In part one, we discussed how the New World of Work has changed the very dynamic of our workforce. Workers are virtualized, work is fractionalized and talent is globalized. That is fine, but why do we care? In other words, what are the benefits, and how do we ensure we receive them?
The impact of virtual outsourcing means that you no longer have to pay people for the time they don’t work. There are no salaries, benefits or overhead associated with housing a workforce. Most independent agents are paid by the job, contract, or by each minute or hour they actually work. This means your company saves money in the long run.
Your operating costs will also be lower since you don’t need to find floor space for these workers. That means you can ‘double’ the size of your business, or at least your revenue, without doubling your office space. By using crowdsourcing tools like Elance and oDesk, you can also ramp up and down quickly, so you can accept that big project even though you don’t currently have the staff. You can get the staff you need on almost a moment’s notice – and not just bodies, but talented professionals who are committed to providing quality work.
This dynamic empowers the worker, creating an environment of high levels of motivation, morale and overall satisfaction.
Organizations Must Change
Professionals choosing their work, hours and who they work with ensure positive results for the organization. While there may be some exceptions, outsourcing to independent contractors is the best way to get the highest skilled workers who are motivated to perform. These people desire freedom and financial security that comes from having their own business from home. Your organization can benefit in unusual ways using a virtualized workforce including adopting a pay for performance model, giving both the contractor and the company opportunity to maximize a specific project.
Any organization desiring to capitalize on this new world of work must adopt a different model. The fractionalized work requires that all the pieces be pulled together at the end in a cohesive set of deliverables. Also, communication with a virtual team is key to ensuring a positive outcome. Many organizations are not quite ready to make the leap. However, the time to do so is now.
The U.S. Is Ahead…and Behind
In spite of the fact that the majority of fractionalized work comes from companies inside the U.S., our workforce is not adopting the virtualized work platform, making us behind in the race. Countries that currently lead in the virtualized talent war include: The Philippines (with 37% of their workforce in the cloud), India, with 28%, Bangladesh with 7% and Pakistan with 7%. The U.S. is currently lagging in virtual workforce numbers, with 9% of our workforce utilizing this powerful model.
What Can We Do?
Many people don’t like change and will go out of their way to avoid it. However, change is evitable, particularly with the rapid pace that impacts our world through continued changes in technology. In spite of the technological advances, however, our workplace has remained basically the same since the 1920’s, when companies discovered that it was more efficient to get all the workers together under one roof to maximize communication. Now people are making phone calls from the summit of Mount Everest, literally the ‘ends of the earth’, so communication is no longer an valid reason to bring employees together, or to limit your talent pool to a fifty mile radius from your building.
We all have to change the way we think about work, the workforce in general, and how to find the best people. Adopting a new way of thinking will propel the workforce in the U.S. to more readily embrace fractionalized, virtualized work. As the country that leads in the use of virtualized workers, isn’t it time we also had the largest virtualized workforce? Time to embrace the New World of Work!
For more tips on making the most of the new world of work, visit www.newworldofwork.com. Learn more about our new book, The New World of Work: From Cube to the Cloud.