Flexible staffing is a form of employment that includes temporary, contract and on-call jobs. Some disadvantages of flexible staffing include lower average wages and fewer employee benefits. However, flexible staffing provides workplace flexibility and reduces company employment costs. Flexible work arrangements accomodate employees with school and family responsibilities.
Advantage: Accomodate Employee Lifestyles
Flexible staffing benefits workers who are willing to sacrifice permanent full-time jobs for the ability to spend more time with their families and engage in frequent non-work activities. For some employers, accomodating employee's lifestyles creates happier employees who are more focussed during their time at work.
Advantage: Help When Needed -- No Overtime
Some companies have fluctuating workload demands, so flexible staffing offers workforce help when it's needed. Some employers can reduce labor costs by hiring employees on a direct-hire or on-call basis. As a result, the company is not overstaffed and can focus on its day-to-day staffing needs. The employer does not have to pay for unnecessary overtime because workers are only being paid according to demand.
Disadvantage: Fewer Employee Benefits
Because many flexible-staffing workers are not employed full-time, they are not offered company health insurance policies or retirement plans. This lack of benefits forces employees to pay out-of-pocket for expenses that are normally covered by an employer. Even though the reduced benefit costs are financially advantageous for the employer, the employer risks losing employees to other full-time employment opportunities.
Disadvantage: Low Wages
Low wages are a disadvantage for employees who are hired on a flexible basis. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, "workers in these arrangements are much more likely to earn wages that are at or near the minimum wage and to earn significantly less than regular workers." As a result, many of these workers are working at or near poverty-level.
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