The Blended Workforce

You may have been hearing a lot of talk about a blended workforce, but what exactly is it? A blended workforce is a mixture of in-office employees which are in a traditional setting with offsite freelancers. The benefits to this type of workforce are many, and it’s becoming an increasingly frequent arrangement in the workforce. So, what’s so great about this type of arrangement?

Some advantages

The advantages of a blended workforce are good for the employer and the freelancer. Neither the employers or the candidates for freelancing have to limit their work inquiries to a certain geographic area. A freelancer can set their own hours to suit their schedule and their individual needs too which may work better for an employer also. Freelancers additionally might have multiple companies which they work for to round out their income, so they make great part-timers.

For the employer also, they can hire a hard-working talent and don’t have to pay employee benefits and healthcare. Plus, there can be a clause in the contract that termination can be brought about by either party for any reason.

Other advantages are that a workforce which is blended can bring different opinions on projects as well as diversity. A freelancer isn’t involved in office politics and can have a perspective which is unique. The combination of the stability and knowledge of the workplace of the traditional employee combined with the fresh take that a freelancer brings is a winning combination.

Other important reasons

A blended workforce can reduce the cost of employment found in the office because freelancers work remotely. This can keep operations scaled either up or down depending on how many extra workers are needed for one particular job. When that project is finished, then the freelancer can either be kept on or released from the contract. This lets the employer hire their skills for as long as they’re needed.

Another point for a blended workforce is that a freelancer can be used when a worker takes leave, or a traditional employee can be found to replace a former employee. That way there isn’t a rush to fill the position and create a hiring mistake. With reduced operating costs and overhead, this type of workforce is even a better idea. When hiring a freelancer through a source which is reputable, hiring mistakes are avoided as well.

Challenges which could be faced

Managing a remote work team does have challenges. This can be true especially if the freelancers are across different time zones. Technology is a help with building rapport among your team and scheduling meetings though. But, because freelancers work on schedules which follow their own rules, it takes talent to coordinate all the different schedules.

Many freelancers don’t work regular business hours either. So, it’s important to require upfront commitments when time is critical with a project. Everyone needs to be onboard on this. So, when going through the hiring process, this is one thing that can be brought up. Both employees and freelancers need to know what the lines of communication are too. Is it by cell phone, email or skype then. Also, everyone needs to feel that there is a common goal to be achieved. Rules additionally need to be delineated clearly before the start of any project. Freelancers need to know the boundaries which the business is setting to be sure that they can work within them.

After all, they may not work set hours, but you do. They may work this way by necessity or convenience, but you have needs too. It takes mutual understanding.

Also, it might be difficult to keep track of salaried workers, consultants, freelancers and hourly workers for fair compensation. But, there are consultants who specialize in this type of work to help sort out these contingencies. They can even help with calculating taxes and qualification for benefits for workers to which it applies.

Today’s business is busier and faster paced. To adapt, finding workers who can deliver what is needed is essential; in or out of the box. This is why the trend for a blended workforce is becoming more and more popular, and the trend is increasing.