Contract work continues to redefine the workplace
- Gig workers are redefining the workplace and influencing 9-to-5 staffers according to a new study from MetLife. The 15th Annual U.S. Employee Benefits Trend Study found that more than half of employees surveyed (51%) said they’re interested in freelance or contract work and the flexibility, work-at-home opportunity and varied assignments that come with gig work.
- The study also found that 64% of millennials, 52% of Gen X and 41% of boomers favor gig work. Almost two-thirds of employers said temporary jobs will influence the workplace in the next three to five years, according to the study.
- Employers cited their top priority as retention (83%), followed by raising employee productivity (80%), and controlling the cost of health and welfare benefits (79%).
Metlife’s study is aligned with similar studies showing retention as a top employer priority. Finding skilled talent and retaining them continues to be a concern for employers of all sizes and across industries. Contracting and gig work have emerged as a potential solution for both a skills-starved employer and an employee that seeks more flexibility.
The popularity of gig work among employees also is affirmed by other studies. A Randstad U.S. study found that 70% of workers and 68% of employers think contractors, freelancers, temporary workers and consultants will dominate the workplace by 2025.
Two workplace trends, customizing benefits and offering holistic wellness programs, may see change if contract work indeed dominates the workplace by next decade. Either way, both trends could give employers a significant edge in recruiting, hiring and retaining workers.