The freelance economy, sometimes known as the gig economy, continues to gain steam. It’s estimated that 16.5 million people work in the gig economy in one form or another. Most of these aren’t full-time workers, however.

We have decided to take a look at the state of the industry and see what 2019 could hold for the freelancing economy.

1. More Flexible Working Arrangements at Work

freelance economy predictions 2019
Another study revealed that 59% of American companies use freelancers in some manner. Ten years ago they may have employed a full-time worker, but all that is changing.

CEOs are quickly beginning to understand the value of freelancers to their company. They’re cheaper to employ and they only pay for the work completed.

2. The Land of Entrepreneurship is Changing

Entrepreneurship used to mean starting your own business and heading to the market. That’s not the case any longer, though.

There are more what we call solopreneurs. These are people who run one-man businesses and sell their skills to the highest bidder. They’re not interested in building a huge business with a hundred workers.

The very definition of entrepreneurship is changing as a result of the gig economy.

3. The Cost of a Freelancer is Growing

freelance working value
The days of working for nothing online are a thing of the past. With the introduction of big businesses in the gig economy, the most talented freelancers are able to command a price formerly unavailable to them.

Let’s take a look at an example of this.

If we look at a data scientist working full-time for a company, they command an average salary of $140,000 a year.

Smart freelancers who know the job can command huge prices because small and medium-sized businesses can’t afford these full-time salaries. They’re increasingly looking towards the gig economy, thus providing greater opportunities for solopreneurs.

4. Collaboration in Shared Workspaces

The popular view of the freelancer is the worker who stays at home and works from bed. But that’s not the case. The average freelance consultant wants to have the chance to collaborate with others.

That’s why shared workspaces are becoming increasingly popular. From California to Ukraine, you’ll find new collaborative workspaces popping up everywhere.

5. Protecting Freelance Workers Legally

freelance work law protection
Freelancers have traditionally operated in a grey legal area. The law was never equipped to take into account this type of worker.

However, the growth of gig workers has changed this. New York broke new ground this year by introducing laws explicitly protecting freelancers from being taken advantage of.

Expect these changes to be replicated across the country in 2019.

Last Word – What Can You Expect from Freelancing in 2019?

The freelance economy continues to be a more essential part of the economy. And that is driving change forward at an ever faster rate.

These are big changes and freelancers need to be aware of them as they continue to grow their businesses. You don’t want to get caught out.

How are you preparing your business for the changes that are coming in 2019?

Author Bio: Douglas Pitassi is a freelance writer and small business blogger.