The ever-increasing importance of the gig economy in the world of work has got many thinking how HR professionals might best be able to adapt to the constantly changing corporate landscape.
In a recent article by Marcus Mossberger for Workforce.com, the paradigm shifts been especially noticeable as to what role technology plays and the evolution of how companies and workers both handle the gig economy.
According to Mossberger, an estimated 51 percent of executives plan to increase or significantly increase the use of contingent workers within the next 3 – 5 years. Considering that approximately one-third of all workers in the United States currently work on a freelance basis, it’s a significant trend. Younger workers, particularly those who are considered Millennials, have been the ones to most readily adapt to the concept that work is not forever. They know that a ‘gig’ will last as long as it lasts and that it will mean finding another. This adaptability is important as the world of work continues to evolve and change.
The constant driver behind these types of changes is the advance of technology. Technology today has allowed work to be done anywhere and at any time. Workers such as Brent Lager, co-founder of community improvement and volunteer organization, TheCall KC, are under no illusions that there are companies out there willing to offer him a job for the next 20 years. Instead, this millennial has found that taking temporary substitute teaching gigs and other short-term jobs help him to make ends meet and are more in line with his core purpose in life.
The gig economy is not without its own unique set of challenges. Companies such as Uber, for example, want to avoid giving the idea that their drivers are employees but are rather independent contractors. This well-publicized designation allows them to avoid being subject to government regulations that apply to companies and the number of actual employees that they have. Uber has made it no secret that they fully intend to embrace technologies that will allow them to feature self-driving cars.
Uber does have its own HR department that helps the company when acquiring its actual employees when necessary. This technological shift, however, has made it clear that the world of work is moving in the direction of retraining the workforce so that menial tasks are handled differently. For Uber, it has been made clear that someday there will likely come a time when all of the company’s drivers will be replaced by machines. This will undoubtedly provide even more challenges for HR professionals to stay relevant.
The workplace is undoubtedly under constant changes. At NetPEO, we offer a complete range of services which includes payroll, management of employee benefits, healthcare benefits management, liability management for employers, brokerage services, and employee leasing.
Contact us today to discuss your company’s current needs and let us answer any questions you have.