Original article: Barbara Loynet
Freelancing, On-Demand Talent, Gig Economy, Platforms…
…Is this the end of work as we know it?
How are Information technology, telecommunications and the computerisation of business changing the way we work? And as a result, will the future of work be geared towards freelancing, being flexible and using on-demand talent?
In her Internet Trends Report 2015, KPCB’s ‘Queen of the Internet’ Mary Meeker had a full section on how technology was rapidly impacting jobs. While her 2016 report failed to directly reference freelance work per se, it did highlight the key trends that have implications for the ‘on demand’ economy.
Chandrika Pasricha, Founder and CEO of Flexing It, identified 4 major themes from Meeker’s report.
#1: The easy growth of the past 20-30 years is behind us
Because populations are now growing slower and ageing faster than previous years, the big jump in ‘internet penetration’ has already happened. Job creation will be harder and risks underlying businesses’ growth will remain high. Companies will want to keep costs more variable, and will do this by leveraging ‘on-demand’ skills in the freelancing economy.
#2: Millennials will be driving many businesses over the next few decades
Studies show that Millennials value flexibility and learning much higher than compensation growth. The near future will be led by a generation that prefers opting to work independently. Led by this freelancing generation, more organisations will be turning to alternative methods of attracting the top talent. Enter #3.
#3 Curated marketplaces will help scale businesses faster than ever before
Soon, businesses will replace personal networks with technology that sources new clients/talent. As more professionals explore flexible and project-based opportunities by seeking on-demand talent, curated freelancing marketplaces will be a great platform of discovery for both companies and freelancers.
#4 Communications and social platforms are becoming more visual and community-driven
Image-based discovery platforms are increasingly becoming avenues for shopping decisions. Messaging platforms (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, etc.) are also transitioning to enable business conversations from these social communications.
Read Pasricha’s full article here:
Mary Meeker Internet Trends 2016: What it tells us about the freelance economy without saying it
It’s not just Meeker and Pasricha who have commented on the shift in business thinking. The National Bureau of Economic Research recently said that the Internet is ‘changing the labor market and labor organizations in important ways’, and the Management Consulting firm Deloitte recently said that on-demand business models are ‘disrupting’ labor markets ‘radically and rapidly’. Their report stated:
‘Companies such as Airbnb and Uber…are not the only organizations profiting from the “gig economy”. Companies in all sectors…are tapping into freelance workers as a regular, manageable part of their workforces.
‘Cost structure is one factor driving this…the availability of talent is another.’
In the past decade, various online freelance marketplaces have emerged outside of the traditional staffing supply chain. More recently, large organisations have also begun to adapt these digital platform models for their own exclusive use. PricewaterhouseCoopers, for example, launched a marketplace for freelancers in February 2016. Talent Exchange is an online Work Intermediation Platform (WIP) that directly connects freelancers with internal PwC project teams.
For Andrew Karpie, author for Spendmatters.com, the launch of Talent Exchange is ‘a sign of the times.’ In his article Online Work Intermediation Platforms: the opportunities and challenges in Mid-2016, he explains that WIPs answer ‘the need to access and engage skilled talent in a time of shortage and the expanding popular awareness of freelance, gig and on-demand.’
So what does this mean for the future? Is this the end of traditional work as we know it?
It’s estimated that by 2020, 40% of the American workforce will be independent workers. Freelancing is certainly on the rise, propelled on both sides by cloud-based platforms: firms can easily find the skills they need from a global talent pool; freelancers can advertise their expertise through a trusted space.
Chandrika Pasricha believes that these changes are ‘driven by technology, economic uncertainty, and the expectations of those entering the workforce.’ The push towards ‘a more flexible, independent way of working,’ according to Pasricha, ‘is here to stay.’
Wooshii has been looking to drive these trends and help freelancers and businesses alike.
Freelance Creators (both video makers and animators) can find work, and businesses can engage with them for all their video needs.
Just recently, the Wooshii platform has been made directly available to companies and organisations as a white labelled platform.
Contact us to learn about this new Direct Access platform.