Providing Stability for Gig Workers

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By Billy Cripe, CMO of Field Nation

A recent Field Nation survey found that 86% of freelance workers intentionally chose to freelance. An overwhelming 96% of those surveyed are dedicated to the success of their business and the success of their customer’s business. Almost 90% of these workers said they had a sense of purpose, and a sense of visibility. Additionally, the top two reasons freelancers chose to freelance was because freelancing gave them more flexibility and more control over their future. The desire to influence their destiny and nurture their passions creates a highly engaged workforce especially when 45% of the professional freelancers surveyed already view themselves as small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Independent workers enjoy the freedom and control over when and who they work for. According to the Field Nation survey, 86% of respondents purposely chose to be professional freelancers. While more and more workers are choosing to be part of the growing contingent workforce, there is rising interest and questions about how the gig economy influences and changes work. One of the many questions raised is whether or not gig workers are missing out on the stability provided by traditional full-time employment. How can companies provide such stability for their contingent workforce?

For full-time employees, the opportunity for regular collaboration with co-workers and the tendency to work on much longer projects helps build a community and support network of peers. For the gig worker who often work on short-term projects and collaborate with many different types of workers and employees, jumping from project to project can limit the support they need.

From insurance options to banking services, companies can support gig workers by providing them with resources that help create a foundation of stability. One of the ways businesses can provide support to the independent worker is to provide training opportunities, resources for professional development, and increasing collaborative opportunities for the blended workforce. Additionally, companies should also build relationships with gig workers knowing the skill set and flexibility an independent worker can offer. This increases project opportunities that keep the worker highly engaged while simultaneously building the employer’s or the company’s trust.

With the rise of the gig economy, many entrepreneurs are beginning to see the opportunities to create and offer tools and services that enhance the lives of the contingent workforce. In fact, the number of support services and tools that help these independent workers are growing as the demand for the contingent workforce grows and the gig economy market develops. According to McKinsey & Company, peer groups can cause complexity and confusion if it is not formalized even though it encourages and creates value for workers. But tools and services that help the contingent workforce can provide and formalize the support they need so they can build their business in the best way possible. Whether it is finding ways to gain capital with a loan marketplace like Fundera, finding project opportunities and building a network of highly qualified field technicians through the Field Nation platform, or building a community with a service like Domino or CoPass, there are now more opportunities than ever to elevate and strengthen the lives of the growing contingent workforce.

Even though there are growing support services for gig economy workers, not every industry is covered. Businesses can bridge the gap and create additional support opportunities by helping gig workers build a community of peers. This creates an opportunity for companies create their own network of contingent workers and talent pool, a feature of the Field Nation platform. By using freelance management systems and providing additional support resources, businesses can nurture a blended workforce of independent workers and full-time employees, creating long lasting professional relationships with highly qualified workers. Together, companies and gig workers can help each other scale-up and increase business.

Billy Cripe is the CMO of Field Nation. He is a recognized speaker, author and evangelist for Enterprise 2.0 and social computing. Follow him on Twitter @billycripe or@fieldnation and on his blog.