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The New Reality of Work
The future of work is already here; it’s just not evenly distributed
Curated by Denis Pennel
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Is The Employment Relationship Keeping Up With Business?

Is The Employment Relationship Keeping Up With Business? | The New Reality of Work |

I recently had a conversation on the nature of the employment relationship with Denis Pennel and how labor markets are changing in nature towards even greater short-term or contract work. If you read my earlier piece, an Oxford Economics – SAP SAP Successfactors study showed that 42% of companies are increasing their number of contingent workforce, seasonal employees or consultants. Yet there are still a number of factors that limit the freer flow of labor across the globalized economy.  We compared the states of employment relationships in Europe versus that in the USA, and still found both wanting.


Mr. Pennel is Managing Director of Ciett/EuroCiett, a global trade organization with members from the world’s largest staffing companies. Ciett works work with policy makers and influencers like the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank and others, focusing on what needs change to for the industry to grow. He is author of the French business book, Travailler pour soi: quel avenir pour le travail à l’heure de la révolution individualiste (Seuil, Sep 2013) – translated, “Work for yourself: The future of work in the hour of the individualist revolution”. He also writes a blog, La nouvelle réalité du travail(The new reality of work).


“In the past, we had one-size-fits-all, permanent [long-term employment] from 9 to 5. This does not exist any longer. In the future we will have people with not just one job but several. People will have several sources of income. This may be constrained in some way, but it will happen,” says Mr. Pennel.


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“The future of work is freelance” and 10 other lessons from #TFOW2015

“The future of work is freelance” and 10 other lessons from #TFOW2015 | The New Reality of Work |

“People are loyal to their art and their skill – not their employer,” said chair Jimmy Kyriacou on opening the very first Future of Work event, hosted by WeWork Moorgate.

“The future of work is freelance,” agreed Shib Mathew, CEO of freelance platform YunoJuno. “This is a global transformation of the labour market. The industrial revolution of our time.”

He pointed to stats that estimate half of all US workers will be freelance by 2020, with 20% of UK graduates now joining the labour market as freelancers.

“In the early 90s freelancers were seen as a lone wolf, a gun for hire, the person you got in when your favourite was away on holiday,” Mathew said.

“Now freelancers are the favourite option. They enable companies to respond to very specialist briefs they might not otherwise have been able to deliver.”

Flexible working ain’t nothing new

Amali de Alwis, CEO of Code First Girls, highlighted that Dame Steve Shirley started a software company in the early 60s called Freelancers International where 98% of the workforce was female, working around family and kids.

“14% of people in the UK regularly work from home and in London that goes up to 20%,” she said.

Flexible workers might make better workers

She also flagged research from Stanford University that found people who work from home are 13% more productive, “which equates to an extra hour of work per day, or an extra month per year. And they also take fewer sick days.

“But if you do it, you’ve got to have great communication skills. And you do have to consider how to create the right culture.”

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10 jobs that don’t yet exist, but will

10 jobs that don’t yet exist, but will | The New Reality of Work |

With technology moving so quickly, the modern business landscape is set to change dramatically in the next few decades. According to top-rated futurist speaker Thomas Frey, by 2030 a predicted 2 billion jobs will disappear, but plenty of new ones will replace them. There’s work, Jim, but not as we know it...

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John Lasschuit ®™'s curator insight, August 26, 1:23 PM

By Kerrie Brooks. 10 possible future jobs. 

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​Are we heading towards a jobless future?

​Are we heading towards a jobless future? | The New Reality of Work |

From the wheel to the steam engine, from the car to ‘New Horizons’ — an inter-planetary space probe capable of transmitting high-resolution images of Pluto and its moons — from the abacus to exascale super-computers, we have come a long way in our tryst with technology. Innovations are driving rapid changes in technology today and we are living in a world of perpetual technological change.

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John Lasschuit ®™'s curator insight, August 23, 8:59 AM

By Randeep Sudan and Darshan Yadunath. Very interesting post. Whether we will face the threat of a jobless future or not, the future of jobs and skills undoubtedly faces new challenges in the age of disruptive technological innovation

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The New Workplace: Why work isn't what it used to be

The New Workplace: Why work isn't what it used to be | The New Reality of Work |
Michael Robinson explores whether people expect less from their employers than they did a generation ago.
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How To Talk About The Future Of Work

How To Talk About The Future Of Work | The New Reality of Work |

The Future of Work is an incredibly popular topic these days. This great debate is also introducing new phrases to define specific components of how we work. If you’re unsure of what the language means or just want to learn more about the concepts, here’s a quick list of some key phrases being used in conversations:

- Radical transparency

- Employee engagement

- Remote work

- Digital nomads

- Gig economy


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From Old Work to New Work: From Silos to Flow

From Old Work to New Work: From Silos to Flow | The New Reality of Work |

We are living at a time when there are fundamental shifts in the way work is being done and will be done in the future. Two themes are emerging and they are in tension.


Firstly, work being done now will be taken over by automation and robots as society searches for new ways of achieve efficiency, speed and quality at scale. We might call this The Old Work which is about the head, not the heart. 


But there is a second theme emerging in the Future of Work. This is about the human need for deeper and more ‘authentic’ connections between customers and workforce members as they engage in authentic and open conversations through the power of today’s social and digital technologies.


On the one hand, new technologies are creating redundancy but on the other, social and digital technologies are morphing new ways of working which will see people connecting and collaborating to consume, share and make together to deliver and experience new ways of doing life-work as a living community.


The New Work in our Enterprises is to morph the culture and the experience from silo and part to the experience of being part of a Community of Belonging and Purpose.

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The future of labour: 'The Talent Stock Exchange'

The future of labour: 'The Talent Stock Exchange' | The New Reality of Work |

The labour market’s landscape is changing at a fast pace.
Personally, I am convinced that within the next five years, this landscape will depict a fundamental shift from ‘work agreements’ to ‘talent contracts’. Within ten years there will be a new world in which every individual is marketing his or her own talents and skills either independently or through an organized format.’
Talent contract©
Talent contracts will be known for its flexible attitude towards duration, be it extremely short-term (hours, days, weeks) or longer term (months, years). It will be directly connected to the talent and knowledge that needs to be delivered on, scarcity of talent and skill determine the tariff and the talent-contractor carries the risk.
Talent Stock Exchange©
I firmly belief in action-reaction. Following the above train of thoughts I foresee a movement in which talent groups unite in order to market themselves to employers in an organized manner. Is this the birth of the Talent Stock Exchange?
No matter how you put it, this is an interesting question because the role of the employer brand (as an integral part of brand-management) will only increase in importance. The labour market will be ruled more obviously by the principles of demand and supply due to the pressures of an ageing labour market and an increased degree of flexibility.

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Outsourcing tasks to virtual staff saves money and time

Outsourcing tasks to virtual staff saves money and time | The New Reality of Work |

Finding virtual staff through freelance marketplace Upwork cost Mr Sanders nothing, and it handles all the time sheet and payment administration. He has never met his virtual staff and feels no need to. He used Skype to interview them. “I wanted to see what they looked like.” He manages them through daily emails and twice-weekly Skype calls. They have been given agreed responsibilities with a preapproved number of hours per week.


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Are Uber Drivers Employees?

Are Uber Drivers Employees? | The New Reality of Work |

In the past century, laws designed to protect workers have proliferated, and the social safety net has expanded significantly, in ways that give employees benefits and security not available to independent contractors. Hiring employees costs businesses more than hiring independent contractors—estimates suggest that it can be twenty to thirty per cent more expensive. So companies have become remarkably inventive at finding ways to call workers contractors. A 2005 Cornell study found that roughly ten per cent of workers in New York State were miscategorized. Certain industries—trucking, construction, housekeeping—are notorious for doing this, but it happens everywhere. In the late nineties, Microsoft lost a major lawsuit because it had labelled some of its engineers contractors and denied them stock options and other benefits, even though they did essentially the same work as regular employees. More recently, FedEx settled a series of class-action suits brought by drivers who claimed that they had been misclassified.


The bigger issue here, though, is the outdated nature of our social safety net. It’s still dependent on the idea of the full-time employee, who gets health care, a pension, unemployment insurance, and so on from one company. That worked fine in a world of stable employment, but lots of Americans no longer live in that world and plenty more will be joining them. And, as Sundararajan says, “It makes no sense to have a well-developed safety net for one category of employment and virtually none for other kinds of productive work.” Obamacare was a step in the right direction, and Senator Mark Warner, of Virginia, has suggested that we could use a similar system for benefits like workers’ comp and unemployment insurance. Work is changing. The protection we offer workers should change as well. ♦


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McJobs and UberJobs

McJobs and UberJobs | The New Reality of Work |

The fundamental problem is that in America, as in many other rich countries, employment law has failed to keep up with the changing realities of modern work. Its labour rules are rooted in a landmark piece of legislation, the Fair Labour Standards Act, passed in 1938 during Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency. In those days a far larger proportion of American men worked in manufacturing; most women did not work; and the difference between employees, who worked full-time for a company, and contractors, who were typically tradesmen such as plumbers, seemed much clearer. The post-war growth of franchising, and the expansion of companies like Amway and Avon that used freelance door-to-door sellers, began to blur the distinction. Now, the “on-demand” economy is all but obliterating it, by letting people sell their labour and rent out their assets—from cars to apartments—in a series of short-term assignments arranged by smartphone app.

That the law is so dated suggests that judges should exercise as light a touch as possible. The franchise model has thrived because it allows local entrepreneurs to join forces with a global goliath to scale up their businesses quickly while operating them according to local labour-market conditions. Forcing McDonald’s to become a co-employer would expose those franchisees to co-ordinated union action and make it much more difficult for them to respond to local circumstances.


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5 Workplace Trends That Are Making Your Job Harder

5 Workplace Trends That Are Making Your Job Harder | The New Reality of Work |
Some recent workplace trends are good ones, such as the increase in telecommuting, a growing call for paid sick leave and the gradually closing pay gap between men and women. The percentage of the labor force that works in support positions, like administrative assistants, has been declining over the last few decades. In addition to big things like support positions, many companies are also cutting lots of little things that made life at work a bit more pleasant, such as disposable utensils in the office kitchen or complimentary soda in the refrigerator.

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A world without work

A world without work | The New Reality of Work |

The end of work is still just a futuristic concept for most of the United States, but it is something like a moment in history for Youngstown, Ohio, one its residents can cite with precision: September 19, 1977.

For much of the 20th century, Youngstown’s steel mills delivered such great prosperity that the city was a model of the American dream, boasting a median income and a homeownership rate that were among the nation’s highest. But as manufacturing shifted abroad after World War  II, Youngstown steel suffered, and on that gray September afternoon in 1977, Youngstown Sheet and Tube announced the shuttering of its Campbell Works mill. Within five years, the city lost 50,000 jobs and $1.3 billion in manufacturing wages. The effect was so severe that a term was coined to describe the fallout: regional depression.


In the past few years, even as the United States has pulled itself partway out of the jobs hole created by the Great Recession, some economists and technologists have warned that the economy is near a tipping point. When they peer deeply into labor-market data, they see troubling signs, masked for now by a cyclical recovery. And when they look up from their spreadsheets, they see automation high and low—robots in the operating room and behind the fast-food counter. They imagine self-driving cars snaking through the streets and Amazon drones dotting the sky, replacing millions of drivers, warehouse stockers, and retail workers. They observe that the capabilities of machines—already formidable—continue to expand exponentially, while our own remain the same. And they wonder: Is any job truly safe?

Futurists and science-fiction writers have at times looked forward to machines’ workplace takeover with a kind of giddy excitement, imagining the banishment of drudgery and its replacement by expansive leisure and almost limitless personal freedom. And make no mistake: if the capabilities of computers continue to multiply while the price of computing continues to decline, that will mean a great many of life’s necessities and luxuries will become ever cheaper, and it will mean great wealth—at least when aggregated up to the level of the national economy.

Denis Pennel's insight:


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Freelance, auto-entrepreneurs, slashers: doit-on dire adieu au salariat ?

Freelance, auto-entrepreneurs, slashers: doit-on dire adieu au salariat ? | The New Reality of Work |

« Métro, boulot, dodo », une expression bientôt d’un autre âge ? L’Organisation internationale du travail insiste sur la transformation de l’emploi


Les faits – Le travail salarié ne concerne désormais que la moitié des travailleurs dans le monde. Dans le même temps, l’activité professionnelle indépendante gagne du terrain. Aux Etats-Unis, un tiers de la population active est à son compte.

« L’un de mes salariés a commencé en freelance et on a réussi à l’embaucher derrière. » Marion Carrette, fondatrice de la plateforme de location de voitures entre particuliers Ouicar, l’admet : elle doit régulièrement convaincre ses collaborateurs d’accepter de signer un contrat de travail classique. « C’est de plus en plus dur de les recruter en tant que salariés », s’amuse-t-elle sans leur jeter la pierre. Un temps employée, l’entrepreneure a du mal à répondre lorsqu’on lui demande ce qu’elle regrette de ses années de salariat.


Rien d’illogique à cela pour Denis Pennel, directeur général de la Confédération internationale des entreprises de recrutement et d’intérim : « Le salariat ne correspond plus à notre relation à l’autorité. » Pour lui, renoncer à une partie de sa liberté afin de travailler sous le contrôle d’un supérieur hiérarchique renvoie à un système révolu. « Dans un certain nombre d’économies avancées, on observe une tendance à la baisse de la part d’emplois salariés, ce qui marque un tournant par rapport au schéma traditionnel », pointe l’Organisation internationale du travail (OIT) dans un rapport publié en mai. Ainsi, 40 % des travailleurs américains devraient être installés à leur compte d’ici 2020.


dominique turcq's curator insight, Today, 5:16 AM

Dans le débat sur la place que prendront les non salariés dans l'avenir, les publications et travaux de Denis Pennel permettent de se faire une idée assez claire des enjeux. 

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Technology has created more jobs than it has destroyed, says 140 years of data

Technology has created more jobs than it has destroyed, says 140 years of data | The New Reality of Work |

In the 1800s it was the Luddites smashing weaving machines. These days retail staff worry about automatic checkouts. Sooner or later taxi drivers will be fretting over self-driving cars.

The battle between man and machines goes back centuries. Are they taking our jobs? Or are they merely easing our workload?

A study by economists at the consultancy Deloitte seeks to shed new light on the relationship between jobs and the rise of technology by trawling through census data for England and Wales going back to 1871.


Their conclusion is unremittingly cheerful: rather than destroying jobs, technology has been a “great job-creating machine”. Findings by Deloitte such as a fourfold rise in bar staff since the 1950s or a surge in the number of hairdressers this century suggest to the authors that technology has increased spending power, therefore creating new demand and new jobs.


Their study, shortlisted for the Society of Business Economists’ Rybczynski prize, argues that the debate has been skewed towards the job-destroying effects of technological change, which are more easily observed than than its creative aspects.


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Back to the Future for Work

Back to the Future for Work | The New Reality of Work |
What if we’re slowly, or not so slowly, giving up on the idea of work?


Most discussion of the future of work assumes that the work, or the lack of it, is our coming problem. But what if we’ve got the question the wrong way around? What if we’re slowly, or not so slowly, giving up on the idea of work? After all, we all know that most work is dull. And even the interesting stuff is exploitative, somewhere along the line.


The thought struck me while reading Dan Hancox’ book The Village Against The World, about the anarcho-syndicalist village of Marinaleda, in Andalusia. After 20 years of intense political struggle, the village won some land for itself, and later added some food processing plants. Unemployment there is five or six per cent, a fraction of the level in other parts of Andalusia. But the young people, generally, are less willing to work in either. Work in the fields is hard; work in the processing plants is boring. And this is, pretty much, a universal truth.

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The New World of Work: recovery driven by rise in temp jobs

The New World of Work: recovery driven by rise in temp jobs | The New Reality of Work |

Denis Pennel, managing director of Ciett, the international organisation for private employment agencies, says attitudes are also changing as technology and globalisation start to reshape the world of work. He thinks we have reached “the tipping-point of the employer-employee relationship” as both employers and some employees — particularly those with valuable skills — seize the chance for more flexibility.


dominique turcq's curator insight, August 19, 3:17 AM

The tipping point is an interesting concept. There are probably several tipping points for several categories of workers, the interesting question will be which legal framework will first accept the tipping point as a driver for change. 

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The rise of the freelance workforce

The rise of the freelance workforce | The New Reality of Work |

One of the hottest topics in the future of work right now is the rise of the on-demand workforce and rightly so. 

The Freelancers Union estimates that 34% of the US workforce is already freelancing. That’s 53 million Americans and by 2020 it’s predicted to rise to 40%. So it should come as no surprise that futurists like Jacob Morgan are pointing to this as a defining dimension of the New Way to Work.


Strangely though, freelancing isn’t an entirely new concept. Pre the industrial revolution freelance workers were the most common working relationship between employer and employee.

Fast forward to the present day and we’re seeing a fundamental shift in the way people have been working, just take a look into any Starbucks and you’ll find digital natives head-buried into their laptops and mobile devices.


And the phenomenon is gaining momentum as a new generation takes over the workforce with their own views of career, purpose and life-style.

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Do we really think the future of work involves our replacement by robots?

Do we really think the future of work involves our replacement by robots? | The New Reality of Work |

A report published recently by my former colleagues at CBRE called “Fast Forward 2030: The Future of Work and the Workplace” claims that by 2025 so many people will be more interested in being happy and having creative roles that up to 50 percent of current occupations will be defunct. 35 years elapsed between the release of Orwell’s 1984 and the eponymous year and very little of Orwell’s dystopian vision came to pass. 2030 is a scant 16 years away so, even if one takes the exponential pace of change into account, it’s perhaps a bit of a stretch to think robots will have taken their seat at the table in quite the way we appear to think they will. Also unchanged one assumes are the attitudes of those who have a vested interest in the status quo or in dictating where the benefits of change will fall.

Even those funky guys in the Valley have skin in the great game and are fast outpacing their pinstriped brethren in creative accounting practices. Google gets great press for turning disused trams into shelters for the homeless but they’d get even better press if they paid their taxes so we could start to do more to tackle inequality.

Of course, as the CBRE report suggests, a lot of youngsters these days want happiness over money and their folks now aspire that they have happiness over money too. Which is great news for the tech and media corporations who provide that happiness. Hence the relentless churn of new iPhone models out of Cupertino, smart watches and other wearable tech, the X Factor, America’s Got Talent, Strictly Come Dancing and The Batchelor, One Direction, Justin Bieber and the Jonas brothers (I don’t know, I had to use Google for that last bit). And it’s not just tech and media companies that want us to be happy too. BP do a really nice line in environmental concern to make sure we’re happy to continue to consume their product. But lift any nearby rock and you’ll still find an oil-gummed guillemot struggling for breath. If one were being cynical (or sceptical) all these gewgaws could be viewed as a sop to the masses. A “let them eat cake” from the Masters of the Universe. Happy, but at what cost?


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A Letter to Millennials: Don't Sleep Through the Revolution

A Letter to Millennials: Don't Sleep Through the Revolution | The New Reality of Work |

It is time to wake up and begin to think about a digital renaissance. 


We are only a few years into the sharing economy, but one thing is clear: As with Google, most of the economic gains will flow to those who own the platform rather than to those who do the work.

We have become convinced that only machines and corporations make the future, but I don’t think that is true. In thinking about the role of the humanist in our technology-driven future, I was drawn to a sermon Martin Luther King preached at the National Cathedral in Washington two weeks before he was killed. At the outset he told the story of how Rip Van Winkle had passed a sign with a picture of King George III of England on the way up the mountain where he fell into a long sleep. When he came down the mountain, the same sign bore a picture of George Washington.


This reveals that the most striking thing about the story of Rip Van Winkle is not merely that Rip slept 20 years, but that he slept through a revolution. While he was peacefully snoring up in the mountain, a revolution was taking place that would change the course of history — and Rip knew nothing about it. He was asleep. Yes, he slept through a revolution.


I doubt that anyone would quarrel with the notion that the last 20 years of technological disruption have constituted a revolution, but I want to understand just who has been sleeping through this revolution and who has been awake, creating the moral, political, and technical architecture of the world our children will inhabit

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Kenneth Mikkelsen's curator insight, July 21, 5:42 PM

In the next 20 years, millions of the jobs you are training for might be automated. The Economist recently ran an article in which they projected the probability of your job being taken by a robot in that time period. Citing work from two Oxford University economists, they wrote that “jobs are at a high risk of being automated in 47 percent of the occupational categories into which work is customarily sorted.”

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10 C-Suite Jobs Of The Future

10 C-Suite Jobs Of The Future | The New Reality of Work |

Step aside, chief innovation officers, and make way for chief automation officers and chief freelance relationship officers.


With questions about the future of middle management, many believe that corporations will soon beef up their core leadership teams, allowing them to keep foundational business knowledge close to the top while delegating the increasingly complex attributes of the modern organization to in-house, executive-level experts.


These changes are expected to bring a slew of new positions into the C-suite, currently occupied by members with positions like CIO (chief information officer), CFO (chief financial officer), CMO (chief marketing officer), COO (chief operating officer) and of course CEO (chief executive officer).


With many companies already experimenting with holacracy and flattened organizational structures, some believe that the anti-middle-management floodgates are about to burst. "You can't be competitive if somebody else has just eliminated this whole layer of management, and suddenly their overhead costs shrink by 10%," said Thomas Frey, executive director and senior futurist of The DaVinci Institute, a futurist think-tank.

"As we get rid of middle management, and we're hiring a lot of freelancers at the bottom, then you have a relatively small organization, and the people at the top are the harbingers of the high institutional knowledge."

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John Lasschuit ®™'s curator insight, July 15, 4:39 AM

We will be dazzled by all the new acronyms. #CEO, #CUEO #CAO #CFRO, #CIPO, #CDO, #CPO, #CCO, #CHRO, #CAO. Maybe if we skip the 'Chief' and 'Officer' which occur in every job title (everyone's a chief and officer) we can think of titles that actually decribe the function.

By Jared Lindzon

dominique turcq's curator insight, July 23, 11:24 AM

The exec team promises to be a big room... :)

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Self-employed workers are the future. We need a fair deal for them

Self-employed workers are the future. We need a fair deal for them | The New Reality of Work |

With more than one in seven workers now self-employed in the UK, it is no wonder policymakers are finally sitting up and taking notice. At the most recent prime minister’s questions, David Cameron announced the launch of a reviewinto how the self-employed can be better supported. We urgently need a fairer deal for those going it alone and this review couldn’t have come at a better time.


We have witnessed a meteoric rise in self-employment in recent years. There are now 4.5 million individuals working in this way, accounting for an incredible two-thirds of new jobs since 2008.

A recent study from the RSA demonstrated how microbusinesses, including sole traders, help to spur productivity, innovation and economic growth. It makes a strong case that the growth in self-employment “should be taken as a sign of a prosperous nation transitioning into a different kind of economy”, based largely on the emergence of new technologies and rising skill levels.


Indeed, we have seen a structural shift in the labour market, with people seeking greater autonomy over how they work. This makes people happier in their work, and the whole economy benefits from the flexible expertise and innovation that independent professionals and the self-employed can deliver.


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What Hollywood Can Teach Us About the Future of Work

What Hollywood Can Teach Us About the Future of Work | The New Reality of Work |

In our increasingly automated and global economy, every business is becoming a little like show business.


This approach to business is sometimes called the “Hollywood model.” A project is identified; a team is assembled; it works together for precisely as long as is needed to complete the task; then the team disbands. This short-­term, project-­based business structure is an alternative to the corporate model, in which capital is spent up front to build a business, which then hires workers for long-­term, open-­ended jobs that can last for years, even a lifetime. It’s also distinct from the Uber-­style “gig economy,” which is designed to take care of extremely short-­term tasks, manageable by one person, typically in less than a day.


With the Hollywood model, ad hoc teams carry out projects that are large and complex, requiring many different people with complementary skills. The Hollywood model is now used to build bridges, design apps or start restaurants. Many cosmetics companies assemble a temporary team of aestheticians and technical experts to develop new products, then hand off the actual production to a factory, which does have long-­term employees. (The big studios, actually, work the same way: While the production of the movie is done by temps, marketing and distribution are typically handled by professionals with long-­term jobs.)

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John Lasschuit ®™'s curator insight, July 5, 2:53 PM

By Adam Davidson. "More of us will see our working lives structured around short-term, project-based teams rather than long-term, open-ended jobs". I couldn't agree more.

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You may not like it, but the "uberisation" of the workplace is a new revolution

You may not like it, but the "uberisation" of the workplace is a new revolution | The New Reality of Work |

Think Uber, Spotify, Netflix and Airbnb. New ‘Uber-like’ business models are now being embraced in the field of employment too. The changing nature of employment relationships will require a complete overhaul of welfare and social security systems, writes Denis Pennel.

Work and the workplace are witnessing a revolution. To be successful organisations must react quickly, reduce product lifecycles and focus on core business and delivery.

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In the future, employees won’t exist

In the future, employees won’t exist | The New Reality of Work |

Contract work is becoming the new normal. Consider Uber: The ride-sharing startup has 160,000 contractors, but just 2,000 employees. That’s an astonishing ratio of 80 to 1. And when it comes to a focus on contract labor, Uber isn’t alone. Handy, Eaze and Luxe are just a few of the latest entrants into the “1099 Economy.”

Though they get the most attention, it’s not just on-demand companies that employ significant contract workforces. Microsoft has nearly two-thirds as many contractors as full-time employees. Even the simplest business structures, sole proprietorships, have increased their use of contract workers nearly two-fold since 2003.

Four trends are converging to make contracting more attractive for both employers and workers, and reshaping how businesses and employees look at the traditional full-time model.


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Your Guide to the Rapidly Changing Future of Work

Your Guide to the Rapidly Changing Future of Work | The New Reality of Work |

Do you know someone who has changed jobs in the past five years? Perhaps more than once? Staying on a single career track with one company may have been considered normal 50 years ago, but not today. According to a report in early 2014 by the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer was 4.6.

Advances in technology, globalization, increases in automation and the spread of digital interconnectivity have fundamentally changed work for both the employer and employee. Harvard Business Review describes the impact of this quickly evolving landscape as having "demolished the traditional employer-employee compact and its accompanying career escalator." How then can professionals and employers alike thrive in the future workplace where change is the constant? What will keep employees engaged and allow employers to retain their top talent?

David Jones, a principal at the Microsoft Envisioning Center, has had a front row seat to the rapid evolution of work, while playing a lead in advancing it forward. "To understand the changes happening in today's work environment, you really need to start with the Industrial Revolution. During that period we broke work into very little pieces, and employment was based on being able to perform a single task with maximum efficiency," Jones shared. "Now, with digitization and automation, those repetitive jobs -- and the accompanying mindset -- are becoming obsolete."


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