Everything You Need to Know About a Flexible Workforce in 2024

Flexible Workforce

A flexible workforce is a powerful tool in the modern working world. Flexible employees are happier and more loyal, and flexible employers attract the best talent. 

If you’re looking to utilize freelancers as part of your flexible workforce, check out Fiverr Enterprise, a Freelancer Management System (FMS) that covers everything from sourcing and hiring, to management and payments. 

In the meantime, keep reading to learn about the benefits of a flexible workforce for your business. 

What Is a Flexible Workforce?

You can define a flexible workforce as anything outside of the traditional 9-5. While businesses used to hire full-time workers to fill vacancies, today it’s becoming increasingly popular to hire flexibly for many roles – and augment a core team of in-house or full-time staff with a talent bench of flexible freelancers or consultants alongside. 

This article is part of our guide on the future workforce.

The Importance of a Flexible Workforce in the Modern Economy

Many trends and world events have come together to make flexible working more of a factor in the business world than it was a decade ago. First up, the digital revolution. Being able to work from anywhere, and share files on the cloud, enjoy face to face meetings via web conference and use collaboration and communication tools to work asynchronously has made it easy for businesses to say yes to flexible working. The enforced remote working period during the COVID-19 pandemic served as a POC that it can really work, with productivity and morale soaring. 

Another reason why flexible working is critical is that it’s what the workforce wants! Many people are unhappy with the idea of going back to the office full time, and want accommodations made to suit their working style, and to meet their preferred work/life balance. Pair that with a growing skills shortage, where non-traditional talent can fill essential gaps, and you’ll see why a flexible workforce is the trend that’s going nowhere. 

Common Types of Flexible Working

When people talk about flexible working, you often think about working remotely, but there are a lot of different types of flexible working to think about when you’re building a workforce strategy. Here are some of the most popular: 

  • Job sharing: A job share is where more than one person takes on the hours and responsibility of a full-time role. This can be perfect for when you have two excellent candidates for a vacancy, and both want to work part time. In a job share, the employees will share goals and responsibilities, and often have a day or an afternoon where they cross over their hours so that they can hand over and discuss their workload. 
  • Working from home: The OG of flexible working, working from home is exactly what it says on the tin. When workers work from home, they can skip the commute, save money on travel, work in the comfort of their own environment, and often get a lot more done. Of course, businesses need to stay on top of productivity and collaboration, and make sure that workers don’t feel isolated. 
  • Part time: Part time opportunities are a great way to offer flexible work, as not all roles need the worker to be there from 9-5 every single day of the week. For those with childcare or caregiving responsibilities, a part time role ensures they have a place in the workplace, and can also give their time to other responsibilities. Some people use part time opportunities to have more than one role, perhaps freelancing or gig working on the side. 
  • Compressed hours: When you sign up to compressed hours, you’re allowing workers to do their job in fewer days of the working week. If your full time agreement is forty hours a week, workers would need to complete ten hours per day over four days, instead of eight over five days, for example. This arrangement allows workers a day off, without losing out on the full-time salary packet. 
  • Flexitime: Flexitime is an agreement that allows workers to work as and when they choose, as long as they get the hours done. Especially in today’s modern working world, it can be a great perk for employees, who don’t want to take off a morning from their PTO every time they need a doctor’s appointment or have to leave in the middle of the day to pick up a sick kid from school. Flexitime is perfect for those who already work remotely or in a hybrid manner. 

Benefits of a Flexible Workforce for Employers and Employees

A flexible workforce is a positive change for both employers and their employees. Employers get more choice over who they hire, encouraging those who can’t take a full time job to apply to more flexible roles, and employees have the freedom to enjoy the work/life balance they choose. A flexible workforce can also save money, reducing the reliance on office space, full-time headcount, and even PTO. 

Challenges Implementing a Flexible Workforce Strategy

Leaning on freelancers is one way to adopt a flexible workforce strategy, but it certainly comes with challenges. Freelancers can work from anywhere, which means you need to be skilled at managing a distributed team. Each region has its own legal and compliance issues, so you need to make sure you are on top of misclassification and other legal potholes. Finally, think about technology and infrastructure – how will you communicate and collaborate with freelancers, get them onboarded to your systems, and pay them accurately and on time? 

Fiverr Enterprise is a SaaS solution that gives you full visibility and control over your entire freelance workforce by allowing you to source, hire, onboard, manage and pay, all while ensuring compliance, so your teams can work faster and maximize business growth. With a Freelancer Management System (FMS), you can uncover: 

  • Trustworthy sourcing experts to find the right talent
  • 360 degree compliance from onboarding to offboarding
  • Autonomy over hiring with your own private talent pool
  • Complete management over a distributed workforce
  • Payments on your own terms, with one invoice each month

Interested in learning more about the Fiverr Enterprise platform? Speak with one of our workforce experts today!