The Future of Work is an incredibly popular topic these days, according to Kavi Guppta writing for Forbes:
Startups and established businesses are experiencing a shakeup in the way they hire, retain, and reward employees. It’s amazing because things like employee engagement, leadership roles, and organizational structures are seeing rapid change. Companies are afforded much more choice in the way they choose to lead and manage their teams, and employees get to benefit from an elevated role in the workplace.
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 is at the core of this Future of Work debate. Why is it radical? Well, businesses are now forced to communicate more frequently and openly about company performance, funding, leadership moves, and cultural development than ever before. For big business that might mean moving away from the annual CEO’s letter to employees, or the quarterly update, to create an improved environment for communication. With so much money moving around in the world of venture capital and startups, a growing number of entrepreneurs are setting the stage for better visibility into an organization. For example, companies like Mattermark and Buffer openly share figures on employee compensation and financial performance even though as private companies they aren’t obligated to do so.
The traditional employee performance review process has become outdated. The time has come to throw away paper-based review forms and annual review cycles. The new normal is to offer your employees feedback as often as possible–once a week at minimum through responsive technology that allows teams to react and improve immediately. Software, in particular, is transforming the way employees can generate and receive feedback from management and colleagues. The experiments taking place in this space are helping to create a more productive workforce through mobile-first services. It’s forcing leadership to pay closer attention to their employees, and to rethink the reward structure in place for a job well done.
Remote work is probably one of the older terms in this list. To state the phrase simply: remote work is conducting day-to-day tasks in a place other than your employer’s office. Over the past few decades that’s been popularized as “working from home” or “telecommuting”. It’s a catch all phrase that is starting to splinter off into more specific phrases as different types of remote working begin to emerge. If you’re interested in remote worker options, be sure to ask yourself these questions before taking the leap.
The Digital Nomad movement is a specific type of remote working culture that’s currently picking up in popularity, especially amongst Millennials. Developers, designers, writers, and entrepreneurs live a nomadic and minimal existence powered by access to a decent Internet connection. Digital nomads take advantage of their borderless existence to build companies or service freelance clients from anywhere in the world. The mobility affords nomads the opportunity to travel and enjoy more attractive economic climates that may not be available in one’s home country.
The gig economy or also referred to as the “collaborative economy”, “sharing economy”, or the “on-demand economy” refers to any service or employer that does not manage a full-time work force. Uber is one of the most prominent companies in this space–the company’s drivers don’t exactly work for the organization, and apparently just use Uber’s service to “find customers”. Drivers are responsible for their own vehicles and do not receive employee benefits from Uber. This allows Uber to play in a grey space of worker classification that might not be entirely fair to the drivers. This employment model is becoming increasingly popular as more people supplement their incomes with part-time or contractual work: cleaning houses; delivering groceries; running everyday errands. There’s a lot of chatter going on here about the classification of “gig economy” workers and the benefits they deserve; Uber’s definition alone is generating controversy in legal circles. Both Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush have referenced the terminology in speeches for the 2016 Presidential campaigns.