The conventional corporate office is practically a thing of the past. The “side hustle” is becoming the hustle, previously distinct departments are dissolving to create more fluid collaborations between coworkers, and increasingly, people are breaking away from the traditional nine-to-five in order to pursue freelance careers. It’s estimated that by 2020, 50% of the US workforce will be freelancers.
Digitalization and the shift in focus from production to creation in a postindustrial era helped pave the way for this liberation from the workplace. But there is a deeper motivation behind the trend toward self-employment, and that is our longing for autonomy. As Daniel Pink discusses in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, the secret to success isn’t the promise of wealth or fame but rather our deep-seated desire to direct our own lives.