The recent COVID-19 pandemic made many businesses trim their staff numbers. Additionally, working from home encouraged many people to consider not returning to work, seeing as this new work environment gave them more time to focus on other aspects of their lives.

After pausing to reflect and see how working was affecting them, with the pandemic highlighting the fragile and uncertain nature of life, most employees found it hard to return to their cubicles and workstations.

Perhaps the biggest motivator was the rising cost of living which a stagnated salary couldn’t cope with. This was the primary reason for 51% of freelancers in the UK. Furthermore, the direct reward system in freelancing ensures a freelancer has money coming in almost all the time. As such, more freelancers are inspired to upskill to meet the demand for current competencies, instead of returning to employment.

CEOs are looking to retain staff as more people turn to freelancing

Freelancing is attractive to many professionals as it offers the potential for more earnings, a better work environment, autonomy and diversification of income streams. On the other hand, freelancing makes it hard for CEOs to retain their staff. This article explores the current freelancing situation and what CEOs can do to retain their staff.

How can CEOs retain their staff?

Understand your employees

Employers need to understand what motivates their staff to opt for freelancing. It is easy to assume the job was no longer motivating, paid too little or immediate supervisors were challenging to work with.

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While those points are valid, an employee’s decision could be based on their mental health priorities, a need for more freedom or an unappealing workplace culture. Therefore, talk to them or survey them to find their actual grievances.

Focus on health and wellbeing

Mental health is one of the biggest factors in employee job satisfaction. Whether battling with the skills gap, indifferent workplace culture or a lack of avenues to discuss issues, employees feel most employers do not prioritise their mental health.

Therefore, install systems and provide resources to help them address mental health challenges.

Make work more flexible

The need for more time for family and other commitments came out strongly during the lockdown, and that need isn’t changing any time soon. Therefore, you need to discuss and plan work such that your staff members have time for life outside work. An example is adopting a hybrid working style.

Review your employee benefits

You need to move past the idea that paying your employees more money is enough to retain their services. Instead, take a holistic approach by focusing on their working conditions, office culture, career progression, involvement in decision-making, company ownership, etc. A good solution is to use professional services to present a compelling employee benefits package.


Freelancing presents a way out of an oppressive work environment and a chance to make enough money to handle living expenses. As a CEO, you need to understand why your employees are part of The Great Resignation and provide practical solutions to counter that movement.