Never before have so many people been employed in the Netherlands as in 2020, and there has never been such a large proportion of self-employed people. Yes, the coronavirus affects everyone. But the trends are certainly not standing still. What trends can you expect in this area in 2020? We went looking for you.
AI also in freelancers
Did you think so chatbots and applications of artificial intelligence only for large, shadowy companies? 2020 will be the year in which AI will experience its breakthrough in all kinds of industries and as a self-employed person you simply cannot be left behind. This can be done very easily, for example with a chatbot on your business website. Because customers lose because you can not answer because you are just in consultation with another customer, those are painful and sometimes expensive mistakes. Or what if you answer your emails a little later than your competitor, from whom a potential customer has also requested a quote? With a little bit of cleverness in your website, you can help customers orient themselves more easily. Such an investment pays for itself very quickly.
Especially self-employed people who do not offer products, but services, will now accelerate on the digital highway. Digitization is the answer to the increasing expectations that customers (both consumers and business customers) have regarding services. Anytime, anywhere can be helped through modern means, such as cloud solutions and online conferencing, saves you and your customers time and money. The self-employed person who only has a week to come 'on the coffee' first, is more likely to lose out.
More demand for self-employed
The share of self-employed workers in the labor force has never been greater, until the corona virus hit. In a growing economy, the demand for specialist knowledge is also growing, a demand par excellence for which the self-employment market lends itself. Temporarily 'joining a company' to supervise a specialist project is anything but unusual. There are even predictions that in the future almost everyone will become a kind of self-employed person. Obviously, that will not happen in 2020, because the question is how the economy will recover. However, the underlying trend remains: more demand for self-employed persons.
Nice and nice, if everyone is self-employed, but where should that cozy office feeling come from? Never having to work together in the same room again, that doesn't sound like a nice future image, does it? That is why the co-working spaces are emerging: shared office spaces where you can work for one day (or part of it) for free or for a small fee in the company of other freelancers. You will find co-working spaces in more and more cities. Ideal if you are often in different locations and do not always want to travel back to your business space or your own office.
Not every self-employed person is waiting for it, but it couldn't be left out. The growing number of self-employed people in the Netherlands has made the government decide to draw up more regulations. The most important for 2020 are the compulsory AOV (disability insurance) and the DBA Act (Deregulation Assessment of Employment Relations). For many self-employed workers, these changes mean that a little more time has to be spent on administration and bureaucracy. In the long term, they should lead to more certainty and a fairer economic playing field. We're going to keep an eye on it.
Soft skills are more important again
Finally, a trend that can actually be on the list every year: the more freelancers, the more competition, so the more important your soft skills. Can you present yourself well? What about your communication skills? Are you stress resistant and can you handle criticism well? If you have mastered your profession down to the last detail but want to get more out of your self-employment, then work on these kinds of skills.