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“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” John F. Kennedy

The way we are choosing to work is changing. It’s soon going to be a very different landscape and one leaders need to be very aware of.

There has been a structural shift to self-employment over the last two decades. It’s never been easier to start a business; all you need is a laptop and a kitchen bench.

In a study done by People per Hour it is estimated that 50% of the UK workforce will be self-employed by 2020. They say that the on demand economy has now ushered in a new and rapidly growing on demand workforce. We are now witnessing the increase in short term and temporary project and contract work and people who are only too happy to do it.

One of the interesting points of their study was of the people who responded to the survey 63.1% were Gen X and millenials. These are our current and future leaders of organisations.

In the People per Hour study the five main reasons why people were driven to self-employment were:

  1. Independence, freedom and being their own boss
  2. Challenge, creativity, success, satisfaction
  3. Work from home
  4. Flexible hours
  5. Balance of work and family

These is reflective of the autonomy our millenials are seeking and the desperate bid for work/life balance of the Generation X that typically has a family and have worked their way into demanding roles or have their own business. This generation of people have also been caught in a culture of the past; that long hours are expected and an indication of your loyalty and dedication to your job.

Not surprisingly the top three negatives to being self-employed were:

  1. Uncertainty, insecurity, risk, lack of stability
  2. Fluctuations of income, cash flow problems
  3. Tax burden

This is a significant change in how we work and what people are seeking from their work. Leaders need to be aware of this, as with more and more people choosing to work this way, it can affect succession planning and business performance. The youngest and brightest in your business targeted to be your next best leader may in fact choose to step out on their own.

 


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