On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy
Category Archives: Alternatives to the 9-to-5 Job
It’s no secret that the modern workforce is changing. In an era where more value is being placed on workplace autonomy, flexibility and freedom, the gig economy is becoming the new normal. In fact, 36% of workers in the U.S. work in the gig economy (in some form or another). Spurred by technology, the gig economy has helped create a buyer’s market for many job seekers, offering businesses who utilize it’s services the agility businesses need to stay competitive.
It’s likely that you’ve heard of the gig economy as “side hustles” offered through on demand platforms like Uber, Amazon Flex and Postmates. However, the gig economy encompasses a broad range of workers, that are simply “independent.” This means that gig work is everything from rideshare and delivery services to freelance writers, designers, and other contractors.
In the gig economy, there are two sides: that of independent workers and that of businesses who utilize the services of independent workers. To help you better understand the history of the gig economy, how each side works best practices for businesses and independent workers. Startup insurance company, Embroker, put together this comprehensive guide that covers all facets.
For example, in their gig economy for businesses chapter, they cover best practices for startups and companies to best utilize the skills of independent workers. Some of these include:
- Identifying your needs and skills gaps.
- Developing a long-term strategy that lets you take advantage of on demand talent
- Utilizing different platforms like Upwork, Freelancer and others to find experts that work best with your business
- Different ways to efficiently operate with a blended workforce.
Software, mobile development, SaaS, and other tech companies that hire remotely are a dime-a-dozen: companies like Stripe, Buffer, and Coffee Meets Bagel are just a handful of those that benefit from working with top developers all over the world.
Remote workers are penetrating virtually every industry, not just technology. A survey by Upwork found that 63% of companies now have remote workers, and 90% of those working remotely plan to continue doing so for the rest of their careers. Even e-commerce companies are shifting to a remote-friendly culture. While it may seem disjointed to design and produce a physical product with a distributed team, these e-commerce retailers, wholesalers, and brands are harnessing the benefits of remote work. Here’s how they do it. Read more of this post
It’s proven that remote teams work more productively than teams in an office environment. One survey found 77% of workers were more productive when working remotely. Another found that 76% of workers were distracted less often than when working in an office.
Remote workers may be more productive, but there are still challenges to working efficiently in a distributed team. Coordinating developers across time zones can present a logistical headache. Remote developer teams need the right tools and platforms to ensure they can share work efficiently and capture the full benefits of productive remote work. These are the best ten tools for helping distributed teams of developers coordinate. Read more of this post
The future of work is remote, and in no industry is this truer than in programming and software development. A globalized workforce allows companies to harness the skills of programmers from around the world, saving time and money in the process. Many companies, including Stripe, ESPN, and Coffee Meets Bagel, have capitalized on working with top developers no matter where they live. Here are some of the main benefits companies gain by working with remote software teams. Read more of this post
Many hopeful freelancers start their business adventure so they can take control over their time and finances. As a self-employed freelancer, you get to set your own hours and decide how much you make based on how hard you work. You can decide to pursue projects that interest you the most, and ultimately do your best work. The appeal of starting off on your own is the reason why a third of Americans are currently freelance.
If you’ve ever considered quitting your day job in favor for self-employment, you’ve also probably had a few reservations as well. While the work is more flexible, so is the income. There’s less security when it comes to benefits and salary, which can land you in hot water if you don’t have a solid savings. In addition, finding and pitching your own clients can be incredibly intimidating. The fact of the matter is that starting your own venture, whether as a freelancer or entrepreneur can a difficult process.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it. With a solid plan for how you’ll make the transition financially, you can make the leap. To get you started on planning for unexpected self-employment expenses, Turbo created this helpful infographic. By making a few easy cuts, you can make your dream of quitting your day job a reality. Check it out below:
It’s a much-debated topic and a growing trend, but most companies still don’t seem to take a deliberate approach to flexible working. Instead, they just offer a vague middle ground of “flexible working” on a case by case basis.
There are strong arguments for encouraging remote working and, conversely, arguments for bringing everyone together under the one roof. As recent examples highlight, there is no “one size fits all” answer. The key is to tailor your company’s approach to your objectives, operating rhythm, desired culture and workforce composition.
Back to the office
Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer famously abolished working from home in 2013, saying that “people are more productive when they’re alone, but they’re more collaborative and innovative when they’re together. Some of the best ideas come from pulling two different ideas together.”
It’s a powerful argument. It also contains an inherent assumption that working from home increases productivity, which may not always be true. But Mayer had to do something to shake up Yahoo!’s culture and she put collaboration ahead of flexibility, which is what she felt the company needed at that point in time.
In 2014 Reddit decided to consolidate its workforce in one location, San Francisco, and abolished remote working. Reddit’s reasons were similar to Yahoo!’s.
More flexible companies
Now here’s an interesting article about transforming your office into a home office. Ben Lempert’s article, Why Every Office Should be a Home Office, provides various suggestions for making your office more comfortable, healthy, and conducive to focused work along with advocating for a results-oriented work environment. Take a look at this list and let me know what works for you!
Who doesn’t love a home office? You can show up to work in sweatpants, you can get your laundry done, and you can eat when and what you want. Honestly, it’s awesome.
There are plenty of articles out there telling you how to set up a home office to avoid distractions. But what happens when you have to work in — gulp — an actual office? You know, not at home?
My proposal: start thinking of every office as a “home office.” This means: make every office a place where you can be relaxed and productive, comfortable and focused.
How to do that? Here are some suggestions.
Read more at Why Every Office Should be a Home Office
Here is another upbeat, optimist article on working remotely by Michelle Kiss at Clicktime.com. In this article, she provides valuable some tips for surmounting common problems regarding remote team performance (communication, accountability, etc.) and social cohesion. In Managing a Remote Team: How to Do It Well, she writes:
Remote teams are the future. Heck, remote teams are the present! Thanks to a host of factors — improved technology, the high cost of rent, a more globalized workforce — more and more companies are choosing a remote model.
Going remotely can pay plenty of dividends. It lets you hire the best employees, without being bound by geography, it significantly cuts down overhead, it helps employees maintain a healthier work-life balance (no commuting time!). When done well, it can respect employees’ time and boost their effort.
But it also poses some potential problems. Here are some crucial steps you can take to avoid them.
Read more at Managing a Remote Team: How to Do It Well
Submitted by Jake Rheude, Director of Marketing at Red Stag Fulfillment
Making extra money online and escaping the nine to five grind often becomes possible when you set up a stream of passive income to supplement your regular income. A great way to do this is to sell products on Amazon.
While it can seem daunting at first, it’s best to remember that the people who sell you products on Amazon are largely normal folks. Anyone can sell on Amazon. All they have to do is choose the right product, set up a profile, and find a fulfillment provider.
Getting Set Up on Amazon – First Steps
Early this year I mentioned that I won’t be authoring any more posts about working remotely myself. I still welcome content submissions on this topic however. That said, the following content on advantages and disadvantages of working from home was submitted by Arabella Ignacio from Clicktime.com. I believe the author made wonderful points and agree with the takeaway message to know yourself. In Top 10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Working from Home, Michelle Kiss writes:
Let’s be real, no matter where you’re working from, you’re still doing just that: working.
So, should you work from home or work from the office? It honestly comes down to what environment you’ll be most effective in. (And how nice your home office is.)
One person’s productivity booster can be another’s distracting disaster.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of the classic benefits that working from home!