There are currently 53 million freelancers working in America today. With the rise of independent service platforms like Uber, Airbnb and Thumbtack, the days of the shirt-and-tie-wearing, 8-to-5-working employee seem to be becoming more of a distant memory.
While this labor evolution is exciting, the government has roughly 20 factors weighing in on the classification of this new breed of employee. This has the potential to hit Mr. or Mrs. Freelancer where it hurts them the most: their compensation and financial security.
“We’re not going to slow this desegregation between employer and employee. So we’ve got to figure out ways to make it work for people better.”
Better, at this point, means new – as in a new way of defining, classifying and protecting today’s increasingly independent worker. Noah Lang, Co-founder and CEO of Stride Health, offers a few places to start:
Give Independent Service Platforms the Power to Grow
An overwhelming majority of freelancers are earning more than they did before freelancing, and they say their job satisfaction is greater than ever. If the desire for independent labor isn’t going away, government and economic regulations should enable freelancers to thrive by giving independent service platforms the power, security and employment options they need to be successful.
Create a Middle-Ground for the Freelancer
Companies like Uber or Instacart can’t offer freelancers benefits to protect their incomes, families and health, but full-time employees have access to a variety of total compensation packages in a drastically less flexible job. For the modern independent employee to thrive, a middle-ground has to be created that bridges this gap between financial security and professional flexibility.
Advancement in the digital world isn’t stopping, and the workforce must keep pace or risk falling behind. To do this, we must step outside of the box to define, protect and compensate the new worker. In doing so, it’s time to also reexamine which “old world” regulations have a place in this evolving labor force.
Embrace Employment Innovation Wherever You Can
When it comes to the new breed of labor and worker, the powers-that-be are talking, and “innovation” is buzz-word being thrown around. Whether you’re “Uber-izing” your workplace or just trying to attract the best talent, stepping outside the box to embrace new ideas, processes and solutions could be the path to innovating your workforce for the new age.
Read how a providing employees a better understanding of their total compensation benefits might be a place to start.