Flexible working - is it becoming the norm?

As we wave goodbye to 2018, we’ve been exploring the biggest current trends in the rapidly evolving UK employment landscape.

1. Millennials are heavily influencing UK working practices

The Millennial generation is the largest ever to enter the workforce. Currently they comprise around 35% of the UK workforce; global representation is expected to reach 50% by 2020.

Bringing with them fresh ideas and approaches, tech savvy and a desire for greater flexibility, independence and work/life balance than ever before. The Millennial workforce is already having a serious impact on the national economy and the way businesses operate.

2. UK self-employment is on the rise

The number of solo self-employed individuals in the UK has grown significantly since 2001; in 2018 they accounted for almost 15% of the entire UK workforce.

Self-employment, freelancing and contracting is the order of the day; whether it’s a ‘side hustle’ worked alongside a regular job or a full-time solo occupation, numbers occupying this space are rising at an astonishing rate. This trend is considered to be driven by a complex set of factors including a growth in demand for greater independence at work, a need for a healthier work/life balance, opportunities to earn more money and technological advancements that have vastly reduced the costs associated with setting-up a business.

3. UK has more self-employed mothers than ever before

The number of self-employed mothers has doubled since 2008, they currently account for one in seven of all self-employed people in the UK contributing towards a 46% rise in the number of UK freelancers over the past 10 years.

The recent staggering rise in the number of self-employed females - specifically those who are mothers - is possibly driven by a need for greater flexibility to raise young families whilst holding down a career. The numbers are steadily rising and are expected to continue upwards.

4. Businesses are increasingly seeking-out freelance talent

64% of firms admit to relying on freelancers, with 43% of those saying they leverage contractors to manage periods of peak activity. Similarly, 37% said they engage freelancers to deploy hard-to-find expertise on a non-permanent basis.

As the number of freelancers increases, so too does the pool of top-class talent that is on offer to businesses. Ideal for those who are looking to flexibly fulfil specialist or short-term projects, or to upsize the workforce during peak periods at a reasonable cost. Further, freelancers charge only for their services, choosing to prioritise flexibility, independence and possibly also higher earnings above employee benefits such as sick pay.

If you’d like to discuss how RotaMaster can support efficient and cost-effective workforce scheduling please call 01924 252360 or email enquiries@rotamaster.co.uk.



KPMG ‘Meet The Millennials’ (2017)

IPSE ‘Self-Employment In The Modern Economy’ (2017)

ONS - UK Self-employment trends (2018)

CIPD ‘ More Selfies - UK self-employment continues to rise’ (2018)

Caunce O’Hara - ‘Self-employment in the UK at its highest levels since records started’ (2018)

IPSE ‘Massive rise in the number of self-employed mothers’ (2018)

Business.com ‘Why Companies Are Choosing Freelancers Over Full-Time Employees’ (2018)