In order to compete, more and more organizations are turning to a contingent workforce that supplies specified tasks required to complete larger, more complex projects. This workforce, which we call virtualpreneurs, will be the future for every company that desires access to the best talent – talent that is now globalized. Therefore, senior executives will have to change their mindset away from people management to one of task and project management. The best talent, after all, has moved out of the building and into the virtual realm.
Beyond the Four Walls
Smart companies are already using freelancers to fulfill their needs, thereby enhancing operational flexibility so they can expand or shrink on demand. The new contingent workforce is laying the groundwork for the new virtual corporation that is no longer tied to the office building. The cost benefit allows employers to tap into an experienced, educated workforce-on-demand as needed—to support project work and seasonal growth spikes.
In order to fully leverage the new workforce, companies should address the advantages and disadvantages of why this new workforce is emerging.
|Flex staffing||Flexibility of hours|
|Reduced overhead||Work remotely|
|No benefits||Variable work|
|Improved margin||More opportunities|
|Specialty expertise as needed||Projects you choose|
|No labor unions||Less job discontent|
|Variable labor model||Self-employment|
|No loyalty||Limited job security|
|Less retention||Minimal benefits|
|Lost domain knowledge||Cyclical wages|
|Challenging social aspects||Less career advancement|
Even considering these disadvantages, the advantages are still tilting the scales to a new virtual contingent workforce, creating a mutually beneficial relationship between the employer and worker. And there is no longer a stigma attached to working in this capacity.
Today, the cloud helps us deliver the same connectivity and productivity you would find in a brick-and-mortar office. The entrepreneurial spirit has surfaced and the new professionals earn respect by working for themselves in fields they are passionate about and on their own terms.
Bottom line: The four walls that once kept people captive are gone. Over the last decade, technological and social changes have given rise to new, borderless business models. That means you, as a professional or a business manager, have more freedom. Freedom to choose your profession – freedom to choose the best talent – freedom to work however and whenever you desire. There are no buildings, no boundaries, no fear. It’s time to embrace the virtualpreneur.
For more tips on making the most of the new world of work, visit www.newworldofwork.com. Learn more about our new book, The New World of Work: From Cube to the Cloud.