The Future of Work

Here is a video created by the team at ::oDesk(“a”)::.

Here are a few of my thoughts while watching it:

  • Transparent work:  I expect that as this happens, employees will have the option to telecommute more.
  • From an employer point of view, the additional layers of transparent work will definitely translate to much more efficient labor spending.
  • From an employee point of view this could be viewed as micromanagement if not utilized properly.
  • The world has been becoming more “flat” and the same is happening to organizations.
  • The video mentioned JetBlue utilizing a call center workforce that works from home.  My cousin in the US works for JetBlue from home and loves his job.
  • There will be a lot more competition for jobs and quantification of skills.  Fewer and fewer people will be able to get away with being the company slacker.  Conversely, those with the skills and work ethic will thrive in this new “paradigm shift”.
  • Crowdsourcing: Interesting they mention this since I’ve been so immersed in this area for the past few weeks.  I’m very curious if ::oDesk(“a”):: has / is moving into this space (at least by in the way I define it as one-t0-MANY vs. the traditional one-to-one or one-to-a-few).
  • Virtual teams:  The video says these groups of contractors may or may not work again in the future.  I think this will work efficiently in some areas, but in others it will still be more effective to develop and build long term trust while getting a feel for your teammates style, strengths, weaknesses, etc.
  • Outsourcing isn’t going away any time soon.  We all (employers / employees) need to be ready for it.

What do you think?  Are the predictions and statements in the video accurate?  How do you feel about this so called “Future of Work”?

3 Replies to “The Future of Work”

  1. Yes, I think all of these are going to come to pass – and there are going to be millions of people who have become unemployed due to these structural changes.

  2. Anonymous Frustrated Lawyer, I completely agree. While there is a lot of debate on the pros and cons of this flattening world, specifically as it relates to the changing workforce, it is going to continue to cause a TON of earth shaking changes. People will be displaced in the process and it will force a lot of “adapt or die” situations for millions and millions of these people.

  3. Many people are talking about this concept, but I’m not convinced it will be changing as much or as quickly as people think. Some aspects like the virtualized workplace are already upon us, and I think it’s clear that where and how we work are already vastly different than 20 years ago. But there remains a challenge that is relevant in MANY large industries out there that cannot be overlooked, and the bottom line is competitive advantage. One of the main issues with outsourcing is that companies don’t maintain their internal expertice if they use varible outsourcers. Once a project or contract term is over, the knowledge walks out the door to another company. You can’t use distributed problem solving like croudsourcing on proprietary efforts as those taskers can take that knowledge and experience to possible competitors. You can have people sign nondisclosures until your office is filled with paperwork; they can still use aspects or variations of what they learned at one company when working for another. And if they do, products will become genericized and the only thing keeping businesses above water will be monopolization and market share.

    Companies will still need to keep as many talented individuals internal or they will loose competitive advantage. Where they work is irrelevant. What they know and what they can do will remain important to employers, and they will want to keep those people as long as they can captialize on their experience.

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