Everyone in the business world knows freelancers, contractors and temps contribute greatly to overall U.S. productivity.

But did you know that up to 33 percent of today’s U.S. workforce is comprised of such independent workers? That’s up from 6 percent in 1989, according to management consulting agency Accenture, as reported in a recent smartplanet.com article.

I’ve worked as both a freelancer and an onsite, long-term contractor. Most of my freelance work consisted of piecemeal collateral for various clients, whereas my tenure as a contractor saw me manage multifaceted projects with numerous deliverables.

I believe that business in general is headed toward a model that encompasses onsite project-management teams with pools of immediately available expert contributors who often work remotely, and in many cases overseas.

From the smartplanet.com piece: “The Accenture team states that with the increase of specialization in the workplace and the heavy reliance on project work in knowledge-based organizations, “highly educated specialists and professionals are serving as contingent workers in positions as varied as engineer, information technologist, healthcare worker and accounting and finance professionals.”

While I’ve always preferred to work on stable teams of full-time staff, there’s no doubt that a company’s workforce strategy has to consider the advantages—beyond health-care-costs and other savings—of using on-demand talent sourcing to fulfill the requirements of evergreen projects with a diverse range of technical, creative and logistical components. That’s especially true for small businesses, which often choose to remain small because their size allows them to stay nimbler and more competitive.