A survey out last week found 30% of workers in New Zealand now work full or part time remotely. 11% of these stated they were working full time at home which is double when it was last measured by the company in 2006.
It found further expansion might be on the cards as well with 39% of people saying their work could be done remotely and 68% of those who don’t currently work at home would like to. One of the major advantages it identifies from this is that it would enable the person to live in a different town or city if they wanted to.Read more
A recent Huffington Post article by Susan Lund from McKinsey Global Institute tackles what the rise of the on-demand economy means for the future of work.
As new platforms like Upwork, TaskRabbit, Freelancer.com, and Uber emerge an increasing number of workers are shifting contractor type work relationships. As the article states “Some are freelancing by choice, relishing the opportunity to set their own schedules, choose their assignments and work independently. Others have turned to contingent work out of economic necessity.”Read more
Judy Wajcman has written an interesting piece in the Pacific Standard on working with constant connectivity in the future. She states:
“There was a time when work and home were distinct realms. The old industrial clock regulated our lives in discrete blocks of time and space, and we jealously guarded the separation between public and private life. No longer. The constant connectivity of mobile, digital technologies erases time zones and office walls. The traditional time/space of the week and weekend, and their characteristic social relations, are now porous as people increasingly work, play, consume, and interact anywhere, anytime.”Read more
This week, for the first time, I was on a panel with a hologram. It was also the first time I have been in an indoor meeting with a drone buzzing around. And all this at a conference of accountants. Not what you might expect, but Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand were holding an event to launch their FutureInc report and set about breaking quite a few stereotypes.Read more
Many studies have shown a large number of jobs at risk as a result of automation and news of jobs lost from automation are frequent. However despite this automation overall numbers of jobs have remained relatively stable. David Autor in an article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives recently looked into the reasons behind this.
Autor found while jobs have been lost these are mainly routine task jobs that are easily automated. Generally a computer can only replace a task if it is an easily understood and controlled process such as factory line assembly. Even Google’s driverless cars work by a large amount of pre-programming to guide them rather reacting to changing real life events and when a real life situation does not match their data need a human driver to take over. While learning computers are growing as a phenomenon their capabilities in the near future are limited more to predictions which will be right on average but can be horribly wrong as long as we cannot programme common sense.Read more
The on-demand economy and the rise in independent contractors is meaning less and less of the workforce being classed as an employee. This means they are no longer subject to basic employment protection including the minimum wage and do not have the ability to unionise.
In response to these issues the US Department of Labor released new guidelines on 15 July covering when a person is an employee. Under US law to employ means “to suffer or permit to work” and their courts have used an “economic realities” test to work out when someone is a contractor according to this definition. The courts there hold that anyone economically dependent on an employer is than an employee not a contractor.Read more
Om Malik has published an interesting article looking at how people today are constantly connected to the internet. This has seen shifts in service delivery to online platforms which sees the creation on an on-demand workforce like Uber. It raises the questions:
“What are the labor laws in a world where workforce is on demand? And an even bigger question is how are we as a society going to create rules, when data, feedback and, most importantly, reputation are part an always-shifting equation?”Read more
Job losses are a big topic in the future of work and many industries have been found to be at risk.
The Committee for Economic Development of Australia found in June that more than five million Australian jobs, almost 40 per cent were at risk of disappearing in the next 10 to 15 years due to computerisation and automation. The report notes:Read more
Is it time for coding to be taught in all our schools to prepare Kiwi kids for the Future of Work? Do we need to create digital apprenticeships? Would digital hubs help lure employers to our regions?
Future of Work Commission chair Grant Robertson says these are some of the important questions posed in Labour’s Future of Work Commission’s first discussion paper released today.Read more