Companies can gain a competitive edge by tapping into the gig economy. More workers than ever before are requesting flexible work schedules and even creating their own schedules by working through gig apps like tilr, Uber, or TaskRabbit. By embracing the gig economy and working with independent contractors, companies can save money and increase flexibility in their business, while giving workers what they want.
Flexibility from gig workers
Companies can look to independent contractors in the gig economy to make their businesses more flexible. Independent contractors complete projects or tasks for companies but, unlike traditional employees, typically move on to other assignments after completing this work. Independent contractors complete the work you need done, meaning less time gets wasted. Independent contractors are also focused on one skill or some subset of skills, such as legal or administrative ability. This means that they won’t have to undergo the training that a traditional employee would. Independent contractors can get straight to work after being contracted.
Independent contractors also come from a variety of disciplines – you can find a designer for an illustrative project, an editor for blog posts, or a banquet server for a weekend event. You can work with whoever when your business taps into the gig economy
This flexibility comes especially in handy when considering seasonality. It’s no surprise that major warehousing and retail companies ramp up their workforce during holiday season, but bumps in employment are becoming more drastic than ever before. To meet seasonal demands, Amazon increased their workforce by over 120,000 and Target hired 43% more temporary workers in 2017 than 2016 in preparation for the holiday season. Finding on-demand workers to supplement your workforce for peak seasons has been made easier with apps like tilr, because more workers are picking up flexible schedules. This can also be useful for off-season as well – a workforce made up of mostly independent contractors can be reduced during times where less workers are needed.
Saving money with independent contractors
For the same reasons that the gig economy can make a business more flexible, companies can seek to save money by working with independent contractors in the gig economy. By working with independent contractors only when you need work done, you save what might otherwise have been spent on an employee without work to do. Working with independent contractors is often more cost-effective than hiring because taxes and benefits are entirely different for independent contractors.
Working with independent contractors isn’t something uniquely available for massive companies like Target and Amazon – small businesses can yield the same benefits by contracting gig economy workers. Work is about to look a lot more flexible – both companies and workers are beginning to realize that work should only happen when it’s needed.