RESEARCH.

TOMORROW'S KNOWLEDGE.

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Etengo 
Freelancer 
Index (EFX) 

The long-term analysis on the importance of IT freelancers in Germany.

In the course of the progressing digitisation of the economy, well-trained IT specialists are more sought-after than ever - especially freelancers. Although numerous studies regularly investigate the significance and use of freelance IT specialists, no representative long-term analysis has been conducted yet.

This omission was remedied with the ‘Etengo Freelancer Index’ (EFX), an ongoing study that we developed with our partner Bitkom Research in early 2016. The result: a reliable indicator of the trend in the demand for IT freelancers in Germany.  

The EFX is derived from four indicators that show the importance of IT freelancers.

Values for the subjective perceived importance (60%) and the proportion of project volume (40%)—the objective factor—both for the past and the next six months, are collected to produce a significant index.

 

EFX 6

Fifty per cent of German companies use agile methods. Of these, almost all use Scrum.

The use of agile methods in project management is increasing every year. And for good reason: the majority of German companies (65 per cent) consider agile projects to be more successful. Such projects also enable easier collaboration with freelance specialists, who already do about a quarter of the total volume of work in IT projects.

In more than one in 10 companies (13 per cent), 40 per cent or more of the IT projects are already carried out by freelancers. According to the respondents, this figure will also increase further within the next six months. Thus, companies estimate that 29 per cent of working hours will then be attributed to IT freelancers.

 

EFX 5

German companies do not think that the EU GDPR and big data contradict each other.

The new EU General Data Protection Regulation that entered into force in May 2018 harmonises data protection regulation within the EU. Consequently, most German companies do not feel that they are at a disadvantage when compared to companies in non-EU countries. On the contrary, they even expect it to make things easier for big data projects.

EFX 4

Budget and availability are major challenges when hiring IT freelancers.

The use of freelancers is often accompanied by significant hurdles: issues such as budget, compliance and availability play a critical role in the war for the top IT freelancer talent. It takes four companies out of 10 (42 per cent) five or more attempts to hire an IT freelancer.

EFX 3

Drones, head-mounted displays, etc.:
This is what the workplace of the future will look like.

Large companies in Germany expect rapid technological progress in the workplace. Seven companies out of 10 (69 per cent) expect that office desktops and notebooks will become obsolete and be replaced by innovative technologies within the next 30 years at most.

EFX 2

IT freelancers: Women often earn less.

Female IT freelancers often earn less than their male counterparts, because they either negotiate lower hourly rates more readily than men (37 per cent) or ask for less at the outset (33 per cent). According to 38 per cent, men would earn ‘a little more’ and in 12 per cent of the companies ‘considerably more’. Only every fifth company (20 per cent) cites a lack of specialist knowledge as the reason for the differences in hourly rate.

EFX 1

IT freelancers are indispensable,
particularly for larger companies.

The first survey shows that IT freelancers constitute an indispensable element of the workforce for most companies. Currently, IT freelancers are very important for eight companies out of 10 (83 per cent). Another key finding underlines the importance of external IT specialists, since IT freelancers accounted for an average of 23 per cent of the project volume (in working hours) over the past six months.

EFX 4

Budget and availability are major challenges when hiring IT freelancers.

The use of freelancers is often accompanied by significant hurdles: issues such as budget, compliance and availability play a critical role in the war for the top IT freelancer talent. It takes four companies out of 10 (42 per cent) five or more attempts to hire an IT freelancer.

EFX 3

Drones, head-mounted displays, etc.:
This is what the workplace of the future will look like.

Large companies in Germany expect rapid technological progress in the workplace. Seven companies out of 10 (69 per cent) expect that office desktops and notebooks will become obsolete and be replaced by innovative technologies within the next 30 years at most.

EFX 2

IT freelancers: Women often earn less.

Female IT freelancers often earn less than their male counterparts, because they either negotiate lower hourly rates more readily than men (37 per cent) or ask for less at the outset (33 per cent). According to 38 per cent, men would earn ‘a little more’ and in 12 per cent of the companies ‘considerably more’. Only every fifth company (20 per cent) cites a lack of specialist knowledge as the reason for the differences in hourly rate.

EFX 1

IT freelancers are indispensable,
particularly for larger companies.

The first survey shows that IT freelancers constitute an indispensable element of the workforce for most companies. Currently, IT freelancers are very important for eight companies out of 10 (83 per cent). Another key finding underlines the importance of external IT specialists, since IT freelancers accounted for an average of 23 per cent of the project volume (in working hours) over the past six months.