I’ve been freelancing for the last four years, but I did a short stint in a traditional job last year and quickly realized everything that I’d lost.
I was no longer forging my own path.
I was following a routine that didn’t provide me with the things I needed to do my best work: time, autonomy and room for creativity and innovation.
I, like so many other millennials, voluntarily left my job and opted to return to freelancing.
And it was the best damn decision I made last year.
And I was right on trend.
Here at VBO Nation, we pay close attention freelancing trends, and we’re seeing how freelancers and virtual business owners are transforming the future of work.
We’ve noticed these trends at work within our own tight-knit community, and I want to clue you in.
There are several reasons why 2019 is a great year to become a freelancer, and the trends are in your favor.
Here are the five freelancing trends that are changing the work landscape this year.
Big cities are in decline.
In the past, the best employment opportunities and talent were concentrated in a small handful of cities.
You had to live in New York, L.A., Chicago or one of the other top business hubs to make it in many professions, but that’s no longer so.
These wells of opportunity are drying up while rent, utilities and transportation costs continue to skyrocket.
VBOs are ditching the big city life in search of more affordable costs of living.
Freelancers, contractors, and work from home business owners are looking beyond the big city.
Other urban areas becoming more prominent.
Places like Atlanta, Houston, Raleigh and Denver are taking over as business epicenters because it’s cheaper to live and work there.
Coworking spaces are popping up all over.
Another trend that’s shaping the future of work is the rise of coworking spaces.
Renting traditional office space is not the way for VBOs.
Coworking spaces offer freelancers and contractors a better way.
You get a flexible environment without the constraints of an expensive, long-term lease.
Coworking spaces are also great places to meet and collaborate with other VBOs, making them good places to grow your VBO network.
There are several coworking spaces popping up all around the country, and hotels and restaurants are getting in on the action too.
Hotels are providing space to accommodate modern workers.
And restaurants with slow lunch hours are starting to offer their bars and booths – and coffee – to freelancers during the day.
Gen Z works differently.
Generation Z, or people born in the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, is entering the workforce.
Like millennials, Gen Z’ers are looking to freelancing as their preferred career path.
An Upwork report recently revealed that 46 percent of Gen Z workers are freelancers, and the vast majority of them do so by choice.
This savvy cohort grew up in the internet age, making Gen Z’ers adept at using technology to launch and advance their freelance careers.
As more of Generation Z enters the workforce, they’ll continue to drive the freelancing revolution.
New technologies need freelancers.
Industries are getting smarter, better and faster everyday thanks to technological gains in the realms of artificial intelligence, virtual reality and more.
New technologies call for new skill sets, and freelancers with specific expertise in things like coding, engineering and service design will help companies stay relevant in the digital age.
Work-life balance remains important.
This trend is pretty clear cut: people are sick of the scripted life.
Workers don’t want to slave all year in hopes of earning two weeks of vacation time.
They want more freedom and autonomy to work where, when and how they want to.
Having a healthy work-life balance is precious to VBOs.
It’s an essential part of the reason why freelancing continues to outpace traditional employment.
An interesting trend that’s worth an honorable mention is that more freelancers are opting to be paid in crypto-currency.
A survey from Humans.net revealed that 29 percent of freelancers prefer crypto-currency over traditional payment methods because it helps streamline the payment process for VBOs with international clients.
As you can see, the future of work is changing fast and freelancing trends are reshaping today’s work landscape.
At VBO Nation, we’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date on the latest freelance trends.
We’re giving you all the information you need to launch your work from home business.
Make 2019 your year.
The trends are on your side.