Five traits your business needs to master to survive the open workforce

Around the globe companies are adopting an ‘open workforce’ model, where a traditional employee workforce is merging with contractors, freelancers and on-demand workers.

Benefits of an open workforce model include:

  • increased exposure to specialised skills and knowledge both locally and internationally
  • keeps head-count costs down
  • reduced statutory obligations such as payroll tax & super; zero holiday, sick & long-service leave costs
  • ability to scale up & down with ease & flexibility

Driven by technology and globalisation, this new workforce also has its challenges, including:

  • the risk of sensitive company information being disclosed or data security breaches
  • the potential for cultural mismatch and communication issues
  • the ability to oversee and manage the performance of this workforce

Back in 2014 the CGMA’s New Ways of Working…Managing the Open Workforce  report identified five key characteristics organisations need to adopt in order to meet these challenges and succeed in the open workforce. Now 18 months later many companies are still getting it wrong. So we’ve put together a recap of what these traits are and the steps to master them.

#1 Openness – Take a holistic approach to talent sourcing and exposure to innovative ideas.
#2 Agility – Adapt to local needs and respond rapidly to market pressures.

#3 Innovation – Share ideas for innovation, knowledge and insight amongst teams across your business.

#4 Collaboration – Integrate your traditional workforce with external partners and workers.

#5 Automation and Digitisation – Make full use of new technologies and apply them to tasks not previously receptive to automation or digitisation.

It’s a survival of the fittest scenario. And in the case of the open workforce the fittest are those receptive, agile, innovative, collaborative and adopting the tools available to improve efficiencies.





Photo credit: David Vega Fotografia via Visualhunt / CC BY