I believe by 2025 or 2030 the majority of us will earn our income from multiple sources as a digital worker or hybrid worker (Starbuck’s & Uber or similar arrangement).
In this month’s D!gitalist Magazine, by SAP the report stated, “By 2030, 10% of the largest companies in the United States will be virtual corporations with less than 10% of their workers in an office at any given time.” This number could be higher depending upon the speed of adoption of new technologies such as virtual reality.
Last week, I had the opportunity to speak with Amanda Jones, a recruiter for ThinkingAhead which places top passive talent for leading non-profit organizations. Her background in recruiting is diverse and her perspective was intriguing. Amanda’s observations painted a picture of how digital technology and the demands from Gen X and Gen Y are redesigning employment.
Enabling Employees to Work Remotely Is No Longer a Perk it’s a Competitive Advantage
Amanda frequently mentioned the most requested perk from candidates is the ability to work remotely and to have the flexibility to manage their work schedule.
As we talked, Amanda discussed two different types of organizations with almost opposite views of employment. One model is the digitally structured non-profit. The majority of the executives and employees work remotely with a small staff at the non-profit’s headquarters. These professionals live in different cities across the country. Some non-profits have employees in multiple countries.
This business model is common amount tech-based companies; a good example is Basecamp.
The founders of these non-profits sought to secure the best talent, regardless of location. By providing the option to work remotely, the organizations are able to hire their first and second choice of candidates.
Conversely, the remaining organizations either continue to require all their executives and employees to work from one location. The option to work remotely has to be negotiated by the employee. For passive talent, the ability to work remotely is the deal break. Organizations without flexible arrangements experience longer search periods as their selected candidates are unwilling to move.
For organizations to remain competitive in our unpredictable global economy, offering the option to work remotely is quickly becoming a necessity not an added perk.
Rethinking the Structure of Employment
Listening to Amanda talk, I kept thinking about factory workers punching a ticket at the end of the day. Maintaining this mindset, thinking employees must sit at their community table or cube for 8 hours or more to prove they have earned their pay is inefficient and unproductive. As Gen X and Gen Y professionals are promoted to upper management, their influence will continue to define work and employment.
Instead of worrying about appearances, organizations and companies must focus on what matters most for building long-term sustainable businesses.
We’re a digital hive of worker bees connected via the Internet. With the rapid acceleration of artificial intelligence, drones, and robots, new job titles and employment will emerge.
For a minute imagine the future of employment with a digital worker managing drone deliveries for Amazon or an engineer sitting at her kitchen table managing factory robots for multiple companies.