Umbrella Companies may be poised for a surge in new employees, all of them seeking to replace salaried employment with freelance contracting, a new study from Millennial Branding and online workplace oDesk suggests.

Of 3,193 freelancers polled worldwide, a resounding 72% of those who remained in ‘regular’ jobs said they wished to quit these positions in the near future to become completely freelance. The chief reason motivating the switchover cited by the respondents was greater freedom – they wanted to be able to work whenever they like, wherever they like.

The research also reveals that 61% plan to make the transition from their normal jobs to full-time freelancing within the next two years.

Interestingly, the freelancers surveyed shared a new approach to the concept of entrepreneurship, seeing it less in terms of owning a company and more in terms of seeking new opportunities. 58% classified themselves as entrepreneurs on this basis, although nine out of ten considered themselves opportunity-seekers.

In addition to increased flexibility and the desire to pursue an independent professional career path, the respondents said that they believed freelancing would deliver more interesting projects, as well as better opportunities to travel.

Dan Schawbel, Millennial Branding’s founder and the author of the book Promote Yourself, said:“Entrepreneurship is now accessible to everyone regardless of age or occupation. You don’t need to own a business to be an entrepreneur, but you do need the entrepreneurial mindset to be successful in business.”

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