Did you know that, according to data published by NASDAQ, experts predict that a staggering 43% of the workforce will be working either full-time or part-time in the freelancing realm in 2020. It’s a number that’s especially impressive, considering that in 2016, the figure was only hovering right around 36%. While there are a myriad of reasons for this shift, from the pursuance of more adaptable apps and software systems which allow for remote work, to companies using contractor positions as a way to strategically influence their bottom lines, there is also a long list of unique ways in which businesses are benefiting from using a flexible workforce.
Flexible workforces make room for mutually-beneficial relationships
In a piece published in Inc., Wonolo CEO and co-founder, Yong Kim, explains how both companies and workers (in this case, contractors) are both reaping the benefits of the arrangement, made stronger by the current job market.
“Now, with the economy in better shape and unemployment rates at a low, it’s an employee’s job market,” Kim explains. “Companies are starting to realize that to compete with non-traditional jobs, they have to start paying competitively, offering flexible schedules, and actually listening to what employees want. That puts employees in a position to be selective about the gigs they pick up, the hours they work, and the people they work with – and it’s an exciting time for companies to take advantage of that shift.”
So, what does this scenario translate to, exactly? Breaking it down, the current job market is filled with workers who are seeking more flexible employment situations, as well as companies who are benefiting from their search. As Yong mentions, this means that flexible and on-demand workers’ expectations might be higher now than ever in terms of payment and scheduling, but it’s nothing that a good, honest organization can’t leverage on its own.
A flexible workforce promotes worker satisfaction
If you have ever had the opportunity to take part in a flexible work arrangement, you know that the benefits of working on the fringe of a traditional structure are numerous, from setting your own schedule to working from home. Type in the words ‘flexible work benefits,’ and you’ll, unsurprisingly, be inundated with thought pieces that focus on the happiness of the flexible worker. Although there is a good reason for this, it’s obvious that not enough hard data has been provided to companies in terms of flexible worker satisfaction and productivity.
In a piece written for Forbes, writer Adi Gaskell dives deep into this oft-neglected topic, pulling together heaps of evidence as to why flexible workforces are beneficial to both the worker as well as the company. Gaskell’s article references a recent study that was conducted inside a Fortune 500 company that focused on this very issue. Its findings showed that these flexible workers “achieved more, were off sick less often, worked longer hours, and were happier in their work” when compared to their 9-to-5 peers, powerful results from which all companies can benefit.
A flexible workforce can support your future innovations
This can happen in a number of powerful ways, most notably, cost. We all know that full-time employees, ones that legally require the payment of benefits, can be very expensive. But, as evidenced above, these same 9-to-5ers are not always as productive as they need to be. Swapping out one of these full-timers for even just one part-time or temporary worker, or an array of on-demand workers, can actually help your bottom line, while at the same time increasing your overall efficiency.
Secondly, for open-minded businesses, introducing flexible employees into the workforce can reinvigorate an otherwise stale company culture, especially in the operations who do not benefit from healthy turnover rates. This advantage can vary greatly depending on the company, but if collaboration is encouraged, diversifying a workforce in such a way can be a powerful move.
While the uninitiated may react suspiciously to the data, it’s fair to say that anyone who has reaped the benefits of working within a flexible workforce themselves can confirm it. For companies, the hardest part is often the culture shift that occurs on the heels of implementation, but if your firm takes advantage of the available resources, including on-demand hiring platforms like Wonolo, the transition should be fast and seamless.