Societal Structures Influencing Telework Adoption Rate

Previously, we explored cultural as well as psychological and sociological factors determining receptivity to telework implementation in various regions of the world. As you may have guessed, there are still more angles to explore. Here I’ll discuss some societal structures that impact telework adoption as outlined in Growing the Virtual Workplace: The Integrative Value Proposition for Telework by Alain Verbeke, Nathan Greidanus, and Laura Hambley with support from the recently published Remote: Office Not Required by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried. Continue reading

Unemployed United: Creating real opportunities for the unemployed

Unemployed United

(Clicking on this image will take you to the Unemployed United website.)

One of the most gratifying experiences of Internet surfing is stumbling upon other people’s great ideas, and I find that there are quite a few great ideas out there that deserve a lot more attention! In this post I’d like to draw your attention to one such idea that developed into a start-up company called Unemployed United. They won’t simply be providing another platform with smart features to search for work on. In what other ways do they aim to help, you ask?

Unemployed United’s stated mission is to assist those unemployed in the USA, UK, and Ireland to find or create jobs, and this is to be achieved “either by means of initial business investment or extra training to improve their chances of becoming employed. €10,000 per month will go to our unemployed members and we intend to increase this amount as the popularity of the website increases.” I must say that I quite like that intent to help give people a nudge in the direction out of unemployment they wish to take. Continue reading

The Robot Economy’s Less Obvious Dangers

Lynn Patra:

Excellent points and questions raised by Jane Watson with regard to growing job insecurity and what may come out of this wave of creative destruction. I especially appreciated the section on humankind’s resiliency and how difficult it is to foresee what kind of work we’d create for ourselves. Terrific analysis!

Originally posted on Talent Vanguard:

We live in an age of job insecurity. If it wasn’t enough to be worried about being ‘restructured’ or outsourced, the recent surge in press about the robot workforce of the future gives us another reason to toss and turn at night.

“You’d better be nice to the robots”

The chatter about how many of us will be replaced by robots in the coming years has reached fever pitch of late. Some of it is rehashed fear-mongering (“Just look at what happened to the travel agents!”), but others raise provocative points about what the future of work will look like. Recent studies and analyses indicate that automation has the potential to make 45% – 70% of today’s jobs obsolete in the coming decades, and that a key competency for the employee of the future may be the ability to work alongside collaborative robots.

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Coping with Job Loss and Uncertain Times

English: Job loss chart from BLS data here: ht...

English: Job loss chart from BLS data here: http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet?series_id=CES0000000001&output_view=net_1mth. Prelim data for Dec 2009 and Jan 2010. Made with OpenOffice.org Calc. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a previous post, I mentioned the possibility of a future in which a greater proportion of the population work as free agents (such as described by Daniel Pink’s Free Agent Nation). Although this is an ideal that I would embrace for myself, the picture isn’t all rosy as this also means fewer secure employment opportunities being available for those who want them. The days of having a secure job at the same organization for one’s entire work-life have declined indeed, however it’s become apparent that not everyone has made the adjustment in mindset. Furthermore, there are many who are ill-prepared for, and/or don’t welcome, the difficulties associated with more autonomy and taking a more entrepreneurial approach with their careers.

Apparently, there appears to be room for debate about automation being the cause behind the decline of jobs (see Robert D. Atkinson’s post – an explanation which, I’ll admit, is new to me). In addressing a transition to a more entrepreneurial way of life however, I agree with many of the recommendations proposed by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, authors of Race Against the Machine. In this book, they listed changes to policies and societal infrastructures to support people as conditions necessitate a greater need to be one’s own boss – subject matter that I’ll cover in a future post.

For now however, I’d like to share some tips, videos, and articles that may prove helpful in putting you in the mind-frame to think about important steps to be taken if you happen to be dealing with job loss under these current conditions. Continue reading

How to make your case for teleworking

Lynn Patra:

“What can individual employees do aside from passively waiting to see whether or not there’ll ever be interest from those at the top?” is a big question that has been asked of me as a telework advocate. Christine Bhatkar’s post answers this question by outlining how to approach this diplomatically. Her post comes complete with a practical steps you can take to make the idea of establishing a remote work arrangement more palatable to key people in your organization. Read on!

Originally posted on Third Workplace:

working remotely

Getting your boss and HR to agree to teleworking can feel like pulling teeth. No doubt, you already know the benefits of working remotely but it can be hard to put that in a proposal that is appealing to management. If you’re looking to make your case but you don’t know where to start, try these tips below.

1. Explain how telecommuting will benefit the company directly. If it means you don’t have to write an expense report then bring that up. If it means you can log on earlier each day then mention that. Most businesses want to know how it will affect the bottom line, so be sure to highlight any cost reducing benefits. Try putting together cost/benefit analysis.

2. Include recent studies that show the benefits of working remotely.HBR recently posted an article that talks about the benefits of telecommuting. Bring these studies with you to…

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The Gig Economy: Hope for Renaissance Men and Women?

English: Self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. R...

Stories of young adults facing the realities of advancing in today’s work world (like this one here) bring to mind one of the worst aspects of working in the silos of the Industrial Age. Those of us who want to make a living off of our desire to excel in multiple fields are constantly reminded that having anything more than a monotonous list of the same roles on our résumé or LinkedIn profile page is the “kiss of death.” Yet, those of us who count ourselves as polymaths have experienced how expertise in one field, through providing a fresh perspective and broadened understanding, enables us to make valuable contributions to work in another. Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world where we can point to our multifaceted experiences, flexible minds, and insatiable curiosity as advantages and be taken seriously? Continue reading

Freedom = Loyalty: Understanding the Self-Employed Mindset

Since the rise of the Industrial Age, the vast majority of the population have chosen to go with regular employment in order to make a living due to existing incentives (e.g., pensions, benefits, etc.). Since this trend has been the norm for quite some time, self-employment has become perceived as “the ugly stepchild” – something people turn to when they “can’t get a job.” It’s true that a good contingent of people are forced into this situation, however there are still many who purposely choose it. Are they crazy?

Often I’ve heard that those who prefer regular employment and those who prefer self-employment don’t understand each other. Indeed, it seems to be the case of different values, motivations, and fears. I believe this gap between those who have an employee mindset and those who have a self-employment mindset is encapsulated well by one of my favorite Aesop’s fables, “The Dog and the Wolf.” For those who are unfamiliar with this story, here it is in the video below: Continue reading