Hand raisers and freelance workers (aka gig workers) are a growing force. According to a recent survey, Freelancing in America: 2017, from Upwork, currently 57.3 million Americans (36% of the workforce) have freelanced this year, with almost 30% said that was their primary source of income…and the predictions are that more than half of U.S. workers will be freelancing by 2027. 

Any global insights or stats on the freelance world?

Currently, there are a variety of opinions on how this gig trend will impact companies and their relocation/mobility programs. From changes to where gig workers live, to the way they get paid, no matter what the impact is, it’s clear that mobility policy design will need to address this ever-expanding and diverse workforce that includes the gig worker.

Mercer is predicting that the gig economy will actually have a profound impact on the globally mobile workforce and they suggest that companies need to prepare to manage a mixed assignee talent pool that will include a growing proportion of international freelancers. In this article, Mercer advises that mobility programs are going to need to focus in on developing policies that have been adapted to meet the specific needs of gig workers. Why? Because...

"Managing an international gig worker is less about moving someone from one country to another and more about dealing with the consequence of a move that already happened. Highly skilled international gig workers are more likely to be either locally hired foreigners or on virtual assignments, rather than fitting in the traditional long-term assignment model."

Companies, and their global mobility programs, will have to re-think the basic assignment or relocation structure and package and evaluate how best to address employment or project offers, compensation, portable benefits, tax and immigration issues as they seek to secure top gig workers. It is creating some interesting considerations for both mobility and talent management groups.