Times have changed and people are moving away from traditional employment models. This means that you’ll find fewer people are working in a standard office. They don’t have cubicles or bosses hovering overhead.
Instead, these on-demand workforce models employ people as needed. This allows for a lot more freedom as far as jobs are concerned, since people can take on more than one at a time. The employer also benefits from this system as well.
However, an on-demand workforce is much tougher to manage with communication being the key.
What is an On-Demand Workforce?
Essentially, an on-demand workforce is exactly as it sounds. Someone is employed on demand. If there is work to be done, then they receive an assignment. If there isn’t, then they can go and work for someone else or handle other tasks until they are needed again.
The upside to this system is that the on-demand workers are essentially freelancers. They are able to come and go when they want and take on the jobs that pop up. They also get to work from home, instead of heading into the office. This is great for people who want a bit of flexibility and freedom, as well as those who get bored easily and like to handle different types of tasks.
The employers in these scenarios win as well since they aren’t forced to hire a permanent employee that they may not have enough work (or money) for. These types of systems allow them to only pay for the work that needs to be done, and not a penny more. It allows them to stay under budget.
A small business in Ireland can stay afloat this way until they grow large enough to fully expand.
Communication is the Main Concern
The main issue with an on-demand workforce is communication. This type of work requires two main types of communication:
1) The Work Needs to Explained Properly
To begin with, the work must be explained properly. This means that the project manager or the supervisor must be able to communicate each task’s needs with the employees, no matter where they are located.
They need to remember that the employee isn’t in every meeting. They don’t grasp the nuances of the work. They weren’t there when the job was being explained to the next person down the line. It falls on the project manager to fill in those details and only share what needs to be done. The employees need to be told very specifically what to do.
Otherwise, they’ll miss out on crucial details and not get things done the right way the first time. Communication needs to be clear and concise.
2) The Urgency of the Job Must Be Communicated
Next, the urgency of the work needs to be communicated to the employees. They must be told clear deadlines, otherwise, they will put other tasks ahead of this one and not get things done on time. This is another issue with these types of employees – they are free to take on other tasks with other employers, so you aren’t always aware of what other tasks they have on their plate. This is quite problematic.
In order to resolve this issue, the urgency of the work must be clearly stated and a set deadline must be assigned. Finally, the employee must communicate effectively on their end as well. While they don’t need to explain exactly which tasks they’re working on for others, they do need to be clear about how much time they have to work.
Work Performance Is Another Issue
Another issue that arises in an on-demand workforce is work performance. In a standard office, you have a lot more control over the tools that the employees use. In an on-demand one, you are stuck with whatever types of technology and programming that the person has.
You also can’t constantly monitor their performance, as the person might be located in another area or even another country. Yes, the on-demand workforce is quite global!
Since the project manager cannot personally check in with the employee, they need to constantly be updated as to what’s going on so that they can correct mistakes quickly. Otherwise, those small mistakes might become a larger problem.
Again, the key here is communication. You can reach out to those freelance employees in a number of different ways, and keep track of the hours that they’ve worked by using scheduling software. This software is designed for this very purpose, and it allows you to monitor your virtual employees work.
Overall, the on-demand workforce is increasing, so the number of tools created to manage it will grow in size as well. This type of work is definitely the way that things will be in the future.