4 Ways Gen Z Will Change Company Culture
WORKING NOT WORKING MAGAZINE
The rising freelancer economy offers employers many advantages but demands they adapt to what a new, more entrepreneurial generation seeks. The following article first appeared on Entrepreneur.com, written by Deep Patel. In the excerpt below, WNW Co-founder Justin Gignac comments on how a fast-growing freelancing economy is changing the culture of companies, and what that looks like as Gen Z enters the workforce.
Move over, 9-to-5ers -- an alternative working model is on the rise. According to a survey by Upwork and the Freelancers Union, the freelance economy now includes 55 million Americans (35 percent of the total U.S. workforce). We can expect this trend to continue rising, in large part, thanks to Generation Z and how it likes to work.
Gen Zers largely consider themselves the entrepreneurs of the future. Even as internal employees, they have embraced -- even hungered for -- a shift toward more flexibility. This demand for work-life balance will not only drive more employees into the freelancing realm, but also shift company culture in ways that benefit companies, freelancers and internal employees alike.
Here are four of the most significant shifts we can expect:
1. Freelancers will help drive innovation by bringing new perspective.
Innovation is perhaps one of the greatest benefits to companies that bring in outside freelancers. As internal teams are challenged to collaborate with external freelancers, companies will have an opportunity to capitalize on new perspectives. In addition, creating a space for freelancers in the team creates an opportunity to fill gaps in the team’s expertise.
Networks such as Working Not Working, a global system that connects companies with freelance talent, can help organizations benefit the most from collaborating with qualified freelancers. "There's a huge benefit to bringing in fresh blood, fresh perspective and fresh energy," says Justin Gignac, Working Not Working's co-founder and CEO. "Sometimes, a freelancer's enthusiasm and point of view can shake up a team that may have gotten bogged down."
Gignac also points out that successfully integrating freelancers into the company requires understanding what they value. Generally, these values contradict the traditional work environment, so companies will need to adapt their culture accordingly.