Musings on the gig economy Post-Covid: The genie is out of the bottle and doesn’t want to go back
Organizations that do not seize the opportunity and harness freelance talents as assets will miss out on a slice of the expert manpower pizza pie, writes Ariel Halevi
Employers will need to put together lists of parameters that help them understand whether a position should be permanent or project-based. New managers will have to place basic trust in the worker’s ability to manage him or herself. The Covid-19 pandemic opened the door to a new challenge: a forced departure from micromanagement. The occupational revolution is bidding farewell to the industrial revolution that brought with it timecards we had to punch at the start and end of each work day, as well as during breaks. The illusion of control has been shattered, making space for a new paradigm, according to which “I am not supervising my employees, but rather am giving them access to the tools they need to work independently.” Whoever insists that their employees return to full-time positions will lose out of excellent workers.Employers will no longer be able to rely on permanent workers alone. Covid-19 has created a situation in which employees must tend to other commitments as soon as their “accepted” work day comes to a close, and they are no longer interested in working overtime. As a result, a pool of freelancers has been created, and these alternative workers are filling in for the salaried employees, at off-hours. This change requires precise descriptions of necessary and desired work processes so that the freelancers – who are not familiar with the organization’s methods and practices – can swiftly and seamlessly execute tasks, even when no one is available to answer questions. Global organizations have a global challenge: being a singular organization that is also able to adapt itself to various regions in the world. Here, leveraging freelancers provides unprecedented opportunities: the salary that would traditionally go to a full-time employee can be used to hire five freelancers in five regions and in five languages. Freelancers are an important and growing source of talent in the working world. People want greater flexibility and remote working opportunities. Organizations that do not seize the opportunity and harness freelance talents as assets will miss out on a slice of the expert manpower pizza pie. Robert Nickell, the Founder and President of Rocket Station, a business processing outsourcing company, once said: “The pandemic has taught businesses two important lessons. One, that remote working isn’t just an option, but rather, a preference. The second lesson is that the average person wants flexibility and freedom in their life. Employers must prepare. The genie is out of the bottle, and there’s no going back.” Ariel Halevi is a Founding Partner of VAYOMAR , a company that specializes in improving performance and decision making among Executive Leadership Teams, sales teams, and mid-level managers.