What’s So Great About Leveraging an On-Demand Workforce?
The sharing economy. On-demand work. The gig economy. On-demand work. These are all hot topics across the U.S., with everyone from on-demand workers to business owners to politicians weighing in on the pros and cons. It is certainly a shift from the old standard lifetime employment, 40-hour work week jobs earlier generations were used to. TechCrunch recently published an article about companies moving from on-demand workers to employee workforces, for a variety of reasons. On-demand work doesn’t, well, work for every business. But unlike laser discs or beta tapes, the on-demand workforce is here to stay.
The concept of an “on-demand” workforce is not new. LiveOps Agent Services launched 15 years ago and grew in leaps and bounds because of the demand for flexible call center staffing. It will sound like tooting our own horn, but on-demand work has quickly entered the mainstream in part due to the fact that it has been around for a while—it just hasn’t been as well-known as other work trends.
The on-demand workforce can deliver tangible benefits for companies and their customers. Benefits like the ability to quickly and seamlessly scale the number of workers up or down depending on demand. That way, even if your forecasts aren’t on target or something sends demand skyrocketing, you can still have enough workers available to provide customers with outstanding service. And when demand drops, it’s quick and easy to reduce the number of workers standing by.
Benefits like better cost control. With on-demand workers who are generally independent contractors, it’s possible to better manage costs. Companies aren’t paying for office space when workers can use the cloud or other tools and work from home. Workers are paid when they are working, not on a salary basis. And being able to scale the workforce allows companies to capture all possible revenue.
Benefits like personalized service. The TechCrunch author feels personalized service results from bringing workers in-house to increase training and knowledge. LiveOps has been successfully certifying work from home agents for years, and pairing them with companies and in roles where they have experience or want to work. On-demand workers can offer as much or more customization and personalization because they are pulled from a larger workforce, with specific expertise, as well as general skills.
Benefits like accountability and visibility. It may take a little more effort to manage a remote, on-demand workforce but it can be done—and will demonstrate the workers’ effectiveness. Real-time reporting offers visibility and builds trust. That contributes to worker satisfaction, which leads to increased customer satisfaction, which benefits the bottom line.
Benefits like availability. On-demand workers are available and ready to work when there is work to be done. That can mean work outside of traditional business hours, only within specific hours or on a sporadic basis. And that is a benefit to the worker, who is looking for that flexibility; to the customer, who appreciates being able to handle things whenever it is convenient for them; and for the company, because they are meeting customer needs in a cost-effective manner. Win-win-win.
Different opinions will continue to make themselves heard on this topic. That being said, LiveOps is a prime example of what happens when you have the right combination of people, process and technology. Everyone involved–company, independent contractors and customers–can hold the winning ticket in the sharing economy. That’s more than 15 years of success talking. And that’s not just tooting our own horn—that’s leveraging an on-demand workforce for success.
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