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Whether you are the head of a startup, a little mom-and-pop business, or a major corporation, the chances are that you know freelancing is one of the biggest growing forces in today’s economy. For all the debate about how well “the gig economy” will work out in the long-term for freelancers, this seems much more solidly positive on the employer’s side of the coin. Freelancers not only add a great deal of value to a business, but they typically do so without getting benefits, helping companies cut costs. Aside from that raw financial incentive, however, there are many reasons why companies should be encouraging employees – including their own – to engage in freelancing.

Adapting to a Changing Work Culture

“What a way to make a living,” indeed – the days of working “9 to 5” Dolly Parton-style are on the decline. While workers in the gig economy face a loss of benefits and sometimes see lower pay as well, at least they’re free from the shackles of a traditional 9-to-5 work schedule. Flexible schedules, remote work, and even working while on vacation are all growing phenomenons among workers used to the freelancing life. Adapting to this shift in work culture is imperative for companies going forward.

Employee Skill Upgrades

For decades, increased job specialization was the name of the game. Now, with the rise of freelancing, it pays to be a bit of a jack of all trades. Writing, video production, social media work, SEO, graphic design; the more bases you and your employees can cover, the better you’ll do. Freelancing provides the perfect arena for those skill upgrades. Encouraging your employees to freelance could thus net them a bit of money on the side and help you gain a more skilled workforce.

Better Behavior

Freelancers know they’re more easily replaceable than salaried employees. As such, they are less likely to misbehave at work.

Freelance employees will be the wave of the future for companies. Learning how to adapt to those changes, therefore, is imperative for companies looking to stay ahead of the game.