Freelancers are an important, but hidden, part of the small business population, and one that sometimes is largely miscalculated and misunderstood.
Your answers will help us paint a comprehensive picture of the status of independent work across Europe and ensure the freelance community’s voice is heard.
Answers will be anonymously compiled in a report to be published online during European Freelancers Week in October 2018.
Why Surveying Freelancers
While assessment of the value made by employees to the workforce is well understood as part of role that human resource departments play in most companies, there is virtually no similar information provided on the non-employee workforce.
Decision makers need to obtain better data on the independent workforce through new and more regular surveys, with up-to-date categories and criteria.
The European Freelancers Survey will be an evidence-based yearly survey that tracks the business performance, wellbeing and economic outlook of freelancers in Europe. It will be a valuable barometer which can be used to identify trends, attitudes, confidence, work-life balance, and general freelancers’ perception of economic and social conditions in Europe.
Overall, the Survey will provide a sophisticated perspective of the freelance workforce in Europe. The final objective is to gain a better understanding of freelancers’ experiences, the challenges they face and the improvements they demand.
The findings will highlight to governments and the private sector how to best nurture and engage this growing sector of the workforce, and a key enabler of efficiency, innovation and productivity.
The Survey will draw on a unique combination of quantitative and qualitative scales. It will be distributed to approximately 10.000 freelancers all over Europe, through the members of the European Forum of Independent Professionals and through local coworking spaces.
What We Know So Far
Data from the Labour Force Survey of Eurostat shows the biggest increase in self-employment in the last decade has been in professional, managerial, scientific and technical occupations. These are freelancers, some of the highest skilled self-employed groups and the fastest growing segment of the European labor market.
Freelancers are heterogeneous, a very diverse group in a constantly evolving environment. They comprise many different types and work across all industries, from graphic designers and web developers to nannies, lawyers and opera singers. Some work 10 hours a week, others 80. They include men and women and represent a diversity of ethnic and racial backgrounds and political orientation. They live all over the continent, not just in major cities.
Their diversity is testimony to the limitless potential of independent workers in Europe — but it is also their main disadvantage.
The tremendous variation of interests, incomes, and affiliations among independent workers has made it problematic to forge a unified voice that compels EU policymakers’ attention. The time has come to right that wrong.
A Call To Action
This Survey is aimed to find out more about European freelancers and understand the reality of their working lives, the regulatory framework they work within, and the wider context of their work.
It’s more crucial than ever that the fundamental contribution you make as a freelancer is recognised. By taking part in the Survey you will offer important insights to improve the self-employment landscape in Europe.
The Survey is open until September 1st 2018. Take part now and spread the word to the other freelancers you know. Feel free to use #FreelancersSurvey and tag @FreelancersEU.
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