2020 was a year where we had to rethink our approach to everything. Many people rethought work after the dramatic shift to remote work and the devastating effects of the pandemic.
MBO launched its eagerly awaited 10th annual State of Independence in America survey in the middle of the year.
We have compiled a list of our top 10 predictions for the future post-pandemic.
Growth of Independent Work – Despite a Covid Dip
Both the economy and independents suffered short-term disruptions from COVID-19. The number of independent workers fell 7 percent between 2019 and 2020 to 38.2million in 2020, compared to 41.1 million in 2019. Despite this drop, we project that more than half of Americans will be working in independent careers in the next ten years.
A Rise In Happiness – For Some
Traditional careers are not a good choice for happiness and satisfaction. Ironically, however, independents say they feel more secure than that traditional workers. 56% of them believe this path is safer. This is another reason why we predict more workers will choose an independent career path. 7 out of 10 independents say that they plan to continue working alone. Voting is now open for careers that offer greater happiness, particularly among younger Gen Z workers.
Gen Z Powers Solo & Micro Entrepreneurship
Gen Z already accounts for 16% of independent work. Given their demographic characteristics, we believe they will drive a rise in solo entrepreneurship. This generation will be able to use technology tools and platforms to search for work and create careers that are powered by one-person businesses as they acquire marketable skills.
Giving the Worker Control
In the coming decade, we predict that workers will have greater autonomy and control over their careers, from workspace to work style. Companies that can personalize their career paths and allow employees to choose their career paths will be successful. Independents are happy 76% of the time, despite the difficulties of being alone. They value their ability to control their lives and do the work that they love.
Exporting Intelligence – One Worker at a Time
The last decade was all about outsourcing labour. We predict that the next decade will be the opposite. The new work platforms that link buyers and sellers will allow talented US workers to find innovative ways to provide work results in any country. This will enable them to create borderless growth and help deliver work outcomes. Data-driven insight: Today, 28% of Americans provide goods and services abroad.
The 80/20 Rule: Independent High-Earning Earners Will Drive the Greatest GDP Impact
7.7 million individuals are already offering services. They have also built careers that generate more than $100,000 annually. This makes them part of the new American Dream, solo entrepreneurship. The economic impact of non-traditional work growth will be primarily attributed to independent professionals pursuing a new career with high earnings. Others will follow their example and be inspired by them as they set the course and make a difference in GDP.
The Side Hustle Is the New Accessory
People with a good grasp of the future can create a side business, complete with an entity focused on their career and personal goals. This provides work income diversification in a weak economy and gives workers the joy and satisfaction they desire. Today, 15% are side-giggers. We believe that this number will rise as more people have the opportunity to produce services and learn.
The New Company is The Team – The Rise of Virtual Organizations
You needed an office, staff, and payroll to build a more significant business. We see a rise in virtual, just-in-time organizations. This is where talented people come together to do work, then disband until the following arrangement. They have greater control and flexibility, lower costs, increase efficiency and meet the client’s requirements for great results. We believe that virtual reality will soon be surpassed by virtual corporations, with the rising popularity of teaming (20% in 2020).
Remote work is the future
The rise of remote work is one of the biggest trends for 2020. It will change the way we work in the next ten years. Nearly 40% of independents were working remotely full-time, and 85% worked remotely at most. This was even before the pandemic. Zoom is changing the way we interact locally and globally. We believe remote work will continue to be a part of our lives, but we also believe that we need to have the desire to network.
Independence and the New American Dream and a Related Workforce Transformation
In 2020, 48% of the US workforce was independent at one point or another during their career. This number will rise to 54 percent by 2025, more than three times the employment growth rate. We predict that independent work will become vital to every worker’s work portfolio over the next decade. This is in addition to the rising number of generations and workers’ desire for flexibility, control, and autonomy. There will also be a gradual increase in high-impact work by small, independent businesses made up of a few talented professionals.
These companies will change the US business landscape and make a lasting impression on corporate America. Companies can shift to flexible, agile engagement models as more workers become independent. This will create a new workforce reality that demands a new set of human resources, talent management, and insurance solutions. Companies that can quickly improve labour models to address these issues will be the winners in the market.
Do you think any of these predictions are wrong? If you do why not tell us about it in the comments below.