Insights | 3 min read

The Unstoppable Trajectory of the Contingent Workforce

Waitress working on her laptop

As we have discussed ad nauseam, the contingent workforce comprises independent contractors, freelancers, temporary workers, and gig economy professionals who offer their expertise on a flexible, project-based basis. And as Nowsta looks ahead, the expansion of the contingent workforce is all but inevitable. Consider, for example, that the gig economy experienced 33% growth in 2020 and is already expanding faster than the entire U.S. economy. In fact, the gig economy is growing three times faster than the total U.S. workforce, with some estimating 50% of the U.S. workforce will likely become gig economy participants by 2027.

So what is driving contingent workforce growth?

First: Technological advancements and enhanced connectivity are making remote work more viable, and the fact that companies are embracing the benefits of flexible work arrangements makes the expansion all the more likely.

Second: The expanding gig economy allows individuals to define their terms and work on projects that align with their unique skills and interests. Individuals no longer need to operate outside their specific expertise; the gig economy allows them to thrive within their nuanced skillset. This will create not only a consolidation of talent but a fluid marketplace of gig workers, all independently contributing to the success of businesses across the globe.

Is the era of 9 to 5 gone forever?

Imagining a world where everyone becomes part of the contingent workforce unveils a transformed employment landscape – one this planet has never seen before. Individuals would gain greater autonomy and control over their professional lives, selecting projects and clients that resonate with their passions. The traditional 9-to-5 office grind could give way to remote work and virtual collaboration, facilitated by innovative digital platforms and communication tools.

While this future of work is exciting, it is, however, essential to consider the challenges that come with a wholly contingent workforce. Workers might encounter uncertainties related to stable income, benefits, and job security. Businesses may be reluctant to embrace an entirely flexible pool of workers, leading to more supply than demand. To ensure a fair and supportive environment, though, it’s crucial current policies and regulations adapt to safeguard the rights and well-being of individuals in this evolving workforce model.

Our mission at Nowsta is to navigate this changing landscape by empowering organizations to optimize their workforce operations and drive success in the gig economy. We aim to strike a balance that prioritizes fair treatment, worker protections, and sustainable employment opportunities for all.

We’re proponents of this future of work—one that combines flexibility, autonomy, and a thriving contingent workforce – so isn’t it time we embrace its possibilities?