Knowledge workers expect more from a job than simply exchanging their skills and time for a paycheck and benefits.
Businesses are scrambling to add skills and finding that existing ways of hiring and managing talent are no longer effective.
There’s a breakdown of the traditional workplace, workforce, and worklife. And independent professionals are powering the rebuild.
Businesses are desperate to add new skills and expand teams, but they’re grappling with a talent shortage for roles at every level. Meanwhile, work continues mounting with urgency as the pandemic sped up timelines for vital initiatives, like digital transformation.
The recovering economy is straining resources further as businesses scramble to meet the pace of growth and respond to changing customer behavior.
of teams are hiring within the next 6 months, but they’re having trouble finding talent.
Professionals are burning out from unrelenting workloads, keeping up with an unsustainable work pace, and feeling overwhelmed by a shortage of resources and support. Many are hitting a breaking point and quitting—or considering it.
50% of businesses report higher turnover compared to pre-pandemic.
Reskilling takes time and the skills needed to push business ahead can change at any moment. For workers already struggling with long work days, expecting them to find time for reskilling may be asking too much.
Freelancers often provide highly skilled work, so you’re overlooking valuable talent if you only engage freelancers for small projects, routine work, or as a stopgap when searching for a full-time hire. In fact, half of freelancers provide in-demand services including data science, computer programming, marketing, and business consulting. And more and more professionals are choosing to freelance because of the flexibility, control, and opportunities it provides.
When skills gaps arise, companies default to adding employees. But if you follow this approach every time, you lose operational agility. Hiring is time-consuming and expensive. And only some skills are needed on an ongoing basis.
Businesses are creating hybrid teams made up of employees and independent professionals working together to accomplish a common objective.
This model leverages independent talent in a way that provides teams flexible and unlimited resources, so they can complete all their initiatives—no matter how complex—under tight timelines and with less stress.
of businesses plan to significantly increase their usage of remote freelancers in the next 2 years
Seeing talent as a flexible resource that you engage through various types of relationships, including full time and freelance, enables you to achieve more. You can access any skill, at any time, to produce anything.
The percentage of work done by freelancers is high across key functional areas.
Contract several specialists on demand instead of locking up budgets with a single full-time hire.
Offices have reopened, but many professionals aren’t willing to give up the flexibility of working from home. Over one third (34%) of workers would rather not return to the office, ever.
of companies are fully remote today
expect to be fully remote 5 years from now
expect to be fully remote 12 months from now
are more productive working from home
people planned to relocate due to a greater ability to work remotely
is saved in annual commuting costs for each person who works remotely
In their desire to maintain the flexibility experienced during the COVID-19 lockdown, knowledge workers are pushing back against 100-year-old workplace practices that persist out of habit rather than necessity.
Set work hours were originally created for assembly line workers. But knowledge workers need focus time to digest and apply information. It matters less which hours of the day they’re working, so long as they’re able to collaborate with others and, ultimately, get the job done on time.
Thriving remote-first companies, such as Automattic and GitHub, busted this myth long ago.
For knowledge work, it’s what gets done that matters, not the time spent doing it. Businesses and governments testing 32-hour workweeks are seeing higher engagement and productivity.
For decades, tech startups have relied on distributed teams to access the best minds and profit from 24-hour workflows.
If your business clings to a “that’s how it’s always been done” mentality, you risk losing valuable talent and your ability to compete. That’s why progressive businesses are giving professionals flexibility over how, where, and when work gets done without losing control over growth.
Proactively promote the business’s vision, values, and culture through online and offline experiences. That may include Zoom meet-and-greets with new hires and virtual happy hours to protocols for addressing challenges/conflict, and processes that ensure everyone’s voice is heard.
Freeing people from the office satisfies their desire for flexibility. It also gives you the opportunity to hire and contract the best talent, no matter where they’re located.
You can reduce stress on your team and the risk of burnout by offering options like a 4-day workweek, remote work, and flexible schedules.
The pandemic created so much social and economic chaos that it pushed professionals to ask themselves introspective questions like:
For many, their answers helped them identify aspects of their worklife that did not fit their goals and priorities. The awareness inspired them to seek greater control of their careers and personal lives.
Humans have a fundamental need for autonomy: to live life according to one’s own decisions and reasons.
The insecurities and suffering endured during the pandemic intensified this basic need, which is pushing up against restrictions that are inherent in traditional jobs.
To have flexibility in my schedule
To be in control of my own financial future
To work from the location of my choosing
To be my own boss
To pursue work I am passionate about or find meaningful
To be able to spend more time with my family
Professionals from Gen Z to Baby Boomers are renouncing traditional jobs to become full-time freelancers. Across every generation, an overwhelming majority make the leap because they want to, not because they have to.
They’re all attracted by the chance to be their own boss and take charge over how they spend their time and what they achieve. See all the details in our Flexibility Through Freelancing study.
You set your rates and control how quickly and how large your business grows. Compared to being employed, most people (57%) earn more as a freelancer within 6 months.
Do what you’re passionate about by choosing what projects you work on and the companies you work with.
Earning a living doesn’t get in the way of caring for loved ones, attending a child’s school performance in the middle of the day, or traveling.
Fast-track your career by gaining exposure to more challenging projects and different industries. Instead of waiting for someone to offer you a promotion when it’s right for them, you’re in charge of how much you advance and at what speed.
The world of work has profoundly changed. Workplaces must transform. Workforces must adapt. And workflows must modernize.
Now is the ideal time to introduce change because COVID-19 was an equal opportunity disruptor. Supply chain troubles, economic instability, the race to digitize, and talent shortages impacted us all.
You have a narrow window of time to redesign the key components of work that determine if you will accomplish your growth goals, achieve digital transformation, and remain competitive.
Watch our webinar to learn more about what to expect going forward and how to succeed in the new world of work.Watch Now