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Flexibility, Family, Empowerment and Control: COVID-19’s Effect on Self-employment

Forerunner Ventures’ The universal holding pattern: a period of trial followed by an era of opportunity covers survey work they’ve done on the impact of the pandemic on consumers.

One of their main findings is the desire for empowerment and independence has increased.

Key quote:

The pandemic offered a taste of independence with remote work for some and a desire to have control over one’s own destiny in a fractured economy for others, making self-employment an increasingly attractive option.

As Forerunner’s chart below shows, a substantial portion of Americans – and especially those with kids at home – are more interested in working for themselves.

Forerunner survey

The main reason Forerunner’s survey found for the growing interest in self-employment is flexibility.  Again from the article:

“Of the group that wanted to try self-employment, 59% of people said flexibility was the primary factor … There’s empowerment in self-employment and the independence that comes from owning your own time, traveling when desired, and balancing work and private life …”

This, of course, is no surprise.

Flexibility, autonomy and control have long been known as the key reasons people choose to be self-employed.

There’s mounting evidence that self-employment in surging in the U.S., and this survey adds to the evidence.


This article was originally published here.

Steve King

Steve King is an advisory board member of JEM and a founding partner of Emergent Research where he leads the firm’s ongoing research identifying, analyzing and forecasting the global trends and shifts impacting consumers, small businesses, the gig economy, independent workers and Web 3.0’s role in future of work. Steve enjoys wide industry recognition as an expert on the future of work. He is an active public speaker and has written for the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, U.S. News and World Report, Venture Beat, Wired and other publications.

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