The rise of the blended workforce, which is identiﬁed as one of the top workplace trends in 2017, is prompting ﬁrms to re-evaluate their staﬃng strategies. A blended workforce melds, as a deliberate business strategy, contingent workers, e.g., independent contractors or freelancers, with permanent employees. In this talk, we study optimal staﬃng decisions in service systems with a blended workforce, in the context of a queueing theoretic framework. We characterize how staffing decisions depend on three main factors: (i) the supply-side uncertainty of the ﬂexible agent pool, (ii) operating costs in the system, and (iii) ﬂuctuations in incoming customer demand, and show that it may or may not be cost-eﬀective to staﬀ a blended workforce, depending on the interplay between those factors.
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