Why the Future of Work Hinges on the Extended Workforce and “Getting Work Done”

The Future of Work movement can mean many different things to many different leaders. Some may believe that the idea of “work optimization” relies on the progress of technology, the impact of innovation, and how repeatable automation is the core of the Future of Work. Others will state that the Future of Work runs on talent as its foundation, with the ongoing “talent revolution” proving that skill sets, expertise, and talent communities will foster the next great era of business.

The truth is this: these perspectives are all correct. The Future of Work is equal parts technology and innovation, talent and workers, and the transformation of business leadership. The Future of Work, essentially, is about getting work done.

The Future of Work Exchange has pointed to a particular piece of the work optimization puzzle that will significantly alter the trajectory of business in 2022: the ongoing “talent revolution” that parades under many other pseudonyms and catch-phrases, especially “The Great Resignation” and “The Big Quit.” While, on the surface, it may seem that if more and more workers are up and quitting their jobs for better pay or better career paths, the deeper we dig, the more we learn that it’s not just dollars or role promotions that are driving this trend. Today’s workforce craves those aspects, for sure, however, they are also searching for more meaningful work, better workplace conditions, and opportunities that are flexible in scope.

The extended workforce is intrinsically linked to this talent revolution, with more and more talented professionals joining various talent communities and talent channels to find what they are looking for and the best-fit positions that align with their mindset, skills, and culture. It’s not just a matter of tapping into traditional contingent labor, but rather truly robust communities of talent that take various shapes, including talent pools, talent marketplaces, niche staffing suppliers, personal and private talent networks, etc. 

The role of the extended workforce in the Future of Work movement cannot be understated; and, if businesses truly want to maximize the talent-led foundation of work optimization, they require the proper technology and oversight to manage the many channels of talent that now regularly flow through the average organization.

Extended workforce technology is expected to grow 5x over the next two years, and there’s a primary reason for the expected uptick in adoption: businesses must have on-demand access to software that can not only help them manage the many sources of extended talent, but also provide real-time visibility into how that talent is situated across the organization, what these workers are supporting from a project perspective, and their overall impact on the greater enterprise.

The extended workforce is a critical piece of the bigger Future of Work puzzle. As organizations head into 2022, the conversation around “getting work done” must factor in the relative impact of talent and how the extended workforce is actively engaged and managed.



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