The four factors of change behind the liquid workforce
There are four major changes driving the move towards a liquid workforce: corporate, technology, social, regulatory.
The traditional organisational model/diagram as we know it dates back over 160 years and although there are various types of org chart they all share one common trait: There are clear and rigid lines denoting the relationships between business functions.
This is because the traditional, widely accepted, organisation chart, was designed to represent the structure required to manage predictable and repeatable working patterns.
The business environment has evolved significantly since the Industrial Revolution and as such it is no longer true that business is predictable, repeatable and fits the rigid relationships defined in a traditional organisational model.
Advances in technology are creating an on-demand culture prevalent in many other areas of life - travel, food and drink, and even dating. The workplace is no longer confined to a physical location, which increases the ability for organisations to engage talent where ever they are. The cost and availability of communication, co-working and collaborative technologies have also removed the cost and complexity barriers, enabling organisations of all sizes to embrace infrastructure capable of supporting a liquid workforce.
The on-demand culture mentioned above is changing attitudes to work, meaning more people are choosing a more flexible alternative to the traditional '9-to-5'. And as more people choose to be part of the non-employee liquid workforce, organisations will need to adapt to continue to attract the best talent.
Mounting pressure to prove that suppliers are not merely 'disguised employees', and therefore an IR35 risk, is increasingly pushing work down the more formalised routes such as statement of work engagements or freelancing via a structured in-house platform like an FMS or alternatively a marketplace.