Is a growing a professional gig economy the result of Brexit?
A pioneering study from Source Global Research and published in March 2018 by Odgers Connect, shows evidence of a growing ‘professional gig economy’ of highly-skilled, independent workers that is flourishing in both the U.K. and Europe. This growth is driven by companies that have cut back on core staff and which increasingly rely on outsourced professionals.
Brexit and new regulations are the two factors that favor independent consultants because organizations are expected to seek the increased flexibility that they offer while reducing the need for permanent professional staff. This trend has its biggest impact at the very top of the professional workplace. Looking at management consultancy purchased by organizations in the U.K. in 2016, for example, Source estimates that independents supplied 20% of all consultancy bought by organizations, worth around £2 billion of the £9.75 billion total.
“An army of independent professionals and consultants is growing within both private and public-sector organizations,” said Adam Gates, Principal of Odgers Connect. “Brexit is accelerating this trend due to the uncertainty it is creating. Companies need professional support to navigate through these uncertain times, without increasing costs and headcount -further encouraging them to bring in independent operators.”
Independent operators also reduce the need for employee benefit plans on the part of the organization but this leaves open the question of how independent contractors and gig workers will be able to remain on par with permanent hires when it comes to benefits packages.
Source conducted a survey of senior executives in over 250 large and mid-sized organizations, over half based in the U.K. and the rest in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Its key finding is that conditions are ripe for a boom in use of independent professionals, with high demand, a skilled talent pool and a trend towards more flexibility.
For further details or a full copy of the report, visit https://www.odgersconnect.com/