggest rise of freelance professionals in 2015 was those aged over 60 (63 per cent), followed by young freelancers aged 16 to 29 (51 per cent).
The advent of co-working has given independent professionals the ability to work away from the confines of their own home in a purpose-built setting, surrounded by like-minded entrepreneurs.
The importance of belonging to a community
At Club Workspace we have experienced excellent organic growth due to heightened demand for co-working space that gives freelancers the opportunity to have their own professional working environment, whilst feeling part of a community that allows them to foster working relationships and bounce ideas around with complete freedom.
Advancements in technology have radically changed the way professionals look for work, with online job boards and communities giving specialists a platform to pitch for niche work in line with their skill sets.
However, the very fact freelancers are now almost always switched-on means connectivity is an even bigger priority. At Club Workspace, our ‘London Wide-Fi’ gives customers Wi-Fi access from any of our 17 co-working centres, enabling them to stay firmly within the loop.
Anna Soubry, Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise, has identified the growth of the sector and stated the Government would be backing freelance workers and working to protect their rights and infrastructure.
“Freelancers know their trades inside out and make a massive contribution to our economy, so it is absolutely right that the Government does all it can to support them,” said Soubry.
“The Enterprise Bill will shortly become law and I look forward to appointing the Small Business Commissioner as another strong voice for the self-employed. We must continue to champion the work they do and recognise the challenges they face every day.”
Alexandra Witney, head of operations, Club Workspace, says now is the time for those thinking of becoming their own boss and attracted by a different work-life balance to step up and take charge of their destiny.
“Co-working is the perfect ‘next step’ up from working from home. Our business clubs give professionals dedicated work space – ideal for those who don’t yet require a conventional office or studio.
“We understand that networking and collaboration are key to establishing a successful, growing business. That’s why all our Club Workspace members are invited to a bursting calendar of business and social events to foster fruitful working relationships.”
Keen to know more? Check out our three Club Workspace membership packages, as well as bespoke offers for individual Club Workspace locations here.