Media, television and bloggers alike are clamoring about changes in the way people work. Journalists, Economists, Academics, Businesses, and just about every one you run into these days, seem to agree on a couple of things.
One, the market need for short term, contract based, Just in Time professional services is growing. Small businesses, pressured more than ever to do more with less, are turning online to find talent and ways to complete projects without adding permanent staff (see Wall Street Journal, Negotiating the Freelance Economy).
Two, there are no signs of any near term returns to the 9-5 cubicle life. The corporate world as we know it has forever changed, driving a new perspective on the future of work. (see Time Magazine, The Future of Work). The internet, the opportunity presented by remote collaboration, and the diminished loyalty between employer and employee will continue to cultivate a growing community of professional consultants working on a contract basis as opposed to a permanent full or part time basis.
What remains to be seen is how small and medium sized businesses are going to effectively get work done in this new world. At 26% of the current US workforce, and growing, the 40 million plus freelancers clearly offer an unprecedented value to these businesses desperate for their services. But how do you sift through the maze of providers to find the right one? Can you build trust and rapport between a business and a provider while avoiding the inefficiencies of face to face meetings? Are the tools and technologies in place to successfully complete a transaction once a business and provider engage?
These are the questions that Mavenlink will answer over the coming months with the help of our growing community. Small and medium sized businesses will finally have a place to find and engage with professional consultants and expect high quality service. Highly talented Mavens will finally be able to shed the negative connotations of the freelancer label, spending time in a work environment that compensates them fairly for their efforts and develops the skills that are going to be necessary to succeed in this new economy.