Employing a flexible workforce model yields objective, up-front benefits that can be easily tracked to help measure the progress and health of an organization.
Reduced overhead Hiring independent professionals for specific projects or seasons results in lower fixed employment costs by eliminating the price tag on health care and other benefits that full-time traditional employees require. Additionally, hiring short-term remote workers reduces the cost of overtime and absenteeism common with onsite employees.
Access to talent
Forbes identified “ … the rise of telecommuting, co-working spaces, globalization and new technology tools” as key reasons why today’s workers are demanding more flexibility. Engaging a flexible workforce allows employers to break through traditional geographic constraints to identify and hire expert talent across the globe. Increasing the geographic scope of talent recruitment also means employers can hire niche professionals for highly-specific projects without disrupting the normal workflow of regular employees.
Speed and scale The boom of technology has forced companies to face staffing challenges related to scalability, timeliness and quality control. Customers expect immediate resolutions to identified issues, web content must be relevant and accurate, and user-generated content requires real-time moderation. One benefit of a flexible workforce is the ability to scale staffing up and down by project or season in order to meet shifting business priorities.
Long-term return on investment
In addition to the financial savings, borderless talent network, and efficient workflows, tapping into the on-demand workforce has long-term benefits.
Multi-generational support For the first time in history, there will soon be five generations represented in the workforce, and leaders must learn how to navigate the needs of each. A flexible workforce model addresses concerns specific to each generation. Knowing that baby boomers are looking ahead to retirement or reduced hours, Generation X is looking for work-life balance, and millennial's are drawn to work that inspires them, adopting a flexible work model allows businesses to appeal to a diverse range of talent.
Loyalty and productivity With the increasing demand for employees to be available beyond standard business hours, burnout is on the rise. Studies show that offering flexibility in the workplace is one way employers can build morale and improve retention. Hiring freelancers for short-term projects can help lighten the workloads of regular employees, and promoting flexible schedules and remote work positions the company as progressive and committed to the well-being of its employees. A high-trust culture is also proven to improve performance.
The future of work
As the fastest-growing segment of the labor market, the “independent,” “on-demand” or “flexible” workforce cannot be ignored. Companies that are proactive in their approach to this shift in the business landscape will be able to attract top talent, promote innovation, develop cohesive teams, and build a sustainable model for the future.