Organizations all over the world are now moving from having long-term permanent employees to freelancers and remote workers. These employees do not have to mark their presence in the physical office – rather they operate on their laptops, mobiles, smart-phones etc. As long as they have an internet connection, they can work from literally anywhere in the world. This can be from home, from a one-man office in some corner or in the park, in cafes, in restaurants, in buses, taxis, cars, trains and other moving vehicles.
Technology i.e. the internet and the mobile devices increase the mobility of these workers and along with this mobility comes a change in the way of working. Physical spaces as offices are giving way to “work-stations on the move”, there are no fixed working hours – work is done at anytime that is convenient; many companies have “branch offices” in remote places with just one or two employees who function not out of a proper office but an informal spaces or on the move.
No dependence on geographical location
As long as workers can stay connected with one another through the phone or the internet, they do not have to depend on geographical location to enable them to work. This connectivity and mobility are totally changing the concept of what workers want, what are the ways and places of working, what kind of support and collaboration is expected by employees and provided by employers – and all this has a major effect on the future of work.
Globalization is the other factor that is impacting the future of work by changing the norms and rules of the workplace. Globalization is the opening of boundaries between countries so that there is ease of business across the world. Goods and services are traded across countries, culture is spreading to different countries, there is greater national and international integration. All this has been facilitated by the developments in transportation and communication – air travel, telephones, smart-phones, laptops and the internet are helping cross border transactions in business.
Organizations also spreading their reach
As a result, organizations are also spreading their reach and setting up offices in various locations across the world or are appointing remote workers or freelancers in these places. There are no problems of travel, foreign exchange payments, attracting the best people for jobs, or sinking money into real estate for building office space. It is difficult to figure out where people are working from these days and truth to tell, it does not affect the quality of work done – in fact it makes it easier to employ the best talents without paying exorbitant salaries.
It is not only large organizations that are operating in different countries – with the technology available today, even small companies including start-ups can function in various countries. They no longer have to depend on just local people to join their companies – they can have people from a host of countries on their employee lists – a truly international team of workers. This ability to work across borders is fast altering the way people work and is destined to become a strong, motivating force in the future of work.