Varying sources have cited the rise of the freelance or “gig economy” as revolutionizing the US workforce. Freelancing may be popular nowadays, but freelancing isn’t a 21st century phenomenon by any means. To quote the Online Etymology Dictionary:
freelance (n.) – also free lance, free-lance, “medieval mercenary warrior,” 1820 (“Ivanhoe”), from free (adj.) + lance (n.); apparently a coinage of Sir Walter Scott’s. Figurative sense is from 1864; specifically of journalism by 1882.
By some accounts, the gig economy is taking off—to the point that by 2020, about 40% of Americans will be part of it. Should office landlords be concerned that this trend will have a cataclysmic negative impact on demand for office space? I don’t think so, and here’s why.