Agility in the Workplace | CXC Asia

why a contingent workforce and an agile workforce go hand in hand



  1. able to move quickly and easily.

  “Ian was as agile as a monkey”

  1. relating to or denoting a method of project management, used especially for software development, that is characterized by the division of tasks into short phases of work and frequent reassessment and adaptation of plans.


By definition, a contingent workforce is also an agile workforce. In today’s fast-paced yet uncertain world every business wants to be ‘as agile as a monkey”.

Agile? The aim of a modern agile workplace is to create a flexible and productive working environment, both in and out of the physical office. The creation of different areas within your office, a focus on project-based work, employing staff that can work remotely – giving them the freedom and flexibility to work where they want, when they want – are all key components of an agile business. One fully prepared for the post-COVID world

Already, we are becoming familiar – too familiar perhaps – with many aspects of this new world. Short notice lockdowns, staff lock-outs, fear and uncertainty about individual, corporate and family health and safety. To make headway you really do need to be ‘as agile as a monkey”.

To make matters worse, employing the best staff is becoming increasingly competitive, and organizations are now in a battle with their competitors to hire the top talent in their industry.

As a result, job seekers are now driving the workplace environment, and they want flexibility, a caring, considerate company culture, plus the ability to work remotely; when and where they want.

One truly effective way for business to meet all these wants and needs is by embracing the concept of a contingent workforce as a permanent part of their overall employment strategy.

Contingent workforce = agile workforce

For a contingent workforce and an agile workplace go hand in hand.

Already, the shift to contingent workers is gaining pace. A recent report by Ardent Partners (1) found that over the next three years, the vast majority (68 percent) of businesses expect their total workforce to be truly “agile” in nature, with both traditional full-time employees and contingent workers contributing equally to critical projects.

The concept of an agile workforce that can be engaged and leveraged dynamically is the most important aspect of the future of work. For today’s businesses require scalability, top-tier expertise and an on-demand workforce that can deliver in an efficient, effective and cost-savvy manner.

Ellyn Shook, Accenture’s chief leadership and human resources officer, agrees. In a recent blog post, she called this the rise of the “liquid workforce,” and urged companies to “blur traditional boundaries” and “broaden their definition” of talent. “It’s not too far-fetched to think that within 10 years, there will be a ‘fully liquid enterprise’ operating with no full-time employees outside of the C-suite,” she concluded. (See

With the continued growth of freelancing and the gig economy, Shook’s prediction has only become more plausible. By embracing agile talent now, companies will be well prepared for the future of work — and the future of business.

Benefits of an agile workplace

The evolution and growth of the contingent workforce is now playing a key role in how businesses approach work and strive for a truly agile workforce. For the agile workplace comes with a wide range of benefits. For example:

Flexibility: You can expand or contract your workforce according to workloads or a changing environment. This is something you can’t do with employees

Quick access to expertise: Contingent workers often have a specific skill set, and so represent a slick way to fill a skills gap within an organization, or to upskill fast to meet new challenges on a project by project basis. You upsize or downsize as required

A fresh perspective: Sometimes in business it’s hard to see the wood for the trees. Or a new way forward. Someone new with a fresh perspective could make all the difference

Fast hiring: Hiring for your business is often a complicated, time-consuming and costly process. There’s far less red tape if you choose to contract a contingent worker; plus experienced contractors or freelancers are often available at very short notice

Freedom to trial new approaches: For any company, diversification can be a confronting issue. If a company takes on temporary staff, they can more easily trial new approaches

But without the proper and specialized management of contingent workers, companies can easily find themselves in a maze, wasting time and money on inefficient, and sometimes even illegal practices.

Contingent Workforce Management?

Bringing the management of your contingent workers into one centralized location can streamline administration, whilst an automated process will help cut out errors and mismatched payment and hiring tactics across your organization; saving time and money. In-the-know companies wanting to move quickly to a state of agility are increasingly turning to proven outsourced solutions by engaging with an experienced Managed Service Provider (MSP) like CXC.

Partnering with an MSP enables you to develop a centralized management strategy for your company’s contingent workforce management.

An MSP will also ensure you have access to specialised technologies – called a vendor management system (VMS) – to support sourcing, acquisition, management and payment of your contingent workforce, all within one centralized database.


If you’re interested in seeing what CXC can do for you, or if you have any questions about how to improve your contingent workforce management program, please contact us today.