Australia moving to a Freelance Economy
09 Nov 2017
Australian businesses keen to reduce overheads are increasingly
hiring self-employed workers to undertake specific, short-term jobs
rather than committing to full-time employee contracts the latest MYOB
SME Snapshot has revealed. Dubbed the “Freelance of Gig Economy”, it
is experiencing rapid growth, driven by innovation in digital
technology and the rise of freelancer talent websites.
New findings from MYOB reveal that almost nine out of ten (89 per
cent) that had used a freelancer in the last six months said they are
likely to do so again.
Tim Reed, CEO at MYOB says that small businesses should be open to
considering the ways freelancers can support their needs.
Share economy drives freelance opportunity
“The changing shape of Australia’s workforce and the widespread increase of shared economy websites across all industries like AirTasker and AirBnB has meant businesses have become more comfortable with a different approach to talent acquisition. Small businesses can tap into a global workforce available around the clock with a broad range of specialist skills that can help improve and develop their business no matter the length of tenure required,” Mr. Reed said.
“By taking advantage of freelancers, businesses owners can free
themselves up to look for new opportunities for business growth,
without sacrificing business profitability, customer service or losing
peace of mind that important tasks aren’t being looked after.”
While SMEs are much more likely to source freelancers through
recommendations from other small business owners (46 per cent) and
friends and family (44 per cent), the influence of freelancer websites
is also experiencing an uptake, with 15 per cent of small business
owners stating they have found a freelancer through apps or
“While small business owners will always look to their trusted
circle of friends and family, as well as other business owners, we’re
seeing the influence of freelance websites really kick-in and
compliment this more traditional form of sourcing employees,” Mr Reed
“Business owners are benefitting from the flexibility these
resources can provide them, enabling them to scale when needed. This
trend will continue as small businesses continue to do more things
online and digitally transform.”
The generational divide
The SME Snapshot found younger generations were more open to
embracing the freelancer workforce. Business owners aged under 40 were
much more open to this new way of working, with 74 per cent saying
they would consider using a freelancer for specialised help with a
task or project, in comparison to only 40 per cent of business owners
Additionally, the SME Snapshot revealed key advantages of hiring
freelancers with business owners stating more flexibility for seasonal
businesses (47 per cent) and access to different skillsets (41
percent) as the top two. The most highly perceived disadvantages were
that SMEs don’t feel freelancers understand their business (26 per
cent), and 10 per cent stated that the payment processes are too
complex when hiring freelancers.
For businesses considering hiring freelancers, Mr. Reed highlighted
technology can help to make the process more seamless.
“If you’re worried about hiring freelancers due to complications
with payroll and during tax time, using online accounting software can
simplify this process significantly and give you a more accurate view
of your cash flow.
“Ultimately, freelancers can be a great addition to your current
employee base and can provide high- quality, specialised services when
required. Many also run their own business, relying on repeat business
and referrals, which means it will be in their best interest to
provide the best service possible for you and your business.”
For further comment or other information please contact:
Amy Kirkwood, Australian Public Relations Manager, MYOB M: 61 427 822 088/ E: firstname.lastname@example.org
MYOB Group Ltd (ASX: MYO) is a leading provider of online business management solutions. MYOB makes business life easier for approximately 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB operates across four strategic segments – Small to Medium sized businesses (SMEs), Practices (accountants, advisers and bookkeepers), Enterprise (larger businesses) and Payments. It provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. MYOB is committed to ongoing innovation and delivering efficiencies and growth opportunities for its growing client base across Australia and New Zealand. For more information, visit http://investors.myob.com.au/Investors or follow @MYOB on Twitter.