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    Watch These 3 Workforce Trends in 2021

    Young business woman working at the computer in cafe on the rock. Young girl downshifter working at a laptop at sunset or sunrise on the top of the mountain to the sea, working day.

    To successfully navigate the future of work, companies are re-thinking the way they’re doing business. Instead of building their organization based on efficiencies, they’re designing for increased agility and flexibility. While some organizations had already begun dipping their toes into these new waters, COVID-19 dialed up the urgency and accelerated this transformation.

    Now, as we enter 2021, business continuity is top-of-mind for organizations racing to keep up with the needs of their ever-changing workforce. Of the many trends emerging, there are three that stand out from the rest:

    1. Remote & Independent Worker Expansion

    Shifting attitudes around remote work have many companies like Dropbox, Facebook, and Twitter committing to being a virtual-first company, allowing talent to live and be found anywhere in the world. As such, the rise of a more ‘distributed and contingent workforce’ (remote and independent workers) will become a foundational element in the way work is done. In fact, a recent Gartner study found that 32% of organizations say they will be replacing full-time employees with contingent workers.

    The challenge with engaging talent from different states or countries, however, is navigating the labyrinth of labor and employment laws which vary state-to-state and country-to-country. For this reason, companies will be seeking services from workforce management experts to hire and pay their remote and independent workers quickly and compliantly.

    1. Increased Worker Classification Challenges

    The spotlight on independent worker classification began intensifying in early 2020 when California’s AB-5 law went into effect. Popular app-based rideshare companies were sued by the state for non-compliance and misclassifying their workers as independent contractors, leading to the company-funded Prop. 22 ballot initiative in the November election. Ultimately, California voters determined those workers should in fact remain independent contractors. This decision, combined with the U.S. Department of Labor’s recent nation-wide proposal on how to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, have states and countries on high alert. That said, as state and federal agencies refine the laws, it’s likely that employers in the U.S. and abroad will pay close attention to accurately classifying their workers in 2021 and beyond.

    1. Investment in HR Technology

    Over the past decade, technology has digitized traditional services and now our needs are available at the click of a button. An area that seems stuck in the past, however, is how companies hire, manage, and pay their workforce. Up until the pandemic fallout, most organizations have been managing their full-time employees and gig workers with manual HR processes that have been in place for decades. Yet, the 2020 HR Technology Pulse Survey revealed that 69% of U.S. businesses anticipate that they will switch or increase their HR tech within the next two years.


    Now that workforces are more distributed, companies are looking for HR experts and technology that can keep up with their geographically diverse, and complex, workforce. This shift in prioritization will lead businesses of all sizes to digital HR workforce platforms that transform how organizations hire, manage, and pay their talent.

    How to ensure your workforce thrives in 2021 and beyond

    After an unprecedented year of change, finding workforce management solutions that can quickly and compliantly help your workforce scale and adapt for unforeseen business impacts, will be key. As you look for a partner to lead the transformation of your workforce, it’s crucial to consider the knowledge, credibility, and quality of service they will offer you.

    How iWorkGlobal can help

    At iWorkGlobal, our team of worldwide experts have over 70 years of combined experience. Since 2011, we’ve helped countless organizations hire and engage talent in over 170 countries, assessed thousands of workers to determine if they are employees or contractors, and have transformed the way companies manage their talent with our cloud-based HR platform, MyVista.

    Find out how iWorkGlobal can help build the workforce of your future.

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