Traditional fixed places of work, such as the office are detached from the way today’s workforce actually works. This is in part being driven by remote/freelance workers. And according to the third annual “Future Workforce Report” from Upwork, 73% of all teams will have remote workers by 2028.
With close to three in four teams expected to use remote workers, the future of work is being reshaped in front of our very own eyes. The office and the team can literally be almost anywhere in the world.
The change is being driven by millennials and Gen Z in decision making positions. And these young managers are 3X more likely to prioritize future workforce planning compared to older generations.
For small businesses, it means being able to adapt to this new environment when it comes to hiring talent because they will expect a flexible schedule. Whether it is a full-time in-office or remote position, flexibility is key for the workforce of the future.
Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork, addressed this very issue in the emailed press release. Kasriel said this all starts as younger generations get into managerial positions and they reshape the workplace.
He goes on to say, “We know already that the most in-demand professionals place high value on flexibility. For example, the youngest generations are most likely to freelance. And professionals craving flexibility will increasingly have managers who not only understand this priority but will themselves expect it. We see this clear trend towards more flexible, remote work on the hiring side already based on this year’s Future Workforce Report.”
The report looked into the hiring behaviors of more than 1,000 hiring managers in the US. For this year’s report, researchers examined the impact different generations had in shaping the future of work. This included just how much younger generations are shaping the future of work.
Remote Workforce Trends
Today 48% of younger generation managers are at a director-level or higher, and they are already showing their influence on workforce planning. But overall, they only make up 20% of the workforce in these positions. According to Upwork, by 2028 this number will jump to 58%, an increase of 38%.
So, there is no question they will be shaping the future, but how exactly are they going to do it?
In the report, Upwork says it all starts by supporting remote teams, which will become the new norm. For 69% of these young managers allowing their team to work remotely is just par for the course.
When you compare the numbers to baby boomers, young managers are letting their workers spend a significant portion of their time carrying out their jobs remotely at a 74 to 58 percent ratio.
The younger generation is also more likely to use remote workers. They said within the next three years two out of five full-time employees will work remotely.
The change is inevitable, and young managers see a need for this change to take place with the workforce. They want them to be more independent and skillful. Compared to baby boomers, they want them to be responsible for their own reskilling in order to adapt to the rapidly changing work environment. Nine in 10 baby boomers in the report believe the burden of reskilling falls on the employer.
If the right skillsets are not present in the organization, younger managers are 30% more likely to acquire the talent from a freelancer compared to baby boomers. Again, this shows the young generation is more flexible when it comes to getting the job done by acquiring the talent and filling any skill gaps.
Young managers are also using freelancers at a higher rate. The report says their usage of freelancers has increased by two-fold compared to baby boomers in the past several years. Some of the reasons they gave for hiring freelancers include to increase productivity, access specialized skills, and improve cost.
Once young managers hire freelancers, they are more likely than older generations to keep using them for strategic partnerships across multiple projects instead of one-time, one-off projects.
What does this all mean for small businesses hiring young managers? Matthew Mottola, Future of Work and On-Demand Talent Program Manager at Microsoft, put it best in the press release when he said, “The good news for companies is that if they embrace this agility and flexibility they can drive innovation and change with their organization.”