IT reigns supreme in the freelance sector

IT and technology are the most popular industries for freelancers due to the convenience, cost savings, and lack of commuting associated with this way of working, research reveals.

In a survey conducted by Reed Commercial, one in eight of the 400 respondents said they worked in the IT industry, making this the most popular working sector. The respondents worked in a range of fields, including e-commerce, telecommunications, web design, software development, and space technology.

Freelance brings flexibility

Of the IT industry respondents, the majority said they chose to move to freelancing because of the convenience and flexibility associated with this way of working. When asked why they decided to freelance, popular responses included: 'I can fit work in around my family commitments' and the 'desire for independence and ability to choose my own hours'.

The lack of a daily commute is a huge benefit referenced by many of the respondents, with many also adding that the lack of commute comes with associated cost savings and frees up more spare time for them. The cost savings of working from home as an IT worker could be quite substantial too, with sources such as the ICS, which suggests that commuting costs IT contractors the equivalent of £8,000. The wider cost savings of working from home in the IT sector were also referenced by several respondents

Working from home is more logical for many IT workers, who feel they do not need to go into the office on a regular basis. One respondent said: 'All I need is a computer. There is no need to spend time to go to the office'. A handful of respondents also work from home because the company they work for actively encourages this way of working - by either solely employing remote workers or closing the physical office space to further promote cost savings across the company.

Others said they prefer to work from home as it provides a more productive environment that can be tailored to their exact needs, and there is no office politics.

The role of the digital revolution

The digital revolution has clearly opened the doors with the IT sector to fully embrace home working. Fibre-optic broadband and competitive pricing allow workers to negate the costs of setting up a home office against the associated costs of commuting. Home working technologies, such as collaboration software and increased smartphone adoption, mean that IT workers can also connect to work from anywhere, anytime and on any device.

This OnePoll survey conducted by Reed Commercial is a clear nod towards a changing digital landscape, where the IT sector is using the very technology it creates to produce a cohesive and virtual working environment that matches the needs of its workers.

Kat Kynes, Head of Content at FireCask