If, like me, you work in the Creative Industry you’ll know just how important freelancers are; so imagine, if you will a world without freelancers and all that they bring to our industry.
From Digital Marketers, UX designers, UX researchers, photographers, Creative Directors, Graphic Designers, Screen Skills Directors, dancers, actors, Marketing & PR you’ll understand how they operate and why they operate as they do. The industry just operates with them and it works; they bring talent, creativity and ideas that you simply don’t get from a permanent employee; perhaps borne from the uncertainty of it all, their ideas are truly the lifeblood of the industry.
Freelancers take the hit on holiday and sickness pay that a permanently employed person gets. They take the risk of being dropped with little to no notice on a project and they take the hit on being out of work for a period whilst waiting for other work. Yet despite all this, and despite their known importance across the industry they are still seen as the underdog to the wider world. And especially it would seem in the recent Government support following the Covid-19 pandemic. In a recent report by the Creative Industries Federation Andy Harrower, CEO, Directors UK said that the majority of Screen Directors are freelancers and as production halted due to the virus, their work has ceased. With the Creative Industry bringing £111.7billion to our economy – that’s more than aerospace, automotive, life sciences oil & gas combined [Our World without Culture Report June 2020 Creative Industries Federation] – why are we still overlooking the community of freelancers?
As the Creative Industry has grown over the last 20 years we are now, more than ever able to demonstrate how we have managed to adapt and grow, despite the banking crisis of 2008 and the following global recession. Perhaps now, in the face of another recession that will inevitably follow the Covid pandemic, wider industry will look to us once again to help them respond as their businesses unfold. But in order to do so, they need to ask not what we can do to be more like them, but what can they do to be more like us. Freelancer talent makes up an estimated 34% of the workforce, and with it brings a wider breadth of knowledge, a creative perspective and a deeper understanding of the creative process. They adapt, and integrate but also have a holistic view that brings so much to the ecosystem of our Creative Industry. If you are looking to adapt for the wider future of work, then it is this talent that may well help you do so.