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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

A new report explores the challenges of managing "workforce ecosystems" increasingly made up of non-permanent employees.

The big picture: The emergence of new labor-sharing platforms, the push to cut costs, and workers' own preferences all drive the emergence of a distributed workforce — and companies need to adjust their management strategies.

By the numbers: In a survey by Deloitte and MIT Sloan Management Review of more than 5,000 corporate professionals and leaders from around the world, 87% of managers reported that they consider non-permanent workers — like contractors, gig workers and even bots — to be part of their workforce.

  • A third of respondents say they expect to rely more on non-permanent workers over the next 18–24 months, and more than half say they'll use online platforms to access external talent.
  • "We're seeing the total workforce that an organization engages to do work on their behalf as part a 'workforce ecosystem,'" says Robin Jones, U.S. workforce transformation leader at Deloitte.

Of note: While it's easy to think of gig workers as the corporate equivalent of second-class citizens, "there's a greater focus on really high-cost, high-skill occupations like data scientists" among the extended workforce, says Balaji Bondili, head of Deloitte Pixel.

The catch: Only 28% of those surveyed say they are sufficiently prepared to manage that new ecosystem.

What to watch: How companies shift their talent management structure to compensate for a much more varied workforce ecosystem.

  • "If organizations can literally rewire themselves to create a more personalized experience while continuing the trajectory of work productivity and output, that is going to be the holy grail," Jones says.

Go deeper

Apr 14, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Sen. Gillibrand: National paid parental leave would boost small businesses

Axios' Kim Hart and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Photo: Axios

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said that federally funded paid parental leave could boost small businesses who would otherwise be unable to offer the benefit to employees, while speaking at an Axios virtual event on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Nearly a million American mothers have left the workforce during the pandemic and women's labor force participation is at a 33-year low. Some of the decline has been attributed to more women quitting their jobs, at least temporarily, to take care of their children.

34 mins ago - World

Biden: U.S. combat mission in Iraq will end this year

Biden returning to the White House on July 25. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The United States' combat mission against the Islamic State in Iraq will be completed "by the end of the year," President Biden said Monday prior to a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

Why it matters: Biden is close to shifting the U.S. military mission in Iraq to a fully advisory role more than 18 years after combat troops were sent to the country under the former President George W. Bush.

How extreme weather feeds inflation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

This summer's extreme weather is having ripple effects that could raise food prices in the U.S. and disrupt diets around the world.

Why it matters: Climate scientists and food supply experts, like those at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, have long warned about the impact of human-caused global warming on prices, food shortages and hunger.

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