In nearly every business function—marketing, engineering, data science, IT, etc.—there is a range of skills that are difficult to come by and the need for these specialized skills may be short-lived, making adding headcount an inefficient approach. On the workforce side of the equation, Millennials and Gen-Xers are increasingly taking control of their careers by going it alone. The demand for specialized skills, paired with people’s desire to forge their own path, is driving the burgeoning gig economy—and it’s here to stay.

The impact of this gig economy is twofold. Independent contractors must learn how to collaborate with a constantly changing set of diverse teams, often across geographic distances. And businesses must learn how to work with independent contractors to get the highly regarded skills required to compete as solution lifecycles shorten.

Businesses that embrace the gig economy to supplement their workforce will find that they are more agile and forward-thinking than their competitors. But first they need to reduce the risk of working with unknown entities, some of whom may be thousands of miles away.

With the proper tools, businesses can optimize their engagements with independent contractors and develop valuable partnerships that go beyond individual projects. An enterprise-grade video collaboration tool, for example, allows teams and contractors to interact face-to-face, enabling better collaboration and creativity. The ability to see each other can help build trust and lead to better outcomes.

The gig economy is here to stay, and those who embrace it will find it well worth the effort.

Learn more about working with the gig economy:

Read our predictions on the future of video conferencing: