Telecommuting, Temporary Jobs, and the Future of Work

Guest Blogger —  October 30, 2012 — Leave a comment

casual employee at deskThe future of work is changing. Temporary, part time and contract workers are taking the place of salaried workers in a marketplace inundated with the unemployed and newly graduated. However, this change to the structure of the workplace doesn’t necessarily have to be negative.

In the analysis of this change, Thomas W. Malone, Director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, explains:

“I think we are in the early stages of an increase in human freedom in business that may, in the long run, be as important a change for business as the change to democracy was for governments… [That] means we can have the economic benefits of large-scale enterprises, such as efficiency and scale, and at the same time have the human benefits of small scale, such as motivation, creativity and flexibility.”

Temporary workers and telecommuters can be smart hires for your business. Here’s why:

A changing workforce

Using temporary or contract workers can benefit businesses that are affected by the current slow-growth economy. They may not have enough resources to hire a full-time employee, but still need someone to handle certain tasks. These tasks can be fulfilled by workers who telecommute, work online, or come in to the office.

  • 45% of the US workforce currently holds a job that could easily transition to telecommuting. Telecommuting saves employees time, gas, and effort and can save employers the cost of office furniture and work space.
  • Job seekers are aware of the benefits of telecommuniting and are looking for the option to when job searching. If your job offers telecommuting, be clear about the nature of it in the job ad.

Changing labor needs

Hiring temporary workers can also help your business with a variety of labor needs.

  • They can cover regular employee absences due to illness, leave, or sudden departure. They can also fill unexpected or temporary demands of your business that require you to find extra help for a short time.
  • Temporary workers can be a great cost-effective hiring solution as your business is also not responsible for paying additional employee benefits – sick days, jury duty, vacation time, unemployment insurance and workers comp – that raise the actual cost of W-2 employees. Though their hourly rate may be higher, it can save you a lot of cash in certain circumstances.

According to Joe Broschak, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, temporary workers can display better job performance and productivity that meets or surpasses their full-time counterparts; and may continue displaying these qualities when they transition to full-time work.

Consider hiring telecommuters, part-timers, or temporary workers to complete special projects or fulfill an unexpected need within your small business.

Megan Webb-Morgan is a web content writer for Resource Nation. She writes about small business, focusing on topics such as call center software and small business loans. Find us on Facebook, too!

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