The average employee tenure has had a rapid decline lately. Inversely, we are seeing the rise of independent workers and freelancers. These developments have some serious business implications.
Numerous people lost their jobs in the recession. The uncertain job market encouraged many people to turn to self-employment and entrepreneurship. According to some analysts, half of all Americans will be self-employed by 2020. This number is staggering.
The use of robots in healthcare roles is increasing as well. These trends will eventually put an end to the traditional 9 to 5 jobs. The rise of freelancing may enable many of us to work flexible hours in a relaxed non-corporate environment. And working hours have already changed because of social and technological changes. A number of industries now allow freelance work. We are also seeing a massive increase in the number of people working from home. Are things going to stay this way for long?
In all likelihood, these trends will continue. In many developed nations, governments have started downsizing their workforce. This is a healthy evolution and it will increase business efficiency and reduce overhead.
IS TECHNOLOGY THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND FREELANCING?
Today a freelancer has easy access to a plethora of online tools. Thanks to the internet and the smartphones, it is simple to stay connected all the time. Other technologies such as cloud based computing and videoconferencing have made it possible for people to work from anywhere. A physical office is no longer a necessity. The same technology helps freelancers find rewarding jobs. There are online workplaces that connect businesses with talent.
However, technology is not the only factor pushing this trend. The changing needs and wants of workers are also contributing to this development. Until recently, skilled people wanted to find employment with large enterprises. Now most skilled workers want to work for themselves.
People who start their own online businesses don’t have to take long commutes or have late nights. This is one of the main reasons that workers, especially millennials, turn to freelancing. It improves their work/life balance and quality of living.
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT BUSINESSES?
Businesses that support freelancing will be able to attract top skilled professionals seeking flexible hours. Highly talented people are showing increasing reluctance to accept a 9 to 5 job. The cost of hiring and training is also increasing, so businesses that insist that their employees should be physically present at the workplace will find it rather difficult to attract talent and stay competitive. Many large businesses now have a hybrid workforce consisting of freelancers and full-time staff. There are numerous small businesses managed exclusively by freelancers.