Regardless of whether you perceive the gig economy in a positive or negative light, there is no avoiding its existence. A series of economic, social, and political trends have come together to produce the environment in which this explosively popular economic model is thriving, and businesses who want to remain competitive must learn to adapt.
The career ladder once so traditional has now become nearly obsolete. While it has been well recognized that today’s employees desire flexibility, the modern workforce continues to evolve, with new norms and expectations appearing seemingly every week. Businesses who want not only to stay competitive but survive in general must re-engineer their talent workforces to be agile and responsive so that they can adapt.
The remote workforce provides an environment that appeals to all the major priorities of a working Millennial: opportunities to build a varied skillset, work purposefully, progress at one’s own pace, maintain a work-life balance, connect globally, operate digitally. As more and more people – Baby Boomers included – see this as a legitimate solution, rather than a temporary fix, this workforce will only grow.
So, what does this mean for brands?
It’s time to start thinking about your business as the talent in the store. These sales associates are the faces of your brand. They will be the one to create loyalty and create a connection with the customer. Experiences in the store are more important than ever. Once you have your talent pool of top salespeople, it’s important to give them the type of work flexibility that they want. The simple fact of the matter is, if you are busy worrying about your people, you are probably missing opportunities.
The rise of new, on-demand service providers in the past few years has generated a lot of conversation about the future of business, the “gig economy” in particular. Workers are supplementing full-time work with “side gigs”, or leaving the traditional workforce altogether, in pursuit of these new, on-demand opportunities.
By creating a pool of flexible freelancers rather than full-time employees, you can create the type of work environment that the new gig-economy craves. If you’re a brand, you can now deploy this talent into a variety of stores, cover shifts, and launch pop-up experiences all while retaining your top talent.