The Ework Barometer
2018

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About the Ework Barometer

The Ework Barometer is the leading survey of the consultant market in the Nordic region. The participating consultants are mainly residents of the four Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland Norway and Sweden. Hence it offers a unique insight into the situation in the northern European consultant market.

Ework Group has the largest network of consultants in the Nordic market, consisting of specialists in IT/telecom, engineering and business development. Within this network the Ework Barometer survey has been conducted since 2005. The survey provides detailed information regarding the consultants’ perception of the market and its future.

Data was collected through survey interviews in January and February 2018. The basic structure of the survey is the same over time which allows comparison between surveys. This report is a summary of the results of the 2018 Ework Barometer.

3.129 (3.770) people participated of which: Sweden: 2.431 (2.913), Norway 233 (297), Finland 169 (221), Denmark 128 (183), and other 168 (156).

(Figures in parenthesis refer to the results of the previous Ework Barometer from May 2017.)

Summary

Thriving optimism

According to The Ework Barometer there are very few signs indicating that the Nordic consultancy business is slowing down. 71 (68) percent of the consultants have successfully managed to increase their hourly rates within the last 2 years. The average rate was 97 euro per hour, due to exchange rates the same as the previous year. 38 (38) percent of the consultants are expecting to raise their hourly rates within the next 12 months. Only 3.2 (5.1) percent of the consultants are fearing for lower hourly rates. The group with the lowest hourly rates, under 70 euro, comprises 15 (16) percent of the consultants. At the same time, the segment consisting of the most expensive consultants (rates above 150 euro per hour) grew from 4.6 to 5.2 percent. percent.

The average capacity utilization among the participants in the Barometer remains at 85 percent. 90 (89) percent of the consultants have experienced unchanged or increased capacity utilization during the last 12 months.

The optimisms among participants regarding the market outlook also thrive. Every other consultant, 51 (54) percent, expects the market for general consultancy services to grow over the next 12 months. Only 8.5 (7.7) percent expect a weaker market.

Demand

What do you think about the development over the next 12 months regarding demand for consulting services in general?

Show numbers +

By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Decreases much 0,0% 0,7% 0,6% 0,8%
Decreases some 9,6% 3,7% 2,8% 8,2%
Unchanged 23,1% 28,9% 38,6% 43,2%
Increases some 56,7% 58,5% 48,0% 43,1%
Increases much 10,6% 8,2% 10,1% 4,8%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
Decreases much 0,5% 1,6% 0,2%
Decreases some 7,3% 8,8% 7,7%
Unchanged 44,0% 41,0% 41,0%
Increases some 43,4% 42,1% 46,2%
Increases much 4,8% 6,5% 4,9%

How will the demand in your area of expertise develop over the next 12 months?

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Decreases much 0,0% 1,6% 0,6% 0,4%
Decreases some 7,0% 3,2% 6,0% 5,6%
Unchanged 37,0% 27,2% 26,4% 37,8%
Increases some 39,0% 56,0% 44,9% 45,7%
Increases much 17,0% 12,0% 22,2% 10,5%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
Decreases much 0,3% 0,9% 0,0%
Decreases some 5,1% 6,0% 5,3%
Unchanged 36,8% 36,1% 38,8%
Increases some 47,2% 44,7% 45,8%
Increases much 10,7% 12,3% 10,1%

As always, the respondents are more positive when forecasting the market for their own area of expertise. The optimists, saying that the demand for consultancy in their own area will increase, now comprises 58 (61) percent.

Accordingly, a mere 6.0 percent of the consultants are expecting decreased demand in their own area of expertise, compared to 6.3 percent in the previous Barometer.

When it comes to their own sector, consultants have a direct business experience, and should therefore in fact be better informed.

Fees & Capacity

What is your, or your consultants' average hourly rate today?

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
< 30 € 0,0% 4,0% 0,0% 2,2%
30-49 € 1,0% 8,7% 1,2% 2,1%
50-69 € 6,1% 18,3% 3,1% 10,2%
70-89 € 23,2% 31,7% 4,3% 31,1%
90-109 € 31,3% 22,2% 22,1% 32,4%
110-129 € 15,2% 10,3% 36,8% 14,8%
130-149 € 11,1% 4,0% 19,6% 3,0%
> 150 € 12,1% 0,8% 12,9% 4,2%

By group

IT Technology Business development
< 30 € 2,7% 1,6% 1,0%
30-49 € 1,3% 4,8% 1,0%
50-69 € 9,7% 25,3% 2,2%
70-89 € 31,5% 37,2% 16,9%
90-109 € 33,7% 17,9% 30,6%
110-129 € 14,9% 8,0% 26,7%
130-149 € 4,1% 2,6% 7,6%
> 150 € 2,0% 2,6% 14,0%

Average hourly rates €/h

Euro per hour
All respondents 96,7
Denmark 116
Finland 84
Norway 122
Sweden 95
IT/Telecoms 93
Technology 84
Business development 115

In the past year 49 (45) percent of the consultants have successfully managed to increase their hourly rates. Another 23 (24) percent raised their rates the year before. The group with the lowest hourly rates, under 70 euro, amounts to 15 percent (16 percent). The average hourly rate is 97 euro, which is the same as in the last Barometer. The group comprising the most expensive consultants (above 150 euro an hour) now includes 5.2 percent of the respondents, compared to 4.6 percent in the 2017 Ework Barometer.

An indicator pointing in the same direction is that 90 (89) percent of the participants in the Barometer reports an increased or stable capacity utilization compared to 12 months ago. 75 (74) percent is satisfied with their workload, whereas 20 (21) percent would like to work more and 5.2 (5.4) percent say they have too much work.

When was the last rise in your average hourly rate?

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
During the last 12 months 39,6% 36,4% 47,8% 50,8%
1-2 years ago 23,8% 23,3% 19,7% 22,8%
2-3 years ago 17,8% 10,1% 13,5% 10,1%
3-5 years ago 3,0% 10,1% 7,9% 8,0%
More than 5 years ago 15,8% 20,2% 11,2% 8,4%

By group

IT / Telecoms Technology Business development
During the last 12 months 49,2% 50,6% 47,1%
1-2 years ago 22,5% 24,3% 20,3%
2-3 years ago 10,6% 10,4% 14,5%
3-5 years ago 7,7% 7,5% 8,8%
More than 5 years ago 10,0% 7,2% 9,3%

How do you think your hourly rate will develop in the next 12 months?

Show numbers +

By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Decreases 5,7% 7,3% 2,2% 2,7%
Unchanged 44,3% 43,1% 48,9% 47,0%
Increases 36,8% 42,3% 45,7% 37,2%
Don't know 13,2% 7,3% 3,2% 13,1%

By group

IT / Telecoms Technology Business development
Decreases 2,8% 3,1% 2,6%
Unchanged 46,9% 43,0% 52,9%
Increases 37,5% 39,4% 35,4%
Don't know 12,8% 14,4% 9,1%

85 (84) percent of all respondents predict increased or unchanged hourly rates within the next 12 months, while 3.2 (5.1) percent expect their rates to reduce. 12 (11) percent doesn’t know how their hourly fees will develop.

Average capacity utilization

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
< 50 % 14,3% 19,7% 8,1% 6,0%
50-59 % 6,3% 8,2% 5,2% 3,8%
60-69 % 3,6% 3,4% 4,7% 2,2%
70-79 % 7,1% 6,1% 8,5% 6,6%
80-89 % 22,3% 19,0% 23,7% 25,7%
> 90 % 46,4% 43,5% 49,8% 55,8%

By group

IT Technology Business development
< 50 % 6,3% 5,6% 10,2%
50-59 % 2,8% 3,4% 7,1%
60-69 % 2,0% 1,1% 3,9%
70-79 % 5,2% 7,2% 8,2%
80-89 % 22,7% 29,1% 29,0%
> 90 % 61,0% 53,7% 41,6%

Are you satisfied with your average capacity utilization today?

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Yes 64,9% 57,1% 71,5% 77,3%
No, it is too low 28,8% 36,1% 24,8% 17,7%
No, it is to high 6,3% 6,8% 3,7% 5,0%

By group

IT / Telecoms Technology Business development
Yes 80,6% 79,5% 66,0%
No, it is too low 13,6% 17,0% 27,2%
No, it is too high 5,8% 3,6% 6,9%

How does your current capacity utilization compare to 12 months ago?

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Higher 21,7% 30,1% 21,5% 25,4%
Unchanged 66,2% 54,9% 55,2% 65,0%
Lower 12,1% 15,0% 23,3% 9,5%

By group

IT / Telecoms Technology Business development
Higher 22,6% 29,6% 28,0%
Unchanged 68,1% 60,5% 55,7%
Lower 9,4% 9,9% 16,3%

Competition

How do you anticipate the foreign competition to develop in the next 12 months?

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Foreign by country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Decreases much 2,0% 0,0% 0,0% 0,7%
Decreases some 2,0% 3,3% 6,1 5,3
Unchanged 53,1% 51,2% 57,7% 63,2%
Increases some 33,7% 37,2% 29,5% 27,3%
Increases much 9,2% 8,3% 6,8% 3,6%

Foreign by group

IT Technology Business development
Decreases much 0,7% 0,3% 0,8%
Decreases some 6,2% 4,1% 4,9%
Unchanged 56,7% 60,4% 71,2%
Increases some 31,7% 29,6% 21,3%
Increases much 4,7% 5,6% 1,8%

Have you personally experienced competition from foreign consultants during the past 12 months?

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Yes, on many occasions 16,2% 6,8% 9,9% 8,9%
Yes, on a few occasions 28,6% 28,6% 33,2% 21,7%
No, never 55,2% 64,7% 56,9% 69,4%

By group

IT Technology Business development
Yes, on many occasions 11,9% 8,0% 6,8%
Yes, on a few occasions 24,1% 24,3% 20,6%
No, never 64,0% 67,7% 72,7%

Among the respondents, 67 (65) percent have not experienced foreign competition during the past year. Still one third, 33 (32) percent, predicts that competition from abroad will grow within the next 12 months. 9.5 (11) percent have experienced foreign competition on numerous occasions, whereas 23 (24) percent has experienced it occasionally.

How do you anticipate the domestic competition to develop in the next 12 months?

Show numbers +

By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Decreases much 1,0% 0,0% 1,2% 0,4%
Decreases some 2,0% 3,2% 6,1% 5,8%
Unchanged 60,6% 56,5% 59,4% 64,6%
Increases some 31,3% 33,9% 27,9% 26,9%
Increases much 5,1% 6,5% 5,5% 2,3%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
Decreases much 0,2% 0,6% 0,3%
Decreases some 6,3% 6,4% 4,1%
Unchanged 65,2% 64,2% 63,0%
Increases some 25,8% 24,3% 30,6%
Increases much 2,5% 4,6% 2,0%

In the present study 30 (30) percent of the respondents expects a tougher domestic competition within the next 12 months, whereas 6.2 (6.7) percent expects the opposite, a decreased domestic competition.

Flexibility

How long are you prepared to spend travelling for an assignment each day?

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
< 1 hour 21,0% 26,5% 44,4% 36,7%
< 2 hours 54,3% 43,9% 42,1% 45,8%
< 3 hours 10,5% 14,4% 8,2% 9,6%
< 4 hours 6,7% 8,3% 1,2% 2,4%
> 4 hours 7,6% 6,8% 4,1% 5,6%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
< 1 hour 38,0% 45,2% 26,0%
< 2 hours 47,4% 38,2% 48,5%
< 3 hours 9,3% 10,7% 12,2%
< 4 hours 2,2% 1,6% 3,1%
> 4 hours 3,2% 4,4% 10,3%

Looking at the flexibility of the consultants, they have become more selective. Of all respondents, 64 percent are willing to spend over 1 hour per day travelling for an assignment, compared to 66 percent in the previous Barometer. Also, fewer consultants accept overnight stays, 80 (83) percent, as well as assignments abroad, 64 (67) percent.

Are you willing to take on assignments involving regular overnight stays?

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Yes, one or two overnight stays per month 34,9% 39,6% 41,0% 46,5%
Yes, one or two overnight stays per week 38,7% 25,4% 20,2% 21,4%
Yes, all week 18,9% 27,6% 19,1% 10,3%
No 7,6% 7,5% 19,7% 21,8%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
Yes, one or two overnight stays per month 47,9% 40,1% 43,7%
Yes, one or two overnight stays per week 19,6% 19,4% 31,8%
Yes, all week 10,0% 14,1% 12,1%
No 22,5% 26,4% 12,4%

Are you willing to take on assignments abroad on a regular basis?

Show numbers +

By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
No 17,0% 24,8% 37,6% 38,7%
Yes, in my closest neighbouring country 11,3% 7,5% 2,9% 6,5%
Yes, anywhere in the Nordic region 8,5% 8,3% 10,4% 5,6%
Yes, in and outside the Nordic region 63,2% 59,4% 49,1% 49,2%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
No 40,9% 42,0% 25,2%
Yes, in my closest neighbouring country 7,4% 7,1% 4,5%
Yes, anywhere in the Nordic region 5,4% 7,8% 5,0%
Yes, in and outside the Nordic region 46,3% 43,1% 65,3%

Location

How important is the digital workspace to you as a consultant?

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Very important 56,2% 51,9% 61,2% 53,9%
Quite important 29,5% 25,2% 32,9% 31,3%
Unimportant 10,5% 14,5% 4,1% 9,0%
No experience 3,8% 8,4% 1,8% 4,8%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
Very important 58,9% 48,3% 50,6%
Quite important 29,4% 35,2% 37,4%
Unimportant 7,9% 9,3% 9,7%
No experience 3,9% 7,2% 2,4%

As a consultant, can you manage your assignments remotely?

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
No, it's not possible 4,8% 3,9% 7,7% 12,6%
Yes, it's possible but doesn't happen 26,9% 14,7% 18,9% 24,2%
Yes, it happens to some extent 68,3% 81,4% 73,4% 63,2%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
No, it's not possible 11,1% 14,2% 11,9%
Yes, it's possible but doesn't happen 26,2% 26,0% 16,2%
Yes, it happens to some extent 62,8% 59,8% 71,9%

How much of your work is being done remotely?

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
0% 32,7% 18,9% 27,4% 37,4%
1-5% 12,9% 8,7% 10,4% 8,8%
6-10% 15,8% 9,5% 15,9% 12,1%
11-20% 9,9% 20,5% 20,7% 14,8%
21-30% 9,9% 11,0% 8,5% 6,4%
31-40% 4,0% 4,7% 5,5% 3,9%
41-50% 5,9% 8,7% 5,5% 5,9%
>50% 8,9% 18,1% 6,1% 10,8%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
0% 37,6% 40,6% 28,6%
1-5% 9,5% 10,4% 5,8%
6-10% 12,6% 13,1% 12,6%
11-20% 15,6% 12,5% 17,9%
21-30% 5,7% 4,6% 10,7%
31-40% 3,9% 2,5% 4,8%
41-50% 4,7% 4,4% 10,4%
>50% 10,4% 12,0% 9,2%

Compared to today, from where would you like to work from in the future?

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
I would like to work less remotely 5,8% 2,3% 6,0% 2,2%
I'm happy working as I am today 64,4% 48,8% 64,9% 53,3%
I would like to work more remotely 29,8% 48,8% 29,2% 44,5%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
I would like to work less remotely 2,8% 3,0% 2,6%
I'm happy working as I am today 50,6% 58,3% 57,9%
I would like to work more remotely 46,7% 38,7% 39,5%

More and more industries have embraced remote-friendly workplace practices. The survey shows that 89 percent of the respondents have the possibility to manage assignments remotely, of which 65 percent do.

In average 20 percent of the work made by the consultants is done remotely.

Drivers

The 3 most important aspects for me as a consultant are the ability to...

Show numbers +

By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Work on interesting and stimulating assignments 2,07% 2,07% 2,11% 2,16%
Have control over how much I work 0,73% 0,45% 0,56% 0,88%
Have control over how much I earn 0,86% 0,70% 0,49% 0,55%
Have control over where I work 0,43% 0,16% 0,30% 0,48%
Reduce my administrative burden 0,01% 0,04% 0,15% 0,05%
Network with industry colleagues 0,18% 0,21% 0,23% 0,10%
Get help to increase capacity utilization 0,16% 0,25% 0,11% 0,13%
Work on profitable assignments 0,44% 0,91% 0,43% 0,34%
Get a good work/life balance 0,44% 0,37% 0,65% 0,62%
Get help to develop new business 0,27% 0,49% 0,26% 0,23%
Get the opportunity for skills development 0,41% 0,35% 0,72% 0,47%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
Work on interesting and stimulating assignments 2,10% 2,12% 2,30%
Have control over how much I work 0,79% 0,69% 0,85%
Have control over how much I earn 0,64% 0,50% 0,48%
Have control over where I work 0,46% 0,51% 0,35%
Reduce my administrative burden 0,05% 0,05% 0,05%
Network with industry colleagues 0,12% 0,17% 0,09%
Get help to increase capacity utilization 0,12% 0,13% 0,21%
Work on profitable assignments 0,40% 0,37% 0,40%
Get a good work/life balance 0,61% 0,73% 0,53%
Get help to develop new business 0,23% 0,24% 0,30%
Get the opportunity for skills development 0,49% 0,54% 0,44%

The respondents were asked to rank the top-three aspects of the consultancy profession that they valued the most. The results were then converted into average ratings.

The highest valued aspect of working as a consultant is, once again, “to work on interesting and stimulating assignments", which received an average rating of 2.14 (2.11) of a total of 3.

The second most important aspect is " to have control over how much I work”, whereas “to get a good work/life balance” ranks in as number three.

The Role of the Consultant Broker

How important are consultant brokers for your assignments?

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Very important 32,7% 25,2% 19,2% 22,9%
Quite important 34,6% 33,9% 41,3% 33,7%
Unimportant 20,2% 26,0% 26,4% 25,6%
No experience 12,5% 15,0% 13,2% 17,8%

By group

IT/Telecommunications Technology Business development
Very important 28,2% 13,6% 21,7%
Quite important 34,2% 30,4% 37,4%
Unimportant 22,1% 30,4% 28,9%
No experience 15,5% 25,8% 12,1%

Comments

Of all respondents, 57 (56) percent feel that consultant brokers are quite or very important for their assignments. In this survey, 66 (64) percent have had personal experience of consultant brokers helping them to get an assignment. When asked in which areas a consultant broker is most useful, the top-three answers were “help to work interesting and stimulating assignments”, “help to develop new business” and “help to increase capacity utilization”.

Questions?

For questions or comments concerning this report, please contact:
Zoran Covic, President and CEO.

+46 706 65 65 17
zoran.covic@eworkgroup.com


For questions about the report's implementation and additional results, please contact:
Erik Eliason, Marketing Coordinator.

+46 702 33 34 60
erik.eliason@eworkgroup.com

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