The changing face of work: it’s a concept we’re living every single day here at CXC Global. And I say every single day – not just M-F – because we’re directly impacted by some of them. Changes such as….
- flexible workplace practices (we offer this to our staff)
- contract/contingent/freelance workers (we engage contractors AND we manage them on behalf of our clients)
- the gig economy (we access on an as-needs basis)
- social collaboration tools (we utilise for improved productivity and remote team-work)
So you can see we’re literally at the coalface of the changing face of work.
Here’s a few of our observations:
Flexible Workplace Practices
The growing trend in Australia, the US and across the developed world, that’s set to continue, is that as ageing workers start retiring and the – truly named – ‘Gen Z’ will soon be upon us in the workforce: one of the biggest impacts of this trend is access to the best & brightest talent.
‘Knowledge workers’ are on the decline. The experienced, well-credentialed, highly qualified workers are already – and will be increasingly – in huge demand.
To be able to attract and retain these workers, organisations need to think not only about compensation, but autonomy. Workers wanting a greater say in ‘how things are run’ is on the rise: so is working offsite or from home, and working with flexibility. The concept of work flexibility is a major attraction factor for quality talent.
With an estimated 40% of Australian workplaces expected to engage contract workers by 2020, this changing face of work is one of the biggest.
What are the drivers for this shift?
- projects that require specialist, high-end or hard-to-find skills
- keeps head-count costs down
- where there’s a skills shortage, contingent workers help to meet business needs
- reduced statutory obligations such as payroll tax & super; zero holiday, sick & long-service leave costs
- ability to scale up & down with ease & flexibility
…to name a few.
As today’s world of work is increasingly digitised, and flexible work practices prevail, the cost and productivity efficiencies being realised through the engagement of contingent workers is significant. As long as the risks associated with managing contractors is in check, organisations have much to enjoy through an efficient, well-managed contractor workforce.
The Gig Economy
The on-demand, gig or shift-worker economy has been a global phenomenon in the context of the changing face of work.
With organisations like Uber, AirTasker, Freelancer, Airbnb and Taskrabbit, becoming so successful and so ubiquitous, there’s an increasing suspicion that the 9-5 job will soon be a thing of the past.
And, with a fall in the rate that jobs are created & destroyed (destroyed, for example, by technical change or redundancy) challenges are thus presented for those seeking a ‘traditional’ job. In summary, there are less ‘traditional’ job openings, and with baby boomer sitting tight for longer, a new class of worker is willing to work ‘gigs’ as a career choice.
This is great for the economy – irrespective of the naysayers’ views of the gig-based work environment. We can thank Silicon Valley for the quick pay options available to university leavers and the other broad category of what were the ‘qualified unemployed’.
The multitude of tools available for communicating, storing, sharing and distributing data is nothing new. What IS on the rise, is the accessibility of workers & colleagues via the ever-present smartphone and the internet – welcome to the 24/7 work week.
As teams are dispersed across the globe (here at CXC Global Australia for example, our Head of Marketing is in Sydney, Marketing Manager in Melbourne, and Digital Marketing Manager in Ireland) being able to work collaboratively via converged platforms, makes for a happy, productive and engaged workforce.
If organisations are nimble and open-minded enough, social & technological collaboration tools have the potential to let ANY company find and engage the BEST person for the job….irrespective of geography.