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The Future of Work with Digital Marketplaces


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A talk on how companies can capitalise on their engagement with platform workers.

Published in: Business

The Future of Work with Digital Marketplaces

  1. 1. The Future of Work with Digital Marketplaces What Role for Companies Engaging Platform Workers? Marco Torregrossa Secretary General @ European Forum of Independent Professionals Managing Director @ Euro Freelancers Tech Marketplace Summit 25 January 2017
  2. 2. The New York City’s subway system has reported in April 2015 that, for the first time in 30 years: … this is because people are ditching the conventional commute to a 9-to-5 job, so they can live and work differently. The Rush Hour is Dying! “weekday growth was strongest outside of the traditional morning and evening rush hours”.
  3. 3. Platform Economy: Bringing Diversity of Work Adapted from Ursula Huws, Platform Labour or Crowdsourcing 2015 Type Mode Place Status Client Full Time / Part Time Manual High-skill Online Offline Home Empl. site Employee Self-empl. Individual Company Main job Second job Upwork * * * * * * Click-worker * * * * * * Taskrabbit * * * * * * Wonolo * * * * * * Mechanical Turk * * * * * * Mila * * * * * * Eden McCallum * * * * * *
  4. 4. Jobs for Life Become Jobs for a Minute Type Contract Length Place Protection Employee Open-ended Decades In-house Linked to premises Subcontractor Temporary Years Out-house Linked to status Freelancer Self-employed Months/Days Home/Cowor- king space Linked to individual On demand Services Hours/ Minutes Platforms To be invented Adapted from Thomas Malone – The spectrum of jobs
  5. 5. Eurostat, 2015
  6. 6. 1. A high degree of autonomy They exercise control over their workload and portfolio, giving them a greater degree of flexibility than employees. 2. Payment by task, assignment, or sales They are paid for their output – the completion of a project, rather than their input – number of hours worked. 3. Short-term relationship with clients They perform short-term assignments. They can begin to work immediately without infrastructures, funding, a business plan and often learn business skills as they go. 4. Measuring growth in unconventional ways They want to keep their business at a manageable size, balancing income generation with creativity, freedom, self-reliance and well- being. How to Spot a Freelance Digital Worker
  7. 7. 1. Full-Time Digital Workers [40% of all freelancers] Traditional freelancers who derive their primary income from independent work and do not have an employer nor employees but instead do freelance work on a project-to-project basis. E.g. A self-employed therapist on Freelance Digital Workers Segmentation 2. Part-Time Digital Workers (Moonlighters) [45% of all freelancers] Individuals with multiple sources of income from a mix of traditional employer and freelance work. E.g. A self-employed professor who also gives online paid speeches and writes/sells an e-book. 3. Temporary Digital Workers [10% of all freelancers] Individuals with a single employer, client, job, or contract project where their employment status is temporary. E.g. A self-employed business consultant working for one client on a contract basis for a month-long project. 4. Freelance Business Owners [5% of all freelancers] Freelancers who provide their services through a limited company rather than as a solo trader. E.g. A self-employed digital marketing guru working on via her own one-person company.
  8. 8. Consultants PR/Marketing prof. IT prof. Journalists Real estate prof. Painters Translators/Interpreters Magicians Football players Top models HR/Headhunters Writers/Editors Interior designers Meteorologists Virtual assistants Therapists Social workers Private investigators Fitness trainers Photographers Social media prof. Exotic dancers Actors/Film Makers Game developers Bloggers Musicians/Singers Tour guides Medium/Fortune Tellers Buskers Yoga instructors Gardeners Personal coaches Senior carers/Nannies Chiropractors Web developers/Coders Bitcoin miners Some Examples of Freelancers
  9. 9. Structural Shifts Shaping the Digital World of Work Combined forces • Globalisation • Faster lifestyles • Technological revolution • Demographic changes • Increased mobility • Development of the service sector • New production patterns • Online platforms • Eroding brand and employer loyalties • Need for specialised ad hoc skills • Cost effective online advertising • Access to better infrastructures Work is nowadays … 1. Much more accessible 2. In much smaller pieces 3. From a greater number of providers 4. Unbundled from a job Nick Grossman, The Unbundling of the Job
  10. 10. What Advice Can We Give Them? What’s in Store for the Collaborative Economy in 2017, Marco Torregrossa on Medium
  11. 11. • Increase workplace innovation and labour productivity in both corporations and SMEs • Free from the limits of internal resources and enable the use of talent that would otherwise not be economically feasible to hire on employee contracts • Reduce the amount of finance required for business start-ups and gain competitive advantage • Become more flexible, responsive to the market and maximise performance across peaks in demand • Create jobs (for others) by increasing the level of efficiency and by helping new projects succeed Advantages to Use Digital Workers
  12. 12. Times Are Changing “Freelancing is like online dating, up to 5 years ago companies were ashamed to admit they did it, i.e. hire freelancers. Now, all of a sudden, it has become sexy.”
  13. 13. • 32% of the average company’s workforce is comprised by contingent workers. • 85% of HR directors believe an integrated talent management approach, permanent and contingent alike, will enhance the resources their businesses need to drive growth. • 84% of digital workers are happier at work than employees, despite the fact that they may earn less. Some Key Facts
  14. 14. Adapted from Peck, The Flexible Firm (1996)
  15. 15. Freelance digital workers are the “bosses” of some employees Adopting the Hollywood model of work Talent Exchange to match independent consultants to client projects Filling short-term demand for IT expertise during seasonal peaks • 50:50 project ratio of employees and freelancers Case Studies from Leading Companies
  16. 16. The Hollywood Model and the Future of Work
  17. 17. First Step: Company as a Service Keynote: The Collaborative Economy with Jeremiah Owyang, slideshare
  18. 18. Second Step: Motivate a Marketplace Keynote: The Collaborative Economy with Jeremiah Owyang, slideshare
  19. 19. Third Step: Provide a Platform Keynote: The Collaborative Economy with Jeremiah Owyang, slideshare
  20. 20. 20% 20% 20% Keynote: The Collaborative Economy with Jeremiah Owyang, slideshare
  21. 21. • Understand lifetime employment is largely a relic of the past. • Operate like a self-contained small business. • Map out your own career trajectories, looking for your own advancement. • Develop differentiated skills to avoid becoming part of a low-wage generalist pool. • Learn self-management and foresight to prepare for highs and lows in earnings. Advice to Freelance Digital Workers
  22. 22. • Digital workers can be used to respond quickly to disruptive innovation, manage change, harness external knowledge, and introduce new services. • Don’t think in terms of employees but in terms of specialisms. • Start inside of companies by providing opportunities for employees to choose assignments in different areas. • Create an external talent pool and appoint an officer of extended workforce management. Key Takeaways (1)
  23. 23. The human cloud: A new world of work, Financial Times, 2015 A Virtual World of Workers
  24. 24. • Device on-demand hiring analytics to measure performance and integrate digital workers into the company culture. • Understand that people who specialize in doing what they do best raises their engagement and makes companies more productive. • Consider the trade-offs, it can be unwise to manage someone’s work externally and riskier to entrust someone with confidential projects. • Ensure that digital workers are treated fairly and ethically. Key Takeaways (2)
  25. 25. “There are laws for people and laws for businesses, but we are a new category, a third category … people as businesses.” - Brian Chesky, CEO Airbnb “My father had one job in his life, I've had six in mine, my kids will have six at the same time.” - Robin Chase, CEO Zipcar
  26. 26. Marco Torregrossa Managing Director Euro Freelancers @EuroFreelancers #FutureOfWork
  27. 27. • Understanding Independent Professionals in the EU, Lorence Nye and KayteJenkins, June 2016. • Freelancing in America, Freelancers Union and Upwork report, 2015. • How do the staffing needs of companies evolve?, Denis Pennel Ciett Managing Director presentation at ILO ITC, 2nd November 2015. • The Future of Work: Skills and Resilience for a World of Change, European Political Strategy Centre, 10 June 2016. • Future of Work White Paper, World Employment Confederation, September 2016. • Independent work: Choice, necessity, and the gig economy, McKinsey Global Report, October 2016. • Platform Labour or Crowdsourcing, Prof. Ursula Huws, 2015. • The State of Contingent Workforce Management: The 2014-2015 Guidebook for Managing Non-Traditional Talent, Ardent Partners, 2015. • The Role of Freelancers in the 21st Century British Economy, Prof. Andrew Burke, 2012. • Illustrations, Igor Kalashnikov for • Jeremiah Owyang, Keynote on Slideshare: The Collaborative Economy Sources