Shift Towards Entrepreneurship and Freelancing, as 9-to-5 Jobs Lose Appeal

While we have laws defining responsibilities of hourly vs. salaried employees, many people feel like they are tied to their employer far more than 8 hours a day, and many people report that the increased expectations drain them, leading to burnout. Ironically, that is often what pushes people to become entrepreneurs. Millennials in particular have made an intentional shift to entrepreneurship, freelancing as 9-to-5 jobs lose appeal.

Many say they are distrusting of the level of loyalty of employers, and would rather depend on themselves for a stable income, coupled with the flexibility of working on a schedule that is conducive to multiple interests.

A “whopping 63 percent of workers believe working a 9-to-5 schedule is an outdated concept”, based on a recent large scale survey done by Career Builder, and in fact, has become a 5-to-9 PM job as well, with 50% of respondents reporting that their employers have expectations of them checking emails and working from home off the clock. It may be wrong to expect that of non-salaried employees, yet it’s become the norm for corporate America. This is yet another factor that is making self-employment so appealing for many people.

As reported in the survey, Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder put a spin on the 9-to-5 corporate grind, noting how employers often pitch it as a flexible lifestyle choice for working in corporate America. “Workers want more flexibility in their schedules, and with improvements in technology that enable employees to check in at any time, from anywhere, it makes sense to allow employees to work outside the traditional nine-to-five schedule. Moving away from a nine-to-five work week...(offers) more freedom and flexibility with their schedules can improve morale, boost productivity and increase retention rates.”

Nonetheless, there is an exodus of people who are opting to leave the predictability of working for a large companies or the government sector for the open-ended excitement of becoming self-employed. In fact, MBO Partners, a company that provides back-office administrative support on an hourly basis for self-employed workers, we hit a new high of 40.8 million independent workers nationwide in 2017. In the next four years, MBO Partners projects the number is expected to rise to 47.6 million, or an annual growth rate of 3.1% as more and more people, particularly Gen X, Gen Y and Millennials, seek to have a better work-life balance.

David Lundy