New Study Finds Companies Turning to Freelancers to Avoid Obamacare Fees

Medical Stethoscope Resting on Laptop Computer Keyboard.If the rise in technology in general is responsible for much of the increase in freelancers and freelance work, there appears to be a new number two on the block: that of the Affordable Care Act.

According to Fox News, a new study has been released that found more and more businesses are turning to hiring freelancers in an effort to avoid some of the fees, penalties, and regulations of the landmark legislation known colloquially as Obamacare.

The study, which was conducted by the online work platform Field Nation, and Future Workplace, an executive development firm, found that the still infantile health care legislation has caused 74% of the over 600 companies surveyed to hire freelancers instead of in-house employees. It went on to note that 60% said they planned to hire even more freelancers going forward to replace full timers.

“The trend of companies hiring more freelancers will continue annually, causing for an even more blended workforce, and creating new challenges for business leaders,” says Dan Schawbel, partner and research director at Future Workplace. “The workforce is willing to make sacrifices, including compensation and benefits, in order to gain the freedom and flexibility afforded to the freelance career path.”

Health care fees, like the tax penalty for having uninsured employees, were cited as the main reasons behind the move to more freelance labor. There are some changes in the health care field that could help to decrease costs and help improve the situation overall, like telemedicine. Experts estimate that telemedicine could eventually save U.S. companies about $6 billion a year.

Until those things start to play a bigger role, companies are going to look to save where they can. This, in combination with the fact that online platforms have allowed freelancers to find and do remote work more easily and efficiently, has led to a rise in a new sort of workforce. One that relies on a blend of various types of workers.

“Spurred by competitive demands for more agile organizations, the world of work is pivoting to a blended workforce,” says Mynul Khan, CEO of Field Nation. “The combination of enabling technologies, societal attitudes, increased mobility, high workforce dissatisfaction, and the war for talent is disrupting the classical employer-employee model.”

Khan went on to say that freelance and contract workers already make up approximately 30% of the workforce at 40% of top performing firms.

Needless to say, this is certainly a field to keep an eye on as we progress to the next stages of workforce employment in the 21st century.

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