Conducted by specialist platform Malt and in partnership with strategic consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the study focuses on self-employment in Europe, and in particular with a focus on France, Spain and Germany.
The 2022 edition of this study is based on the testimonies of 3,334 French, Spanish and German freelancers collected between July and September 2021. Based on cited Eurostats data, a quarter of Europe’s digital professionals – out of a total of 13 million – are self-employed.
To emphasize the impact of the Covid-19 health crisis period marked by remote work and the promotion of digital (or digital as per the ad hoc) transformation. With the recovery in 2021, it is finally favorable for digital professionals who want to embark on an activity as a freelancer, even if it is an exercise that inherently requires a strong drive.
Self-employment is seen as a career choice in and of itself with the primary motivations for membership Independence and flexibility in organizing time. The corollary is the balance to be found between professional and personal life. And for most self-employed people, one of the goals is not to become an employee.
With an average of 9 to 10 years of prior experience as a full-time employee and dedicating 4 hours per week to developing and improving their skills for solid continuing education, the vast majority of self-employed people demonstrate confidence in their future. This confidence is even more evident in the modern professions of technology and data. See more in IT (Developer, Data Scientist, Webmaster, DevOPs, IT Engineer…).
In the client portfolios of freelancers, very small companies are by far the most represented. However, larger companies are more inclined to use freelancers when it comes to absorbing the peak in activity. Incorporating freelancers into teams within a company is in no way accommodated in common practice according to the study.
Composite image of a freelance professional in France
Focusing on France, a kind of robot portrait of the independent man emerges. It’s a somewhat masculine profile (57%) of a 37-year-old with at least a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) and previous experience as an employee (91%).
The standard work week is 37 hours with 27% of the time devoted to the so-called secondary tasks (training, sales, activation and maintenance of a professional network, administrative, etc.). The difficulties encountered mainly relate to negotiating with clients, timely payment and financial instability. With an overall satisfaction rate of 73%.
Among the job categories, the average daily rate is 546 euros in the technology and data sector. At €795, it is the highest in consultancy, ahead of €692 a day for a project manager and agile coach. For support and other functions (finance, legal, procurement, operations management, etc.), it drops on average to €462, then between €410 and €419 for graphics, design, marketing and communication.
The point to note is that the motivation to earn more money through freelance work comes at almost par (51%).