According to Economic Modeling Specialists International, the number of freelance workers in the U.S. grew from 20 million in 2001 to 32 million in 2014. Freelance work now comprises almost 18 percent of all jobs. This trend is expanding explosively. And not just because workers are unemployed or unable to make ends meet with traditional jobs (although this has some truth in it) but also because companies are finding it advantageous to rely on freelance labor.
It used to be that companies would gain a competitive edge by bringing more and more people, assets, and resources inside the company in order to reduce transaction costs. The Internet has stripped that advantage away. Now, the smartest companies are using the Internet’s ability to facilitate collaboration by leveraging assets, resources, and expertiseoutside of their sphere of control. (…)
Governments need to recognize and prepare for this new third way of working which is neither full-time nor temporary part-time, but a new way of life. The Internet exists and everything that can become a platform will. Local and federal governments need to start tying benefits to people and not jobs, ensuring that labor is protected during this disruptive and swift transition.
Read the full article on Harvard Business Review.