Freelancers Are Thriving, Upwork Report Reveals

Freelancers Are Thriving, Upwork Report Reveals

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on numerous aspects of our lives. Among the more difficult-to-swallow changes have been the financial losses many workers have suffered, as a result of business closures and job furloughs. One group that has been less hard hit than imagined, however, has been freelancers, individuals who do project-to-project work for one or more businesses or entities.

To examine the journey of freelancers during the pandemic, Upwork commissioned independent firm Edelman Intelligence to conduct the September 2020 Freelance Forward. The study surveyed 6,001 U.S. freelancers about their work since the virus broke out. In the following paragraphs, we discuss our top five takeaways from the study.

Millions have started freelancing since the COVID-19 outbreak

Since the start of the virus outbreak in the United States in March 2020, approximately 12% of the U.S. workforce has started freelancing as a means of picking up extra income, according to the Upwork study. These individuals are more likely to have a technology and/or business background or are skilled workers (i.e., computer programmers, writers, and business consultants.) 

Most new freelancers are likely to continue freelancing in the future

The vast majority (96%) of those new freelancers surveyed said they would be likely to do more freelance work in the future, the survey found. A majority (60%) also said no amount of payment would convince them to switch to traditional employment. 

The majority of those who freelanced before and during COVID-19 are satisfied with the amount of work they have

“Despite not being able to network in their typical ways, active freelancers are adapting well to this new environment,” the study reads, in part. “They are finding new clients and jumping on new opportunities.” The majority of those surveyed (61%) reported having either as much work as they wanted or more work than they wanted during the pandemic. And nearly one-third — 30% — said they had found work opportunities “unique to the pandemic.”  

Freelancers are more likely to feel comfortable working remotely

Those who freelance or have taken up freelancing since the start of the health crisis have found themselves better suited to the move away from traditional offices. The majority of freelancers (62%) say they are more productive working remotely (from home or in a coworking space, for example) than in a traditional office. 

Those looking for flexible, temporary, and shared office space in the DC area where they can get down to work without worries about health and hygiene can find it at Metro Offices. With nine locations in and around the nation’s capital and stringent coronavirus-prevention sanitation methods, Metro Offices is the freelancer’s home (office) away from home. 

Freelancers are less negatively affected — mentally and physically – by COVID-19

Tens of millions of Americans have reported that their mental health has suffered as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Yet, freelancers have been better able to weather the emotional and mental storm of 2020 than their non-freelancer counterparts, according to the Upwork survey. 

“Freelancers report lower rates of negative impact of COVID-19 on their overall lifestyle, wellbeing, mental health, and financial well-being,” a portion of the study reads. One of the top reasons? “An already established remote lifestyle,” according to the survey. 


Metro Offices locations are convenient, whether you’re walking, taking the Metro or driving. Browse our locations today.


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