… is the conclusion of a new report from Barclay’s Bank. You don’t need to read the whole report. Instead look at my good friend Steve Preston’s summary of it along with his insights as to what it takes to become successfully self employed.


We have posted a lot over the past year in particular with data that clearly shows the increasing popularity of portfolio careers, self employment, freelancing and flexible working. The latest study is from PcW.  Only around one in seven workers wants to work in a ‘traditional’ nine-to-five office environment in the future, according to their latest research.

The Future of Work report, which surveyed more than 10,000 people across China, India, Germany, the UK and the US, found that one-fifth of workers see themselves working virtually, with the ability to log on from any location within the next 10 years.

The shift in how we work will be so huge that a quarter of respondents believed that traditional working approaches and structures simply won’t be around in the future. HR professionals predict that at least 20 per cent of their workforce will be made up of contractors or temporary workers by 2022. Almost a third are building talent strategies around people’s growing desire for portfolio careers, hiring staff on a more ad-hoc basis.

According to the report, workers will begin to see themselves as members of a particular skill or professional network, rather than as an employee of a particular company, and we may even begin to see ‘eBay’ style ratings of workers as people sell themselves to companies on a project basis based on past performance.

Jon Andrews, UK HR consulting leader at PwC, said that ‘nine to five’ working could “soon become resigned to history for many workers”.

“People feel strongly that they no longer want to work within the constraints of the typical office environment and advances in technology mean that workers no longer have to be shackled to their desks.”

“We predict that many organisations will embrace these changes in employee working preferences and use them to their own advantage. We could easily see the rise of organisations that have a core team that embodies the philosophy and values of the company, but the rest of the workforce is not fixed and come in and out on a project-by-project basis,” he added.

Technology will play a huge role in achieving this aim, according to the report, as employers look to coordinate a largely external workforce and support their relationships with third parties.

I’m not sure I want to be the new norm. I quite liked being different! But there we are ……..


How do we keep fit as portfolio workers?

10 July 2014

Yes – this is an issue that I hear about a lot. You would think that with a portfolio lifestyle that keeping fit and good nutrition would be easy to achieve! Quite! The fact is that we are often  so busy juggling our portfolio roles around that is exactly what we fail to do. I [...]

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Are you lonely working from home?

28 June 2014

One of the joys of shopping in Waitrose – and there are many, especially if like me you are now also a carer – is that you can sit with your free coffee and read their free mags and their Waitrose Weekend paper. And low and behold a great article in it today by Amira [...]

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Willl portfolio careers be the norm?

28 June 2014

Fascinating statistic from a report from Right Management earlier this year: nearly 80% of HR directors said they expect the majority of their employees to have portfolio careers within the next five years. So members of this group were just ahead of your time!  But as Katie and I keep saying it is not the [...]

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More and more people want to be self employed

4 June 2014

  I did an entry on this phenomenon in April based on new stats from the ONS. So lo and behold we now have a new report from the RSA (of which I am a Fellow) called Salvation in a Start Up. This is well worth reading. Today there are 600,000 more microbusinesses in existence [...]

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Are portfolio careers the natural habitat for the Gen Y population?

29 May 2014

In our book we were quoting data even 5 years ago which suggested that our chosen career pattern would appear to be very attractive to Gen Y’s.  More data is accumulating that suggests that this connection is growing. A new global report  released by  London Business School , in partnership with Deloitte, showed that high [...]

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Portfolio careers can be longlasting

24 May 2014

One of the joys of a portfolio career for me has always been that from time to time aspects of your past life or indeed a constituent of your previous portfolio career re-emerges. I was approached by  Unionlearn (www.unionlearn.org.uk ) recently. They host a great programme for 30,000 Union Learning Reps, all volunteers with demanding [...]

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Massive increase in self employment

9 April 2014

An increase in the number of self-employed people is behind recent falls in official unemployment figures as opposed to the creation of new jobs. Quarterly labour market data, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), revealed there were just 0.2 per cent more ‘employed’ people during the last quarter. This compares to a rise [...]

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“Portfolio Careers: Unveiling the Latest Trend”

3 March 2014

  I have been interviewed for Forbes Magazine (online) and for the Huffington Post in the USA in the past month and clearly the phrase Portfolio Careers now appears to be the primary description there of the phenomenon that we know and cherish here.  So I was interested in taking up Sarah Brooks’s offer to [...]

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