Throughout this article I will use the term e-lancer and the more generic free agent interchangeably.
Specifically, they define an e-lancer as "electronically connected freelancers" and describes their activities as follows:
It reduces the external cost for business organizations by making freelance labor markets more efficient, and it provides a channel to huge information resources that even an individual e-lancer can afford to tap.
This availability puts the e-lancer on a level playing field with larger companies.
Passive job Web sites that simply publish project requests and/or e-lancer profiles, and active job Web sites run by traditional agencies that get involved in the matching process by interviewing talent and matching skills to the appropriate project.
Once a match is made, they can notify the e-lancer via e-mail.
If the e-lancer travels on business, he or she can access the books from anywhere in the world.
The e-lancer doesn't have to worry about backups, software upgrades, or government tax table updates.
If an e-lancer does his or her best work from 8:00 PM to midnight, they can work then, or complete a project over a weekend, freeing up a weekday to complete errands during off peak periods.
The scenario in which an e-lancer can make the most money is one in which clients can find exactly the talent they need and contract that talent directly.
At a time when the social contract between employee and employer--one that traded loyalty for job security--is all but dead, it's getting more difficult to tell the difference between someone who is laid off three times in a year and an e-lancer who works on three 4-month projects with three different clients.
Malone and Laubacher propose that the temporary company (or team) and the fluid network in which e-lancers thrive may become the dominant business organization of the future, displacing large, centrally managed company organizations.