A new report published by price comparison website MoneySuperMarket has revealed some eye-opening insights for freelancers and the companies that rely upon them. The report sought out the opinions of the UK’s freelance workforce in order to ascertain the location best suited to their professional lifestyle, as well as posing questions regarding these individuals’ choice of working style, their favourite perks of this lifestyle, and their biggest concerns.

On the question of which city makes the best home for freelancers, Manchester, Brighton, and Edinburgh emerged as clear favourites, with the major hubs of Belfast and London rounding out the top five as many would likely expect. The report attributes the performance of the aforementioned cities to the following:
  1. Manchester - The North West city offers the most active freelance economy outside London, with a high number of freelancers advertising and an average hourly rate equal to that in the capital (£30.00). Reasonable housing costs and plenty of wi-fi hotspots go towards making Manchester an ideal home for freelancers.
  2. Brighton & Hove - Brighton & Hove is a centre for workers who like their independence, with the highest number of start-ups per capita after London (5,105), giving freelancers plenty of companies to get involved with.
  3. Edinburgh - The Scottish capital offers a chance for freelancers to thrive, with a high average hourly rate of £29.50 and a high life satisfaction score of 7.59, indicating the great quality of life Edinburgh has to offer.
  4. Belfast - Belfast’s strongest selling point is its high life satisfaction scores. Housing prices are also relatively low (£129,950) and the availability of wi-fi hotspots is high.
  5. London - The UK capital still ranked within the top five cities, held back only by high local average property costs (£635,000) and a surprisingly low number of wi-fi hotspots in relation to the size of the population.
Adequate access to talented freelance workers really can be make or break for some companies, particularly for those who rely upon those in what the report revealed as the most popular freelance careers of business support (22%), design (20%), writing & translation (17%), sales & marketing (13%), video, photo & audio (9%), web development (9%), software development & mobile (6%), and social media (4%). When it comes to ensuring access to this talent pool, location cannot be overlooked.

However as stated in the introduction to this article, location is not the only subject delved into by this research; the team also looked into the driving factors for those making the move to freelance and the benefits enjoyed, which emerged as follows:
  • 58% of respondents cited flexible working hours as a key benefit of being freelance, with the average weekly working hours of freelancers surveyed being only 27 – 10.5 less than average full time work.
  • An improved work-life balance, with 45% seeing this as a major advantage.
  • Escaping the constraints of a company hierarchy, with 14% stating the desire to be their own boss as their biggest reason for going freelance.
  • 14% of those surveyed admitted to feeling their previous job was too stressful, indicating that emotional wellbeing played a role in the move.
When queried about their biggest concerns, respondents cited the following:
  • Financial fears were the biggest worry for freelancers, with 46% saying that the lack of a steady income was the biggest fear about going freelance.
  • When starting out, relying on their personal network for work was also a worry for many. In fact, 18% expressed concerns about finding their own clients and 38% worry about finding work now they are freelance.
  • 39% stated that job security was one of their main concerns about being freelance.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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