A recent survey conducted by online freelance marketplace People Per Hour has revealed that the north of England is now a major entrepreneurial hub. Results show that 9 out of the top 10 self-employed hotspots are in northern England and Scotland, with Manchester and Liverpool topping the leader board.
So what has caused this upsurge in pioneering spirit? Has the flagging job market hit the north of the country to such a degree that people are forced to create their own jobs, or are we seeing an overall revolution in the way we work?
Virtual working – a solution in good times and bad
Technological advances over the last decade have offered more choice in the way people work. This, and the economic downturn in 2008, has combined to allow enterprising individuals to compete for work using their existing skills and previous experience.
In the past, this way of working has generally been more attainable for internet-related professions such as web design and graphic illustration, but increasingly has come to include any work that can be completed using a computer and an internet connection.
Although not all freelancer marketplaces focus on quality, and many have been accused of significantly lowering freelancer market value, if you find a reliable site where you can build your profile and be compensated well for the work you do, you have the opportunity to build a flexible, rewarding lifestyle.
Writers, administrative experts, bookkeepers, public relations professionals to name but a few, all now have access to regular projects thanks to forward-thinking and trustworthy businesses like People Per Hour.
Co-founder and CEO, Xenios Thrasyvoulou, said, “Traditional employment is unlikely to return to pre-recession levels, as increasingly businesses want a more flexible workforce. They prefer to be able to hire on an as-needed basis, rather than having the cost not just of employing full-time staff but also the additional cost of having employees on-site.”
Flexible working arrangements as an employee
Increasingly, businesses are realising the benefits offered by flexible working, both to the company and to the workforce. The Olympic summer of 2012 is a case in point, and illustrates just how successful this practice can be, with 13% of organisations in the capital allowing staff to work flexibly during the Olympic Games. A resounding 77% of workers welcomed this move, showing massive support for flexible working initiatives.
Managing a remote workforce still appears impossible to many business owners, but a slow realisation is dawning that with reliable and trustworthy employees, this type of working could benefit their bottom line.