Virtually every industry has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year and a half. Companies and organizations in web design and development, finance, healthcare, IT, education and many more have scrambled to adapt to the new normal that is work from home (WFH). In turn, many employees have come to the realization that they are happier and just as productive in their jobs when working from home. As some companies and organizations have begun to require that employees return to the office, workers are weighing their options and beginning to think in ways that they might not have before the pandemic.
A recent study by Upwork estimated that 10 million workers in the U.S. are considering becoming freelancers, or independent contractors, due in large part to the fact that the vast majority of freelancers work remotely. The trend has been coined “The Great Resignation,” as the majority of workers consider themselves “neutral” or “not excited” at the prospect of going to the office and have considered resigning in favor of a position that offers remote work or leaving full-time work and freelancing on their own. Among those surveyed, 20% are considering becoming freelancers. 73% of those respondents cited the ability to work remote or flexibly as a reason why they would seek to work as a freelancer.
Many workers are so invested in staying in a remote job that they would even take lower pay. The study found that 15% were willing to take a pay cut to be a remote worker, and another 26% would possibly take a pay cut. And among workers who consider themselves unhappy to be returning to the office, nearly two-thirds would consider taking a pay cut to work remotely.
Web designers and developers are in a great position to take advantage of this new dynamic and find jobs that offer remote work or even get their own clients and work as a freelancer. With the growth of remote work, the internet tools we rely on every day to work and communicate will become even more important, and designers and developers will continue to be in high demand.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the annual growth rate for web design jobs will be 15% in the coming years, more than double many other professions. In recent years the median salary for web designers has been around $70K, with the top 10% earning more than $120K. And approximately 16% of web designers are freelancers/self-employed, which is higher than most other industries. Other similar occupations such as web developers and graphic designers have a high percentage of professionals working as freelancers. There is clearly a big opportunity for those who aspire to work in these fields and envision themselves working remotely as freelancers.
The Web Professionals Organization is dedicated to supporting web professionals in all industries—including those who work remotely and in a freelance capacity. If you are interested in learning more about the professional and educational opportunities that the Web Professionals Organization offers, reach out to us today.