Expanded use of contingent workers is one of nine human resources trends that will impact the future of work following the Covid-19 pandemic, according to research from Gartner Inc.

The research organization cited one of its surveys that found 32% of companies are replacing full-time employees with contingent workers as a cost-saving measure.

Using more contingent workers will provide greater workforce management flexibility, according to Gartner. “However, HR will also need to consider how performance management systems apply to contingent workers as well as questions around whether contingent workers will be eligible for the same benefits as their full-time peers.”

The other eight trends noted in the report are:

Increase in remote work. A Gartner analysis found 48% of employees will likely work remotely at least part of the time after Covid-19.

Expanded data collection. Companies are increasing their passive tracking of workers. Already, 16% are tracking employees passively via methods such as virtual clocking in and out as well as tracking computer usage.

Employer as a social safety net. Employers will increase their involvement in the lives of the employees by increasing mental health support, expanding healthcare coverage and providing financial health support.

Separation of critical skills and roles. “Separating critical skills from critical roles shifts the focus to coaching employees to develop skills that potentially open multiple avenues for them, rather than focusing on preparing for a specific next role,” said Emily Rose McRae, director in the Gartner HR practice.

Humanization (and dehumanization) of workers. “Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, some employees have formed more connected relationships, while others have moved into roles that are increasingly task oriented,” according to Gartner. “Understanding how to engage task workers in the team culture and creating a culture of inclusiveness is now even more important.”

Emergence of new top-tier employers. Employers must balance the concerns today with the long-term impact on their employer brands in upcoming years.

Shift from designing for efficiency to designing for resilience. Gartner says 55% of organizational redesigns prior to the pandemic were focused on streamlining roles, supply chains and workflows to increase efficiency; however, this has led to fragile systems. After Covid-19, companies will focus more on resilience through activities such as training employees with cross-functional knowledge.

Increase in organization complexity. There will be an acceleration in M&A leading to larger companies and changes in operating models that will create challenges for HR leaders.

Original.