In December 2018, Microsoft announced it was introducing a 365 Freelance Toolkit for businesses to “release and scale” their freelance workforces. Their cause became that the gig economic system was driving customers toward such as freelance expertise of their initiatives. According to the worldwide online market Upwork’s “Future Workforce Report,” almost 50% of recruiting managers had hired freelancers and ninety% of them would don’t forget doing so. Moreover, the exquisite majority of freelancers weren’t open to ordinary employment – they favored running the way they did.
The declaration went on to understand businesses’ wishes “to adapt to new commercial enterprise models to get work completed with outside skills,” whilst adding that “the path to transforming existing rules and tactics,” geared toward everyday employees, is largely undefined. Microsoft and its clients had both been relying on collaboration software designed for their personal human beings with internal clearance to join the conversation. It was time for both events to trap up with the marketplace. The 365 Freelance Toolkit might offer the way.
The Toolkit is defined to build on customers’ present use of Microsoft 365 software program through adapting that software for freelancer participation. Specifically, this involves employing contemporary software program and providing tools and first-class practices to help customers scale up their use of freelance applications. The Toolkit additionally draws on Microsoft’s internal experience within the use of freelancers in 4 key regions: inner communique, team-wide collaboration, facts analytics, and workflow automation.
First, customers want a space for full-time personnel to study engaging with freelancers and to percentage statistics and quality practices with one another. Microsoft affords this thru a custom-designed model of their present SharePoint software.
This will permit freelancers full access to and participation in applicable group member communications “even as making sure freelancers will not have wholesale get right of entry to to the organization environment.” This might be furnished thru the Microsoft Teams software program device.
These will allow administrators to establish, song and reply to key performance indicators, and to integrate employees and freelancers inside the analytics provided. This commercial enterprise intelligence could be furnished via the Power BI monitoring machine.
This covers provision, compliance, and monitoring of software program, in large part automating and thereby allowing a “frictionless system” for employees to paintings with freelancers. This will use Microsoft Flow to streamline program sports.
Other outstanding functions of the facts to be had up to now are tips on fine practices primarily based on Microsoft’s personal experience, and the assertion that their release associate for the Toolkit is the global freelance market Upwork. Microsoft’s inner team spoke enthusiastically about the adjustments the Toolkit can carry.
Liane Scult, Microsoft’s first-ever senior freelance application manager, who created the answer that drove Microsoft’s inner freelance software from zero to greater than 2,000 assignments, feedback: “At first, the freelance program was just a clean sheet of paper. That has become a big guess with a clean name to action: build a freelance technology approach to empower establishments throughout the planet to realize the benefits of the gig economy. I had been a freelancer, a supplier/provider, and a complete-time worker. I ought to see throughout the complete landscape because I had traversed it. I also had a background in Microsoft’s hacking and innovation way of life. So, I centered on building for both our expertise and our clients—examining what all of us on all sides of the gig financial system might want. Today, we maintain to refine our Toolkit with this 360-diploma mindset to enhance the experience for all.”
Matthew Mottola, assignment manager for the Toolkit task offers: “When I talked with our customers it became clear that there has been no person manner. Every corporation turned into growing new techniques, as opposed to leveraging the gear they were already the use of. Thus the toolkit turned into born—a curation of Microsoft 365 equipment, with freelance software particular templates—that replied our customers’ query: “How can we release and scale a freelance program with the Microsoft gear we have already got?” The toolkit tells our clients: “Here’s what we’re doing and you can do it, too.” This is a vital point. You don’t have to retool, you could use what you have already got by means of getting access to our toolkit platform. That’s the beauty of it: it’s organic, it can be customized, and it’s green. We constructed the Microsoft 365 Toolkit to satisfy you wherein you are, and to adapt with you as larger virtual trends spread.”