Once upon a time, not so very long ago, ‘getting down to work’ involved travelling to a workplace, checking in and getting to grips with the tasks of the day. Many people, of course, still follow this convention, but although innumerable tasks still need to be done every day to keep the economy ticking over, travelling to a permanent workplace in order to do them could well recede into history. This pattern is, of course, already very familiar to all contractors who work for umbrella companies or through their own limited companies.
It also happens to be the view of leading futurologist, Dr James Bellini, who was one of the leading speakers at the recent National Freelancers’ Day organised by PCG, formerly known as the Professional Contractors Group. Dr Bellini argued eloquently that the ‘age of the job’ is fast coming to a close. The traditional office environment is rapidly giving way to home-based or mobile work, facilitated by improving technologies.
According to Dr. Bellini, this is not entirely new, indeed, most people worked flexibly before the industrial revolution and technology is simply making this option available again. As the contracting model gains in acceptance amongst private sector businesses and public sector organisations in the UK, freelancers from both umbrella companies and limited companies will be able to work from wherever they prefer to live, rather than being cajoled into living close to where they work. If Dr Bellini is correct in his forecasts, and he has a reputation for accuracy, the UK’s contractor payroll is set to grow significantly in the very near future.