Why the expert economy (gig economy) will benefit small to medium-sized enterprises

For SMEs who have traditionally lacked the resources to recruit and retain the best talent, the increased access to on-demand workers is of particular benefit.

The gig economy is seeing an unprecedented number of workers turning their backs on the average 9 to 5 job in favour of freelance and remote work positions. The workforce as we know it is going through a fundamental shift – workers are preferring a healthy work-life balance where they can fit their work around their lifestyles rather than the other way around.

The business environment is adapting to this change and by 2027, more than 50% of the global workforce is expected to be freelance. This expanding expert economy has given rise to online freelancing platforms – such as Alifery – which are helping freelance experts secure work with some of the biggest organisations around the world.

This work shift is proving beneficial for both businesses and freelancers, and is generating positive economic effects all round. Companies globally are reaping the benefits of working with a freelance workforce that is accustomed to change, ripe with knowledge and eager to deliver ground-breaking work. Not only are freelance experts considered highly-skilled talent, but are working out more cost effective than full-time employees, and are generating an increase in overall productivity.


One area where the gig economy is proving extremely successful is with small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). For SMEs who have traditionally lacked the resources to recruit and retain the best talent, the increased access to on-demand workers is of particular benefit.

According to the Ai Group Workforce Development paper The Emergence of the Gig Economy, the expert economy is of particular benefit to SMEs who experience fluctuating periods of activity, especially during times of economic uncertainty. Concerned that they will not be able to sustain a work position, many small companies hold off hiring full-time employees opting instead for gig workers who can come in when needed.

Overcoming obstacles

SMEs can come up against financial constraints which prohibit them from hiring the best full-time staff, so they often take advantage of gig workers when working on big projects or complex briefs that need bespoke expertise. Online freelancing platforms provide businesses with the opportunity to pick and choose the best talent from a growing pool of temporary workers.

According to the Ai Group paper, small businesses are widely considered to be the driver of growth in the economy, spurring innovation and creating millions of job opportunities. Larger companies don’t tend to take advantage of freelancers as much as SMEs – although it is a growing trend in that market – due to their vast resources and financial clout.

However, larger companies are now slowly starting to realise the benefits of the growing gig economy, too. But they will need to make changes to corporate structure and the way in which workflows are managed to fully embrace and take advantage of this growing labour trend.

Incorporating gig workers into a business

To fully reap the benefits of incorporating freelance experts into the workforce, organisations require new tools and approaches. Not only must businesses attract and retain the best talent, but they must also implement systems to manage them and address the challenges faced when incorporating a new way of working into the organisation.

As the gig economy grows at a rapid rate, more and more businesses are rethinking their corporate structures and are adjusting their practices accordingly. SMEs are placing an emphasis on tapping into this new pool of talent, and larger corporations are also realising the benefits that this knowledge-based economy can bring in this ever-changing marketplace.

Freelancers are changing the global workforce

According to Fast Company, there are five major ways that freelancers will change the global workforce by 2040.

  1. Work will consist of many short-term assignments.
  2. There will be more platforms aimed at mitigating risk for workers who lose the protections of traditional jobs.
  3. Online freelancing websites, talent agencies and head-hunting firms will be play a bigger role in the lives of everyday professionals.
  4. Small business growth will lead to a boost in wages.
  5. Everyone is responsible for their own success.

The Forbes study highlighted above found that freelancers will become the majority workforce by 2027, due to the advent of freedom, automation and flexibility. As businesses adapt to this change, more workers will adopt their own working styles that work for them, which could lead to greater productivity and better work outcomes for the businesses that take them on.

Taking advantage of an online freelancing platform – like Alifery – not only offers businesses the best talent at the right rate, but helps take the headache out of the recruiting process at the same time.

Find out more about Alifery here or register an account here to gain access to short term projects or freelance experts.

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