5 Emerging Trends in Contingent Labor

1.16.2017, Written by Nora Hartman
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phone1. Automation will improve the productivity of contractors and dispatchers

It’s no secret that technology improves workforce productivity- and this trend isn’t going away anytime soon. New solutions, like Field Nation’s newest Autotask Integration, help project managers and dispatchers speed up and simplify their processes. By spending less time processing paperwork, employees can spend more time executing successful projects.

2. Increased emphasis on work/life balance will drive more talent to join the independent workforce

Many employers are introducing perks like Flexible Time-Off in response to the increased emphasis on work/life balance. Some employees are taking things a step further by leaving their 9-to-5 jobs altogether. Field Nation’s 2016 Freelancer Study concluded that 55% of freelancers chose to become independent contractors because they wanted more flexibility or control over their futures. This data suggests that more and more talented IT professionals will leave their traditional jobs and opt to become professional contractors.

3. Baby Boomers will leave their 9-5 jobs and become independent contractors

According to Field Nation’s 2016 Freelancer Study, 54% of Field Nation contractors had more than 16 years of experience. A study by MBO partners cited that 79% of Baby Boomers felt the freedom and flexibility of independent work was a key benefit. We’ve seen Boomers migrate to independent work for several years, and with many Boomers retiring we expect that many will become independent contractors to offset their retirement.

4. Independent contractors will migrate to mobile

Independent contractors are on-the-move, so their tools should be too. Apple CEO Tim Cook reported in 2016 that the App Store sees 106% year-over-year growth. We expect this trend to continue and begin saturating the contract labor market. With apps like Field Nation’s, users can view work orders, upload photos, and leverage in-app messaging.

5. Contract laborers will no longer be an insignificant minority

In 2016, independent workers made up a whopping 35% of the workforce according to a study produced by UpWork and Freelancers’ Union. An independent study from Intuit concluded that  40% of Americans will be freelancers by 2020. With the contract labor force growing rapidly, it’s likely that independent workers will no longer be viewed as members of a subculture. Consequently, independent contractors should expect more representation. Companies that do not yet utilize contingent labor will have to adapt quickly, as more and more large organizations take advantage of this cost-saving business model.

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