The workforce is changing. Cradle-to-grave employment is a relic. Technological advances have allowed workers to become more mobile and global. But the financial crisis of 2008 has had a lasting impact on employment around the world and across industries. Since then, multiple studies have documented the rise of independent workers, also known as contractors, freelancers, or consultants.
In this report, researchers look at a sample of more than 33,000 workers across 26 countries and compare independent workers to regular employees. The implications of these research findings for the human resources (HR) function are discussed. This report contains significant and perhaps surprising insights about independent workers regarding engagement, innovation, and collaboration.