‘We Will Be Company Freelancers’: World of Work Is Changing

working a desk

From Staffing Industry Analysts, Subadhra R. Sriram reports on a converstaion she had with author Jacob Morgan about the future of work and the relationships between companies and works.  Subadhra writes:

You talk about the balance of power shifting away from the organization toward the employee, how does it play out?

Companies have always had the power to attract employees and that’s because they have the No. 1 asset that employees care about, which is cash. If you have a lot of money, you can bring in the best employees to your company. And that’s pretty much been the standard for most organizations since business has been created.

And now we are starting to shift away from that, where employees are valuing other things. In fact, there was a recent report that came from Boston Consulting Group where they surveyed more than 200,000 people. The No. 1 factor for employee happiness on the job was appreciation and No. 2 was a good relationship with colleagues. Salary was No. 8 on the list. What that means now is organizations can’t just use money, which is its biggest asset, to bring in the best employees. It means creating a corporate culture employees want to be a part of, it means providing a flexible work environment, it means exploring different types of ideas and experimenting.

A part of this is also because employees now have a lot of opportunities to make money. In the past, the only way you can make a living is to go work for somebody else. But today people are using Elance-oDesk, becoming freelancers and renting their services. We see people going on sites like Task- Rabbit, where they are helping with physical services. We see people driving cars for Uber and Lyft. People are renting their apartments on Airbnb. Lots of them are raising money on Indiegogo or Kickstarter. The pool of talent has never been greater. But to attract and retain the very best employees, you and I have to think differently about what it means to work in a company, and that’s what we are starting to see.

Do you see the economy adapting to a fully contingent model?

I don’t believe we will get to a point where 100% of the workforce can be completely contingent. I think that a lot of things will have to happen for that to take place. But we are moving in a direction of having more contingent workers. I think we are going to see two things happen. The first is that organizations are going to rely more on external contingent workers. So working with sites like Elance-oDesk or other staffing agencies, that’s one thing we are going to see. And the second thing we will see is organizations will create their own internal freelance marketplaces.

Imagine you are working for a company like Pepsi, Coke or IBM. What will happen there is, instead of you having a long-term career, you will work on a project for a couple of weeks or months. Once that project is over you will have the opportunity to seek other projects the company needs help with. And just like the freelance marketplace, you will be able to recommend yourself; you will be able to reach out and see if you will be a good fit. You stay within the organization, and you act like a free- lancer but you are still technically a part of that organization. I think we are going to see more of such internal market- places get built specially for larger organizations….”

Read the full story at ‘We Will Be Company Freelancers:’ World of Work Is Changing.

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