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Global study on Freelancing - title image
The research reported here was conducted during a unique and unexpected period in our history, the COVID-19 pandemic. It will report on different projects related to freelancing and remote work, as well as the relationships between the two. The first project reported here is the Global Study on Freelancing conducted by Dr. Jon Younger of the Agile Talent Collaborative and Gerald Cupchik, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. In 2020, they initiated the study of freelancing by combining Jon’s expertise and outreach to freelancing platforms and Gerald’s just completed study on the impact of COVID-19 on university students. The survey blended materials from the COVID-19 project and original questions, developed by Jon, that were related to different aspects of freelancing, such as satisfaction and how respondents judged their own talents and dispositions compared with others. They are thankful to the CEOs of 78 platforms around the world who contributed financially to support the project and to the 1885 respondents who completed the survey between March and July of 2021.

The first report was prepared by Jon Younger under the subtitle “viva la revolution” which focused on the successes achieved by freelancers around the world. His goal was to foster greater satisfaction among members of the freelance community and to help platform owners work with freelancers to achieve their shared goals. Jon’s method involved the use of crosstabs to highlight differences among the respondents in various industries, locations, and demographic profiles.

The second report comes in two parts in collaboration with Clara Rebello, who served as director and graphic designer for the project, along with Dr. George Klemp, a partner at Cambria Consulting, a Spencer Stuart Company, and an expert in human resources. Their collaborative efforts led to the uncovering of three motivational dispositions for engaging in freelancing: (1) learning/challenge, (2) financial security/career, and (3) flexibility/life-style. Further, they also discovered a residual group of “seekers” who are trying to find a place in the freelance world. A combination of quantitative analysis, using clusters of questions from different parts of the survey, and qualitative analysis of shared life episodes enrich the findings.

A third phase of the project concerns Canadians working remotely in Tech, Human Resources, and Advertising/Creative areas. The results from 460 Canadians, working in these domains and considering possible freelancing careers, will be reported once the data analyses are completed.


Click here to see the findings of this study.