Creatives have been pioneers and visionaries of many transformations in history. Technology revolutions wouldn’t be possible without a creative mind. However, those who dedicate their lives to creativity and art have been historically undervalued in the workforce. In a way, creatives have always been working independently and as freelancers, which has been on most occasions their only way to make a living without compromising their creative freedom.
Now it seems that what has been a common reality is turning into a superpower. Creatives are now one of the best equipped to enter into the new working era.
During the present pandemic, museums, theaters, music venues, publishing companies and galleries have closed or are half-empty, which at first seemed to be a grim landscape for anyone working in a creative field. But this situation, plus the rapid acceleration of a so-called cognitive and digital revolution, is approaching a turning point that might change things for the good in the creative area.
The cognitive revolution and the future of work
This is not the first time that society has changed the cultural idea of work. Actually, the division of labor may have been in part responsible for human evolution and their quest to differentiate from other animal species.
Now, we’re entering a cognitive revolution, a new era of work where new collaborations between humans and machines are pivotal. Artificial intelligence, robotics and automation have transformed factories, stores and companies and digital technologies are helping workers to surpass geographic limitations transforming the concept of the workplace.
The U.S. and the Great Resignation
Alternative work has been growing in the U.S. economy since the early 2000s, however, nothing has been as dramatic as the changes that we see now. “According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly four million Americans quit their jobs in April – a 20-year record. Currently, a whopping 40% of workers are planning to leave their current position; 54% of these workers are Generation Z. Broadly speaking, the most common reason for this deluge of resignations is high job dissatisfaction”, says a report from Kelly Services.
There is a perspective shift of what work-life balance and compensation should be, and people are getting tired of what traditional companies have to offer. In 2020, 12% of the U.S. workforce began freelancing for the first time, and according to Upwork, a total of 59 million Americans freelanced during 2020 which is an incredible 36% of the total US workforce. Of those, 96% say they will continue gig work.
How about Latin America?
Despite all the economic, political, legal and social barriers to using new technologies, there is a sector in the Latin American workforce that is looking for opportunities through digital platforms.
According to Workana the percentage of freelancers in Latin America registered on their platform in the first 3 months of 2020 increased 42% corresponding to 100,000 new freelancers. Here are some other insights from their report:
- 57.2% work as freelancers full time and 42.8% freelance part time
- 20.4% decided to be freelancers as an alternative to unemployment
- 88.8% believe that this type of work empowers them
The BID also released a report where they indicate that the demand for online freelance platforms has increased in Latin America over 77%, most of this demand is on the platforms specialized in online health services. Some of the reasons for this increase include: a lack of employment opportunities in formal sectors (45%), the need to digitize activity (45%), and a change in the employment status of freelancers (33%).
Creatives and Freelance Platforms
Creatives already have good participation in the freelance market. According to research done by Jon Younger with 75 freelance platforms around the world and 1,900 independent professionals, he found out that 20% of the freelance workforce are marketing creatives (photographers, writers, videographers, graphic designers, marketing and advertising specialists, PR advisors, and SEO specialists).
A platform like Mavity, dedicated exclusively to the creative community is a great example on how artists and creative teams are connecting with businesses and entrepreneurs and using the right tools to take their work to the next level while enjoying the lifestyle, flexibility, independence and work-life balance associated with freelancing.
To sum up, with respect to the future of work, creatives now have a lot of possibilities as well as the skills that can help them succeed and thrive in changing times like these.