4 Ways Businesses Can Embrace the Freelance Workforce in 2018
MAR 20, 2018 23:36 PM
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4 Ways Businesses Can Embrace the Freelance Workforce in 2018

by Anthony Coggine
Several years ago, a study conducted by the Freelancer’s Union showed that 53 million American citizens are self-employed and that number has since risen and shows no sign of slowing down. And it’s not just in the United States, the freelance economy has gained traction across the globe, with the number of self-employed workers spiking everywhere from the United Kingdom to India.
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The dramatic spike in the population of self-employed workers has resulted in the development of freelance job platforms, flexible workspaces and even freelance health insurance. In order to compete, traditional businesses are learning to adapt to the freelance workforce, which has turned out to be a wonderful thing for both employees and employers
1. Start working with contractors
Today, it’s not uncommon to see corporations take on non-employee status workers. Companies have found that tapping into freelance networks has allowed them to modernize their business models, by gaining new knowledge and expertise that comes with expanding their professional networks to include the new generation of workers that value flexibility and innovation. To meet the needs of the growing population of self-employed workers, freelance talent platforms have set high standards, carefully screening each freelancer that they accept to insure employers that they will only be working with the best. 
2. Explore the benefits of co-working
The first co-working spaces began to crop up in the 1990's, answering a growing need for flexible and communal workspaces that were built by freelancers for freelancers. As the freelance economy grew, co-working moved into the mainstream and flexible workspaces can now be found in every corner of the globe. Co-working spaces are typically occupied by a diverse network of self-employed individuals, as well as small to medium companies, which has inspired businesses to break new ground and seek out new talent in co-working spaces. Other companies have even transformed their offices into flexible workspaces as a way to revitalize their potentially outdated workplace structure. 
3. Allow dedicated employees to work remotely
One of the biggest shifts to take place in the contemporary workplace is the encompassment of remote work. No longer do businesses expect their employees to report to the office 8 hours per day, 5 days a week. Today, companies of all sizes are now encouraging their employees to work from home part of the work week, while others have constructed their business model completely around the culture of remote work. Inspired by the flexibility publicized by the freelance workforce, employees that are permitted to telecommute, even if it’s once or twice per week, reported a better work-life balance and increased job satisfaction.
4. Invest in employee well-being
In addition to granting employees more autonomy, the freelance workforce has also promoted a culture of learning and collaboration, which has resulted in happier employees. Businesses have come to realize that prioritizing employee wellbeing leads to more productive teams and increased productivity within the company. An effective way to boost employee satisfaction is to place focus on teamwork This can be done by bringing in freelance experts to lead team workshops or by attending networking events at your local co-working space. Encouraging outside communication with freelance professionals in your industry is an effective way to build new networks that are both inspiring and innovative. 
In addition to in-house events, the rise of the freelance workforce has resulted in the company retreat making a comeback. An effective way to strengthen teams, there are plenty of retreat centers around the world that offer companies the necessary balance between work and pleasure that will boost company morale.  
For many companies, the idea of embracing freelance work culture can seem like a drastic shift. Yet, thanks to more advanced communication technologies and a growing professional network of freelance professionals, businesses today can benefit greatly from the freelance workforce, which is helping them to become more flexible and prepared to face the future of work.
Anthony Coggine is recruitment consultant who has spent more than five years in variety of industries, primarily focused on his clients' recruiting and business processes, improving his clients' efficiency so they could be more profitable and poised for future growth. His tech interests include data visualization, CRM and analysis as well as the intersection of journalism and technology.
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