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Nearly all U.S. companies use flexible, on-demand talent

In 2015, an impressive 88 percent of U.S. businesses of all sizes relied on on-demand workers as part of their workforce. More than 40 percent of these companies used on-demand professional as more than 30 percent of their overall workforce.

Not only are businesses planning to increase their use of independents in 2016, it appears many of them are already taking advantage of this new class of “free-agent” talent. This may suggest that these independents are proving their worth and are able to integrate well with their full-time counterparts.

The most common reason the surveyed companies gave for using on-demand professionals was increased flexibility. Using on-demand professional talent allows businesses to respond to opportunities with more agility, scaling their workforces as conditions require.

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Increasingly, Companies Use Independent Professionals for Longer Projects

The 2016 Corporate On-Demand Talent Report is a comprehensive study of corporate use of on-demand talent in a new economy. For this report, Work Market surveyed decision-makers at more than 1,000 U.S. companies. Over the next few posts, we will examine various aspects of this report with a close eye on the interests of our consultants and our business clients. The report states:

Businesses are securing world-class free-agent talent and transforming their operating models. Workers, in turn, are increasingly using specialized skills to pursue the flexibility of an independent career.

Businesses around the country – from tiny garage startups to Fortune 500 titans – have been ramping up their use of “on-demand” professionals to stay competitive in today’s new economy.

One major finding of the report is that on-demand professionals are becoming a critical and strategic part of the modern workforce – not just a short-term solution.

While there is a common misperception that independent professionals are used only sporadically and for small tactical projects, this report suggests otherwise. Nearly half (46 percent) of the companies surveyed use independent professionals for projects lasting more than one year.

Another 13 percent of companies rely on independent professionals for projects lasting six months or longer. Fifteen percent use them for projects lasting three months, 10 percent for projects lasting one month and 16 percent for projects lasting one week.

And these companies seem to be satisfied with the results that they see – with 42 percent of them asking the same talent for assistance with subsequent projects.

Based on this finding, the report concludes that this trend will only continue as more businesses indicate that they will increase their use of an on-demand workforce to “fuel innovation and improve the bottom line.” Next week, we will discuss the finding that “On-demand Is the new normal.”

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Stress Rampant in Traditional Workforce

If you suspect that the traditional workforce is more stressful than ever before — especially for women — you are right.

In January, The Huffington Post discussed constantly increasing workplace stress in an article titled The American Workplace Is Broken. Here’s How We Can Start Fixing It.  Here are a few excerpts we thought you might find relevant:

Americans are working longer and harder hours than ever before. Eighty-three percent of workers say they’re stressed about their jobs, nearly 50 percent say work-related stress is interfering with their sleep, and 60 percent use their smartphones to check in with work outside of normal working hours. It’s no wonder that only 13 percent of employees worldwide feel engaged in their occupations.

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By 2025, the #1 place to work could be wherever you are sitting

There is a clear shift shaking up today’s labor force. Technological advances and a growing comfort-level with alternative work arrangements are fundamentally changing how people work.

This trend is not just entrepreneurs leaving the “comforts” of corporate America to build a better mousetrap. It also includes service professionals going out on their own – pursuing intellectual, economic, and personal independence and balance.

Companies are using this on-demand talent at higher levels than ever before. In addition, amenities that serve this freelance national are growing rapidly.

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Why having women at the table is good for your bottom line

Our Canopy consultants have held management positions in big companies. They have opted out of the C-suite track but continue to do project-based work at that level for our clients. We love helping our consultants thrive and find balance professionally and personally, so noteworthy stories like this one about women in business pique our interest.

We often hear lopsided statistics about the lack of women at the CEO level, but a new global study of 22,000 public companies in 91 countries looked at something else – what about when women hold a significant percentage of management positions just shy of the corner office?

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