The freelance economy, once a small, largely anonymous portion of the workforce, has become a dynamic and growing source of manpower. The flexibility of this workforce cuts both ways: It allows the worker more freedom in determining when and where to work, and it offers the employer the opportunity to downsize brick-and-mortar facilities and benefit from the expanded hours a remote workforce represents.

Staples surveyed office workers and found that 12 percent are full time freelancers, and another 12 percent freelance in addition to working a full time job. When freelancers were asked why they choose not to journey to an office every day, 39 percent said freelancing has led to greater income for them than staff jobs. Another 37 percent said setting their own schedules is the big draw, and 32 percent said they freelance to achieve better work-life balance.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.

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