29% of workers say they will leave if they are forced to return to the office.
But there is one force deeper than remote working that you should be aware of: the independent independent economy.
Over the next 5 years, more than half of your talent will choose freelance work. Among those who remain employed, a good part will be freelance.
Are you ready for the independent independent economy?
The independent economy is the conclusion of independent contracts made easy with software
The independent economy is a technological disruption in the way we work. In 2011 Marc Andreessen said that âsoftware eats the worldâ. The independent economy is the result of labor-intensive software, independent agencies and contracts.
As a term, the independent economy is integrated with the economy of odd jobs, the economy of passion, the economy of creators and many others, but at the heart of the independent economy, work under independent contract is facilitated thanks to digital tools and the move to the cloud.
The independent economy is fueled by three technological disruptions.
- The Internet made it possible to connect with anyone in the world.
- The remote tools made it possible to collaborate with anyone in the world.
- Workflow tools (contract, payment, project management) have enabled freelancers to manage scalable and profitable individual businesses.
The fundamental disruption is connecting directly to talent
But, historically, outsourcing has required recruiting firms, consulting firms, and temp agencies. The disruption in the independent economy is that you, as a leader, can go âstraight to the talentâ. Rather than going through an intermediary (agency, recruiting firm), you can connect, communicate, collaborate and contract directly with a freelancer anywhere in the world with just the push of a button.
As Hansell shaken, an executive and a venture capitalist told me, âBuilding a team is essential for businesses. Hiring outside talent for specialized parts of the team makes sense, but wasted dollars and time wasted on âgetting a bad hireâ can make outsourcing not worth it. especially on large projects. Yet if you can see the whites of their eyes, by working directly with them, you can reduce the likelihood of a bad hire. Resolving this dynamic of verification and relationship will drive the company’s transition to modular work, which I believe is the future.
For example, do you need to better connect with your customers? In seconds you can start working with Kemal avdovic. It can help you with your brand positioning and web presence. Kemal is based in Bosnia, but he works with clients all over the world.
With invoicing software like Freshbooks, contract software like PandaDoc, email and Google Drive, Kemal can scale their sole proprietorship to compete directly with your traditional partner agency (in most scenarios it will be more faster and more cost effective).
Screenshot below from services that Kemal can provide.
The independent economy goes from gig work to big work
The independent economy in its present form began around 1998 when Elance was founded. Elance merged with Odesk in 2013 and in 2015 became Upwork. Since then, the independent economy has seen major achievements:
But the most important change currently underway is the shift from transaction-based âconcertâ work to large âcore to businessâ projects. Tim sanders, VP Customer Insights of Upwork called that “The transition from working together to heavy work”.
The human cloud noted a North American motorcycle maker working with more than 25 freelancers to digitally transform their riding experience. Independent Bluetooth product managers, designers, developers and engineers distributed and collaborated around the world on a multi-year project that resulted in a mobile app with over 150,000 downloads and a 5-star rating (with over 8,000 notice).
Jesse Chambers, former global head of premium content strategy at Verizon Media and vice president of monetization at AOL, told me how freelancers made his new business possible wrkfrce to launch with over 100 pieces of original content through the hiring of over 20 freelance writers and over 10 freelance editors.
For Jesse, hiring freelancers allowed efficiency, flexibility and access to specialized expertise. As he said, “Efficiency has been a real thing for us, and freelancers provide an elastic and adaptive conveyor belt to produce content.” More than quantity, freelancers also provided a quality advantage as he told me, âHiring freelancers helps us find people with specific areas of expertise. For example, Sarah Archer, a digital nomad herself, built our playbooks remotely. â
The independent economy will not be the future
In 5 years, we could stop using the word “freelance” and refer to freelancers like all other employees. As Jon Younger pointed out, the difference between traditional employees and freelancers is rapidly diminishing.
Likewise, the possibility of hiring freelancers is growing rapidly. Freelancers do not replace employees. They amplify the impact that every employee can have. So instead of a freelance writer or employee, the growth of the independent economy translates into a mix of employees and freelancers working.
We can call it the hybrid workforce. Which brings up the last question for you, how are you going to lead in the hybrid workforce?
Stay tuned! In the coming weeks, we’ll learn how to make freelancers part of your reopening plan and learn from the best freelancers to work with them.