Labor Revolution: The Future of Work in 2018 and Beyond

May 14th, 2018

Whether you’re a professional fresh out of college or at an age where you’re closer to retirement, it’s difficult to ignore the shifts happening in the U.S. employment marketplace. It’s no secret that the days of working for the same company for three or four decades are over, but the changes for 2018 and beyond are so much more than that.

The way people work is evolving, and some argue a labor revolution of this magnitude hasn’t happened in decades.

The shift focuses on the incredible growth of the gig economy, where American companies are hiring contractors and temp workers to fulfill their staffing needs at all levels. Companies must be agile to remain competitive, and embracing this change seems to be one of the most effective strategies to come out on top.

Reports are ripe with awe-inspiring stats that demonstrate just how much this will impact the world of business. Consulting firm Accenture predicts that in 10 years, a Fortune 2000 company will have no employees outside the C-suite. Gartner’s analyst Jim Robinson believes 40 percent of field service work will be done by contractors in 2020. These predictions are just the tip of the iceberg.

There are numerous business advantages to this. One of the most important is it gives managers access to a highly adaptable team, being able to hire on a needs basis. As the war on talent rages on in 2018, HR pros welcome the opportunity to look beyond the typical to hire specialized talent to fill gaps they otherwise couldn’t. What’s more, 83 percent of business leaders believe contractors are more productive than employees, according to WorkMarket’s 2017 Workforce Productivity Report. With numerous benefits, employers may be willing to pay high rates for needed talent and professionals can easily demand top dollar for their skills.

Of course, businesses aren’t the only ones driving the gig economy. Many workers are welcoming this change, too. The freelance workforce is growing rapidly in today’s fast-changing economy. About a third of the U.S. workforce is working independently in some manner. More people are expected to join the movement in 2018. One of the reasons this movement is growing is that millennials now outnumber baby boomers in the U.S. workforce. Younger professionals are tech-savvy, flexible, and independent, which makes them a perfect match for the gig economy.

If you choose to explore the gig economy in 2018, it may very well be a switch you embrace and never look back. With an undeniably bright future, you are getting a head start on a growing trend that may soon be the expectation rather than the alternative. The key to success as a freelance worker is to embrace agility and constantly evolve your skill set.

According to Freelancers Union blogger Sara Horowitz, “Freelancers are navigating this new economy by adapting, learning, and re-tooling. The entire workforce is being transformed by automation and artificial intelligence, but freelancers are more aware of these changes and are much more likely to have taken steps to proactively update their skills.”

If you want expert advice on how to make the switch from traditional worker to a master of the gig economy, work with a GetFive career coach, who can make the transition successful in the new year.

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