In today’s ever-shifting world of work, independent talent play an increasingly important role. Freelancers, contractors, consultants, temporary workers and more support companies by providing access to in-demand skills, driving organizational performance, and increasing institutional value. Particularly during times of crisis like the current COVID-19 pandemic, organizations that engage independent talent are finding they have the flexibility to stay in business for the long run.
With advancing technology in hand, modern businesses are able to better manage an external workforce that enables them to meet market demands, improve products and services, and operate at capacity. Here are three ways the accelerating rate of change in today’s business world is driving a new strategic workforce mindset.
1. Rapid Change Leads to Rapid Innovation
New technological innovations are occurring at a more rapid pace than ever before. Thanks to advancements in technologies like cloud computing, big data, and high-speed networks, innovations like artificial intelligence (AI) that have long been in the works are finally taking off.
Advancements in technology like marketplace platforms are enabling businesses to evolve how work gets done. By strategically engaging both full-time employees as well as external workers, companies can build a flexible workforce that provides the skills they need when and where they need them most. As more companies shift their workforce strategy to incorporate contingent workers, more innovation will follow to better enable this new way of work.
2. Technology Enables the Rise of the Independent Workforce
Innovations—both in technological and administrative spheres—are converging to give rise to independent work. Today, it is possible for many workers to successfully make the shift to working independently. In fact, 3.14 million people who work independently full time make more than $100,000 annually.
The growth of technology like marketplace platforms, which allow for streamlined engagement of talent, are one major reason for this growth. As more companies begin to think outside of the box about how to use independent talent in different ways, we will see greater adoption and evolution of technology to support the sourcing, engagement, and management of independent workers.
3. Remote Work Is Increasingly Feasible
A large number of people today work remotely and amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a future where remote work is the norm looks increasingly realistic. Technology like project management software and online meeting tools make the virtual office a reality for many.
Digital nomads—independent workers who choose to embrace a location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyle that allows them to travel and work remotely, anywhere in the world—are a growing population of 4.8 million. As demand for a flexible workforce becomes increasingly important, companies will begin to leverage these workers for the skillsets and timely, project-based work they can facilitate.
The way we work is in a continual state of evolution. Companies today have the opportunity to stress-test their business models, trial remote work strategies, and leverage independent talent to complete a strategic project, contribute to a long-term role, or fulfill a specific job. Taking advantage of these changes can help companies outshine their competition, respond to new market opportunities, and save on staffing costs.
To learn more about how your business can execute a modern workforce strategy, contact us today or read more about the four forces driving the new world of work.