Our most recent research report highlights the dramatic transformation occuring in today's economy—the shift to contract work. This blog will introduce the concept of the growing white-collar gig economy and the four trends driving this shift.
The future of work is being shaped by a powerful force: legacy workforce models designed to drive efficiency and predictability are quickly giving way to an on-demand model. With the hyperspecialization of work today, coupled with the shorter duration of project assignments, the ability to scale at will is necessary to compete.
On-Demand Workers are Increasingly In-Demand
While we have been witnessing this change for the last decade, recently it has begun to accelerate rapidly, possibly to the tipping point. According to Accenture, it’s predicted that 43 percent of the United States workforce (60 million people) will be contingent by 2020, which is roughly four times the number of contingent workers in 2015 (15.5 million).
This acceleration is driven by incredible demand from both the supply and demand side, or in other words, both organizations and individuals that see significant benefits to this engagement model. Businesses are able to stay lean and nimble while still being innovative, and individuals are able to gain more experience and create a work schedule that fits their lifestyle.
Adapting to the Gig Economy
However, this new workforce model is also complex to manage. Saddled with outdated business systems, processes, and inadequate frameworks for managing high-performance, companies are struggling to adapt. It’s an intersection of disruption and transformation.
The objective of this research is to understand how companies can better take advantage of the transformation taking place, and identify what insights and processes they may need to effectively manage a more fluid workforce. We are also driven by a desire to elevate the conversation surrounding the gig economy and highlight the significant economic opportunity in leveraging contractors, freelancers, and subproviders.
Benefits of the Gig Economy
We see that this on-demand workforce has tremendous potential. The benefits are real, including potential for improved innovation and agility in business. Not to mention individual happiness. We also believe that given the distributed nature of work today, and the fact that individuals now have tools to connect with other talented individuals from all over the world; this trend actually has the ability to significantly increase GDP around the world and create a more employed workforce.
We hope the data and insights in this research serve you well as you begin your journey into the Service Level Economy.