What Is a Blended Workforce?
A blended workforce is a staff that includes permanent employees, temporary employees, and independent contractors. More specifically, this means that the staff may be any combination of full-time employees, part-time employees, temporary employees, long-term contractors, consultants, and independent contractors and freelancers.
In other words, a blended workforce is a staffing strategy that makes use of many different types of employment instead of relying solely on one kind.
What Are the Benefits of a Blended Workforce?
Blended workforces are useful because they allow companies to react quickly to situations as they evolve. This can help an organization stay agile.
Companies that employ blended workforces can maintain a core team of full-time employees and then bring in additional contractors when necessary for very specific short-term tasks that wouldn’t warrant another full-time hire.
Similarly, this makes it easy for companies to scale up or down as needed. When additional hands are needed on deck, the company can bring on independent contractors and then end their contracts when things settle down.
What Are the Disadvantages?
One of the biggest issues with blended workforces is that it can be difficult to instill a sense of unity and team culture when every worker has a different level of commitment to the company. Independent contractors, for example, can hardly be called part of the team given that they are by definition independent and not part of any one company’s team.
Similarly, because everyone has a different schedule, finding time for meetings can be difficult. This also makes the financial side rather complex, as not only are all workers on different pay schedules, but independent contractors will typically charge for meetings, while employees obviously will not.
The end result is that even the most basic decisions, like calling a meeting, can often require a lot more planning and forethought.
How to Manage a Blended Workforce
Managing a blended workforce requires an approach that strikes a balance between being communicative and hands-off. Communication is required to make sure everyone is on the same page, but micromanaging is problematic, especially when some of your team members may be independent contractors. In fact, being too hands-on with the latter can cause legal trouble regarding misclassification for tax purposes.
To avoid this, it’s often best to take a results-oriented approach: the workforce can do their work however they want as long as they get it done right.
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