Freelancing updates and trends in Europe

Growth, growth and more growth.   Here’s a few recent stats and articles about freelancers in Europe along with trends helping to keep it in that direction.

Number of European freelance professionals soars, Company Bug: A report from I-Pros, Independent Professionals, showing the number of freelancing professionals by country in Europe, overall growing by 80% since 2000.  Some of the totals include:

  • Italy, 1.7 Million
  • UK, 1.6 Million
  • Germany, 1.5 Million
  • France, 0.7 Million

Businesses Flocking to Elance in Record Numbers to Fill Talent Gap, MSP Today: A latest and greatest freelancing report from Elance, here’s how much some areas have grown in the last year:

  • Poland, +118%
  • Italy, +70%
  • France, +66%
  • Germany, +50%
  • UK, +42%
  • Bulgaria, +40%
  • Ukraine, +38%

Freelancing appeal increases in wake of poor economy, Freelance Supermarket: How Europe and the UK are embracing freelancing as an alternative to traditional employment.

Ukraine Europe’s Top Freelance Country, Yahoo Finance: How Ukraine has been surging in the Freelancing area, specifically from the IT industry, becoming 4th worldwide behind the US, India and Pakistan.

Germany: Tax increase for freelancers, globalpost: For what it’s worth, one could say the bright side being that freelancers in Germany have become successful enough to attract attention.  Not meaning their troughs are exactly overflowing but perhaps a sign of where things are headed.

Yup, Britain is a freelance nation too, GigaOm: Highlighting how small businesses are increasing using freelancers for different roles.

Ongoing Trends

Lots of activity for freelancers in Europe, no doubt will continue with a few trends guiding in the general direction:

  • Continued lack of stability with traditional jobs: From ongoing changes, taking up freelancing in the form of consulting and other professions can be a good transition step.
  • More tools available: As freelancers wear many hats, having have tools to do these different roles can help to have more time for the creative part of your work.  This could be having a website, joining discussion boards, finding relevant events, working with others worldwide or using tools such as Odysen to help organize your activities.
  • More experience to draw from, stepping stones: No surprise that someone doing something for four years probably knows a bit more about the area than someone doing it for a month.   Over time, you have many more others that have years of experience under their belt, helpful for people starting out to ask questions, see how others are doing it, helping to get to the next step a little more efficiently.
  • More employers: This could be from a combination of more employers becoming aware and comfortable in working with freelancers and other freelancers taking on bigger projects, working with others in teams depending on the project.  Similar to a musician playing with a few others in jam session every once in a while.

What do you think, how do you see the environment for freelancers in Europe?  What’s going well or not so well?

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Founder and CEO of Odysen, involved with different writing and music freelancing activities, and have previously worked for larger technology businesses in the US, Europe and Asia.