As with previous efforts, he’s asking freelancers to (anonymously) provide some information on how they work, in a bid to understand rates across the UK. This year, Henley is also asking some questions about health and lifestyle, due (in part) to greater industry interest in wellbeing.
.net asked Henley (CH) about the survey, what trends he expected to find and when the results will be revealed.
.net: What's the survey all about and why are you doing it?
CH: The survey came about two years ago when I started freelancing and didn't really have confidence in knowing what to charge or how that compared to what other freelancers were charging. Although people seemed happy to talk about this on a one-to-one basis, there was a reluctance to discuss this publicly. I thought it would be a great idea to hold a survey to capture a snapshot of rates across the UK and across different skills and experience levels.
.net: What’s changed since you started doing the survey?
CH: Every year I’ve listened to feedback from participants and fleshed out the questions to uncover a bit more about working practices. For example, what kind of deposits freelancers ask for upfront and whether people used contracts.
.net: What new things are you asking this year, and why?
CH: I've been struggling with depression over the last year and after writing an article on the subject for the Pastry Box, I was surprised by the number of freelancers that got in touch about similar feelings and experiences. I was interested in seeing if we could get any data in this year's survey on how the working environment of freelancers affects our wellbeing.
Freelancing is very often a lifestyle as well as a means of income and I think it's important to ask questions about this and not just about working practice.
.net: Are there any ongoing trends you expect to discover? What are your perceptions of the market right now?
CH: I think the web is a very healthy market compared to other sectors right now, but with that health comes increasing competition, and I’m not sure how that might affect rates. I think we may see more specialisation because there seems to be less and less demand for generalists.
I would also hope that more folk are using contracts and asking for deposits upfront! I’m not sure yet, though. I avoid looking at any of the responses until I compile the results, although I can tell you that we've had a very good response compared to the last two years!
.net: Can our readers still participate? When will the results be revealed?
CH: The survey is online at http://bit.ly/freelance2013. It's been up for a week and I'll probably close it mid-August with a view to having the results published in September.