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Kate

Driven by a desire for flexibility and control, US Freelance workforce is growing faster than the overall US workforce. What can employers learn from this trend? 
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Driven by a desire for flexibility and control, US Freelance workforce is growing faster than the overall US workforce. What can employers learn from this trend? 

Upwork and Freelancers Union today released the results of “Freelancing in America: 2017. The fourth annual study estimates nearly 36% of the U.S. workforce freelances and the trend is growing.

 

Source: www.upwork.com

Freelancers* are playing a bigger role in corporate work. Employers who haven't already should start thinking about policies, practices, and place implications. But they might also consider what they can learn from the trend: 

 

  • 63% of freelancers choose to freelance (versus doing so out of necessity). Top drivers include freedom, choice, and flexibility. Half say they wouldn't even consider a traditional job.
  • 55% of freelancers participated in skills training last year compared to only 30% of non-freelancers.
  • About half of full-time freelancers are thinking about the implications of automation, compared to only 18% of employees.
  • Millennials are embracing freelance work more than any other generation; nearly half do so.
  • 70% of freelancers would prefer taking home more pay and purchasing benefits on their own (rather than through an employer).
  • Part-time freelancing is down; full-time is up 70%.
  • The percent of those making more than $75k/year (36%) has increased over 100% in the last 3 years.

 

In short, people want flexibility and control and are willing to take care of themselves if given the opportunity.

 

* Freelance population comprised of 35% hybrid workers, 31% independent contractors, 23%  moonlighters, 6% freelance business owners, and 6% temp workers)

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30 Oct 2017
Sage People research reveals why productivity is down; only one in three motivated 
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Sage People research reveals why productivity is down; only one in three motivated 

"New research from Sage People, ‘Why your workforce isn’t working’, looks at how employees across companies of all sizes in the US, Canada and the UK view the workplace. The overall trend in productivity growth is stagnant and has been on a downward trend for the last several years.

This is costing the US a staggering $450-$550 billion a year. Industry

Research shows that only 1 in 3 people at work are fully motivated and productive."

Source: www.sagepeople.com

Sage researchers found that many company benefits--such as ping-pong tables and company outings--aren’t improving productivity or keeping staff happy. Only 5% of employees found ping-pong beneficial, and only 9% liked company outings. More than half of respondents found games in the office distracting and a productivity pit.

 

What can organizations do to reverse this trend? Talk to your staff. Ask questions. According to the survey, almost half of respondents have never been asked by their employer how to improve their working experiences.

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30 Oct 2017
Private pop-up work tents being marketed as an escape from the open plan office 
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Private pop-up work tents being marketed as an escape from the open plan office 

Pause Pod wants to offer you a one-person escape pod from the tyrannies of the open office plan. This is what a work tent looks like.

 

In an open office plan, you are surrounded by co-workers, buffeted by the winds of their noisy company, whether you like to hear it or not. A new device wants to offer you a one-person escape pod from the tyrannies of this setup.

Pause Pod, which markets itself as the “world’s first private pop up space suitable for all your relaxation needs,” was launched as a Kickstarter campaign in April, and now can be bought in its prototype stage. The Sweden-based entrepreneurs said they were “inspired by the blanket forts we used to build when growing up.”

Source: www.theladders.com

You really have problems at your office if Pause Pods become a line item in your budget. 

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30 Oct 2017
BT futurologist points to productivity and collaboration problems with open plan offices 
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BT futurologist points to productivity and collaboration problems with open plan offices 

"Although many firms believe large, open-plan workspaces help collaboration, in fact, unless staff are in close proximity ‘you might as well be in Belgium’, said Dr Millard. However research has shown that put workers too close together and they clam up, as if being stuck in a lift together"

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Dr. Millard suggests distractions and task switching among the biggest problems with open plan where "one size fits nobody."

 

Will offices no longer be needed? No, says Millard. They're still important -- if only for socializing.

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30 Oct 2017
Will robots take your job? New report on future work in the US & UK says not as bad as predicted.1
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Will robots take your job? New report on future work in the US & UK says not as bad as predicted.1

"New study forecasts only one in five workers are in occupations that will shrink; lays out blueprint for reskilling workers

“The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030" The study takes an entirely new approach to forecasting employment and skill demands in the US and UK. 

Source: www.nesta.org.uk

Key findings: 

 

- Education, healthcare, and wider public sector occupations are likely to grow while some low-skilled jobs, in fields like construction and agriculture, are less likely to suffer poor labor market outcomes

- Future skills predicted to be in greater demand include:

  • Interpersonal skills, (teaching, social perceptiveness, and coordination, as well as related knowledge, such as psychology and anthropology)
  • Higher-order cognitive skills (originality, fluency of ideas, and active learning)
  • Systems skills (the ability to recognize, understand and act on interconnections and feedback loops in sociotechnical systems, systems analysis, and systems evaluation). 


Advice to employers: Begin training existing employees for future skills.

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30 Oct 2017
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