Return to blog

Understanding the Gig Economy & Mixed Workforce Management

The American workforce has changed drastically over the past decade due to the emergence and crystallization of the so-called gig economy. An estimated 15.5 million US residents maintain alternative employment arrangements wherein they work as independent third-party service providers or bounce between a number of regular temporary assignments, according to research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These floating professionals operate within numerous industries, from the peer-to-peer service arena populated by companies such as Uber and TaskRabbit to traditional spaces like construction and mining.

Understanding the Gig Economy

In all, the development of the gig economy has opened up new opportunities to both workers and employers. However, this phenomenon can create complications for companies, most notably within the area of personnel management. How can enterprises effectively embrace the gig economy while facilitating employee experiences that meet the often divergent needs of third-party service providers and full-time workers?

Field service businesses that have integrated third-party service providers into their operations are not immune to this obstacle. In fact, solving this uniquely modern stumbling block is among the most crucial concerns of the organizations navigating the space, Field Service News reported. Luckily, there is an equally bleeding-edge solution to the problem: mixed workforce management. This approach allows field service businesses to cultivate and maintain diverse workforces that not only facilitate the operational benefits associated with accepting contingent workers - increased operational scalability and lower overhead expenses - but also keep proven customer service paradigms in place.

Unpacking mixed workforce management

This strategy involves developing and sustaining operational workflows and ancillary systems that support both third-party service providers and full-time employees. While easy to understand, mixed workforce management can be difficult to implement. Why? Workers from each of these groups expect different things from employers, per research from Gallup. For instance, freelance field service technicians place significant value on flexibility and express great enthusiasm about enterprise innovation and cutting technology, while in-house staffers yearn for stability and appreciate more traditional business functions such as effective accounting. With these competing demands in play, field service companies often struggle to develop workable approaches for putting into place functional mixed workforce management strategies.

Mixed Workforce Management in the Field Service Sector

That said, there is an all-encompassing solution that allows businesses in the space to meet the competing needs of third-party service providers and full-timers, and develop mixed workforce management methodologies that work: cutting-edge information technology. Gig economy superpowers such as Uber depend upon advanced IT, using these tools to oversee operations in real-time and connect with workers navigating the highways and byways. Many service businesses are taking the same approach by installing field service management platforms that lend third-party service providers the flexibility and technology-driven experience they demand while keeping in-house technicians connected to headquarters and checked into foundational operational workflows. Of course, using field management solutions offers some supplementary advantages, laying the groundwork for efficiency improvements and revenue increases - major concerns for modern field service firms, according to survey data from Jolt Consulting Group.

Selecting the right IT solutions partner

Field service companies that want to embrace the gig economy and maintain the continuity of existing processes should certainly consider facilitating effective mixed workforce management via proven enterprise IT. Of course, finding the right external solution partner is paramount, especially in an ever-growing technology niche home to numerous vendors. ServicePower is among the most reputable and reliable workforce management solution providers on the market. As an industry-leading software maker, we have deployed unified field service management tools for some of the biggest field service companies in the world, including GE Appliances, ADT, Allstate, and Siemens.

Interested in embracing the gig economy and mixed workforce management? Learn how to manage a blended workforce.

Learn Why Third-Party Workforces Are No Longer An Option

Read White Paper