BEAVERTON, Oregon, May 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
New data from professional translation agency Tomedes has provided interesting insights into what motivates freelance translators. Users of the Tomedes Translator's Blog - a central resource for all those with an interest in translation, but particularly those working freelance - were asked to share information on why they became freelance translators.
Tomedes CEO Ofer Tirosh comments: "We wanted to find out what motivates our translators to do what they do. There are a lot of assumptions made about freelancers, but data in this field is still in its infancy, so we wanted to compare the reality with what people assume."
Interestingly, the survey revealed that money was only the third most important factor in people's decision to work as freelance translators, with just 17% of respondents citing that as their motivation. Love of language topped the table, with 52% of freelance translators stating that that was the inspiration behind their career choice. Flexible working hours came next, with 20% of respondents citing that as the reason they became freelance translators.
The ability to pursue one's interests, it seems, far outstrips the desire for financial reward when it comes to the translation industry. Lifestyle elements are also more important than money, reflecting the values of the new freelance workforce.
"The face of the modern workface has moved a long way from the old pattern of leave school, get a job, get promoted and work there from 9 to 5 until retirement," explains Tomedes' Ofer Tirosh. "Technology has had a huge impact on the way we work and has made a freelance lifestyle available to millions of individuals around the world. People are able to pursue their goals in ways that work for them - it's a question of fitting your work around your lifestyle, not fitting your life around your work."
The US alone has 53 million freelancers, according to the latest findings from the Freelancers Union. That's worth a staggering $715 billion in freelance earnings to the US economy each year. And the sector is growing ever larger: 32% of freelancers are experiencing increased demand for their services, compared with just 15% who are noticing a decrease in demand.
The freelancing boom has seen companies benefit too. Companies get to enjoy an expanded talent pool, without the cost of keeping a team of experts within their business. They can simply buy in expertise at will, while keeping overheads to a minimum.
Of course, freelancing isn't without its drawbacks. The lack of job security, holiday pay, sick pay and other benefits can be difficult to manage. However, with freelancers becoming an ever-larger part of the global workforce, understanding their motivations - through surveys like that conducted by Tomedes - has never been more important.