A news release said 79% of freelancers rate having control over their own schedule as the best thing about freelancing, followed by being their own boss and following their own passion (74%) and no commute (73%). On the other side of the ledger, 63% state finding new clients and steady work is the biggest challenge (ahead of lack of benefits and health care coverage).
According to the news release, the economic downturn is not the primary driver for professionals turning to freelance careers. Only 4% of those surveyed are working as a freelancer until they can find a full-time job and less than a quarter (24%) transitioned to freelance careers after a layoff.
More than half (56%) of respondents began freelancing to be their own boss and work on projects they love.
The typical online freelancer is 25-54 years in age and is more likely to be female and educated; 80% have a professional degree while 4% have only a high school diploma.
“Businesses are leveraging online talent as a core strategy to get work done and are finding that there is a significant supply of highly qualified professionals who prefer the online work model,” said Ellen Pack, vice president of marketing at Elance, in the news release.
More information about the survey is at http://www.elance.com/p/freelance-talent-report.html.