Monica Plaza

Monica Plaza

  • The future of work

As the U.S. economy begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are wondering what the future of work will look like. Manufacturing and technology jobs abound, but many businesses are struggling to find the qualified labor they need. Without the workers they need to run a successful business, many companies are uncertain of what the future of work will look like. The good news is that individuals are still looking for work, but they may just be looking for different kinds of opportunities. That’s where on-demand staffing solutions can help.

Businesses Face Multiple Hiring Challenges 

On June 1, 2021, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released The America Works Report, detailing the current labor landscape, including challenges that businesses are facing, broken down by region and sector. The report says, “[t]he most critical and widespread challenge facing businesses right now is the inability to hire the qualified workers they need.” The reasons for this labor shortage are multifaceted, and we are still learning more about them every day. Here are a few issues that companies may want to address. 

Challenge 1: Childcare

Finding childcare is still a struggle, especially for parents who cannot work from home. While schools and daycare centers are reopening, many have not yet returned to their full pre-pandemic operation. Vaccines are another factor. Since they are not approved for children under age 12 yet, parents may want to take that into consideration as they create childcare plans. Without childcare options that suit their needs, workers may be reluctant to take on jobs outside of their homes, ruling out the frontline industries that are so in need of workers. 

Challenge 2: New Job Landscape 

During the pandemic, many jobs suddenly took on new responsibilities that continue to linger, even as the economy reopens in most states. For example, many workers had new cleaning procedures added to their roles. Some businesses choose to continue enforcing safety measures as the economy reopens, which can lead to difficult interactions with customers. Some workers don’t want to work in a frontline, customer-facing job anymore due to safety and other concerns. Other workers simply found more attractive opportunities that offer more flexibility. The shifting landscape of work has led workers to reconsider the types of jobs that are desirable.

Challenge 3: Stiff Competition for Workers

Many major retailers have increased their minimum wage to attract and retain workers. While that will certainly entice some workers, higher pay alone may no longer be enough. Workers look for attractive perks like flexibility, childcare accommodations, advancement opportunities, and more. 

Contingent Work As a Solution to Hiring Woes

There are many different approaches to ending poverty in the U.S. Some of these approaches center on government support via guaranteed minimum income and related benefits. Others focus on creating opportunities for workers to generate income and get on the road to full-time work. 

The City of Long Beach piloted a program that relied on the idea that engagements in the gig economy could help support residents looking for work and serve as a path to full-time work if desired. They developed a local labor exchange to connect workers with temporary work in the area. The program was so successful that in 2018 it won a US Conference of Mayors’ award for a job/economic development initiative, and it continues to this day. 

Forbes reports, “[w]orkers advance through multiple paths. Employer contacts and work experience through the gig economy are two of these paths, especially as the contacts and experience are leveraged by a job placement professional, assisting the worker. Getting-in-the-door through an entry-level position, part-time position, and even though contingent and short term work assignments is a proven workforce strategy for advancing into middle-class jobs.” 

Wonolo’s On-demand Staffing Solution is Here to Help

Wonolo offers a solution to staffing issues for businesses, as we work with both sides of the marketplace: companies who are looking for workers and workers who are looking for short-term opportunities. We know that companies are looking for highly qualified workers who are available in their area. And we know that workers are looking for flexible opportunities that allow them to work when they want, all while making a living wage. We have a deep understanding of what is going on in the labor market and are prepared for what is next. With Wonolo, the future of work is here.