The Blended Workforce in Today’s Business Environment

June 7, 2017  

The business world is more competitive than ever, with increasing pressure to produce results while keeping costs down. The best businesses tend to be marked by their flexibility. Today’s businesses don’t necessarily feel beholden to the models of the past.

In the modern workplace, whatever gets the job done most efficiently is the way to do things. Traditional models need to be set aside in favor of more efficient solutions. One of those new models that has proven highly effective for many businesses is a flexible workforce. What does this mean, exactly, and what are the benefits of a flexible workforce strategy?

What Is a Blended Workforce?

A blended workforce is a workforce made up of a combination of different types of employees, including full-time and permanent employees working side-by-side with freelance and contracted employees on the same team.

What Are the Benefits of a Flexible Workforce?

Before discussing the benefits of a flexible workforce, it’s important to understand what a blended workforce looks like. There are three types of employees you may work with on your blended workforce team:

  • Full-Time Employees: Usually permanent employees, although it is possible to be a full-time employee for a set term, these are salaried agents of the company who have pledged a set number of weekly hours to be on company time and are expected to conform with the guidelines and regulations set forth by the company for full-time employees.
  • Independent Contractors: Independent contractors work for the company but are not regular salaried employees with benefits. They usually have control over their own hours to some extent, although they may be expected to deliver work by a certain deadline. They may work on multiple projects within the same company. They may be on or off-site and generally have more control over how they deliver their work than full-time employees.
  • Freelancers: Freelancers are like independent contractors but brought in to do a specific job, as opposed to taking on various assignments within the company for a given period of time. Of course, one may ask the freelancer to do consecutive jobs for the same company.

Using a workforce made up of these different types of employees offers a number of benefits.

Cost-Effectiveness

Some jobs do not require multiple full-time staff members working on the project around the clock. By having a freelancer or independent contractor on the team, you can only allocate the amount of person-hours you need to a project, allowing you to free up full-time staff for other projects or letting you hire fewer full-time employees, meaning a more streamlined workforce with reduced salary and benefits costs.

Wider Talent Base

Sometimes the right person for the job may not be interested in a full-time position. By having the ability to offer some workers the option to work remotely or for a limited number of hours, you may draw talent to the project who might otherwise not want to commit to your company. In addition, independent contractors or freelancers who have a positive experience with your company may tell other independent contractors or freelancers, giving you even more skilled workers to choose from.

Blended Workforce Challenges

There will be some challenges with a blended workforce. You need to make it very clear who the project manager is, and this should almost always be a full-time employee. That person or whoever supervises should make sure to set clear expectations for the freelancers. They should know exactly what the company expects of them and how and when it expects them to deliver. The time to find out that a freelancer or contractor is unclear about their responsibilities is not as the project deadline is approaching.

Another challenge with a blended workforce is keeping track of payroll. If you have a blended workforce, some employees will have benefits and some will not. The hours different members of the team work may be all over the place. There are also different tax considerations to think about.

A dedicated professional payroll solution can easily resolve this issue. To find out how to professionally handle all of your payroll concerns in south central Pennsylvania and western Maryland, contact BCM Payroll Services Inc. today.

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