Staples Advantage Provides Tips to Help Businesses Prepare for
FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 12, 2016--
The freelance economy is growing rapidly, a trend with significant
implications for the workplace. Nearly one in four employees freelance
in some capacity, according to the Staples Advantage Workplace Index, a
recent study of office workers in the U.S. conducted by the business-to-business
division of Staples.
Overall, twelve percent of employees work as freelancers as their
primary source of income, and the same percentage freelance in addition
to their primary job.
“For businesses, augmenting staff with temporary, contract workers is
not new,” said Neil Ringel, executive vice president, Staples Advantage.
“While the organized online marketplace makes it easier to tap into a
pool of skilled workers, businesses need to pay attention to the needs
and expectations of freelancers and independent contractors as they can
be quite different.”
Benefits for Freelancers and Businesses
Employees freelance for a variety of reasons, including the flexibility
to make their own hours (37 percent), make more money (39 percent), and
achieve a work-life balance (32 percent). Businesses also benefit from
this arrangement by getting access to highly skilled workers they need
for special projects.
“The freelance economy is a win-win for people who have a desire to work
on their own time and companies who want to streamline in-house
operations,” said Pat Griffin, enterprise account executive at
HourlyNerd, a company that connects businesses who need help with a
project with an expert who can do the job. “With smart, collaborative
technology becoming more mainstream, the freelance economy enables
businesses to redefine their workplace strategy making the physical
workspace more effective by establishing efficient team structures and
Staples serves the freelance community, including businesses, with
technology products, a business relevant assortment and critical print
and marketing services that can be obtained in store, online or through
Considerations for Businesses Hiring Freelancers
Freelance workers need temporary access to IT services and equipment,
designated desks/workspaces, open communication with coworkers, and
necessary supplies for projects. Additionally, businesses should take
the following points into consideration:
Aligning on a workforce strategy. Human resources and
procurement officers need to develop a strategy that balances
efficiency, effectiveness, and risk when vetting, managing, and
compensating freelancers and contract workers in line with the market.
Finding the right mix of face-to-face interaction. Most
freelance work should involve some sort of face-to-face interaction,
whether the freelancer sits in the office for the duration of the
project or has a mix of virtual and in-person work.
Providing necessary technology and accommodating personal mobile
devices. Businesses should ensure extra equipment such as laptops,
docking stations, and monitors are available so freelancers can plug
in and get to work without delay. IT departments should also be
prepared to incorporate personal mobile technology into their mobile
device management service as appropriate.
Considering safety concerns. When new freelance employees enter
the building, facility managers must provide the necessary safety
trainings, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Right to Know standard.
Managing expenses for supplies. In some cases, freelancers or
contract workers may use their own office supplies and charge it back
to the company as an expense, which means negotiated cost savings with
office supply providers can be lost. Procurement officers should
ensure freelancers and contract workers use company bill codes when
acquiring supplies to get company discounts.
Follow Staples Advantage on Twitter @StaplesB2B to learn more about
the Staples Advantage Workplace Index.
Visit the Staples
Advantage Workplace Index microsite to download the full report.
About Staples Advantage
Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc.
(Nasdaq: SPLS), serves organizations of 10 or more employees up to the
Fortune 1000, helping them make more happen with more products, greater
cost savings and improved ordering efficiencies. Staples Advantage
provides its customers, including global businesses, local, state and
federal government, healthcare organizations and educational
institutions, with a one source solution featuring comprehensive
products and services like office
supplies, technology, printing, promotional products, furniture and
facility supplies, along with a customized level of account support and
best-in-class customer service. More information is available at www.staplesadvantage.com.
View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160112005016/en/
Source: Staples Advantage
Shweta Agarwal, 508-253-8249