December 19, 2023

Freelancing beats burnout and is good for business, say both bosses and workers, according to a new survey.

In a post-Covid world, employees no longer want to be restrained by the 9-to-5 office routine.

And business leaders recognize that talented and flexible freelancers have much to offer their companies.

Research among 1,500 workers and bosses in the United States was carried out for Fiverr, the Israel-founded online marketplace for the freelance community.

The company took its name from the $5 starting price it introduced for work projects when it launched in 2010.

The research, conducted by UK-based Censuswide last month, found over half of workers surveyed (54 percent) said they’d experienced burnout or mental health challenges due to work in the past year. The figure was highest in finance (58%) and IT (55%).

Workers in all sectors blamed their burnout on intense workloads (47%), toxic company culture (39%) and pressure from managers (41%).

Fiverr headquarters in Tel Aviv. Photo by Vered Barequet via Shutterstock.com
Fiverr headquarters in Tel Aviv. Photo by Vered Barequet via Shutterstock.com

“At the culmination of a challenging year, many workers are reassessing their relationship with work,” said Gali Arnon, Fiverr’s Chief Business Officer, Marketplace.

“Pressures to return to the office, a 9-to-5 schedule, stress from management, and a lack of free time have all contributed to an epidemic of burnout among US workers.”

An overwhelming majority of business leaders (85%) realize their staff are increasingly vulnerable to burnout, says Fiverr, but many fail to provide resources to combat the problem.

Most acknowledge that this failure impacts their ability to retain staff. As a result, many now regard freelancers as a lifeline. 

Almost half of those questioned (48%) said they already work with freelancers and will carry on doing so. Many more said freelancers help their full-time employees to manage their workload. 

From the workers’ perspective, freelancing is widely seen as providing a huge boost in terms of their mental health, wellbeing and work-life balance.

Almost three quarters of those questioned (74%) said they plan to start or continue freelancing in 2024. 

“The renewed prioritization of passion-driven work and work-life balance is driving more people toward freelancing, a trend that will likely continue in 2024,” said Arnon.

“The majority of business leaders recognize that their full-time employees are experiencing burnout, and are increasingly leaning on external talent. 

“Freelancers extend company bandwidth, fortify the organization with new skills, and allow for more flexibility.”

Tel Aviv-based Fiverr went public on the New York Stock Exchange in June 2019 and says over 4 million customers worldwide have worked with its freelance talent in the past year.

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