Postcard from the Future - Revisited
I think you called it the 'Gig Economy’, people working for themselves and offering their services on a freelance basis. Self-employed tradespeople were as old as the hills, but when it extended to 'so called' knowledge workers, things started to change.
It began with forced homeworking, and the realisation that people were just as productive, if not more so, when they were concentrating at home. No more noisy office distractions and time wasted gossiping about football or the latest TV blockbuster.
Businesses of a certain size ‘cottoned-on’ first, but everyone got there in the end. Expanding companies who needed to improve their marketing and brand identity led the way by looking to freelancers for support, mainly because they couldn’t afford to hire someone full-time - and as businesses started to scale, they realised it was no longer acceptable to have a website that reads like the cat wrote it.
It wasn’t just the employees salaries either, it was the additional employer contributions that really hurt. I remember that to pay someone a salary of circa £50k, it would actually cost nearer £60k.
At the time we didn’t realise the gig economy would become as big as it did. The age-old line about acorns and oak trees was so true - everything big starts small somewhere.
These days, being an employee is somewhat archaic. Nowadays we hire in the skills we need and pay for them as we go. People are no longer wage slaves working a 40-hour week in a boring job for a deadbeat company - we're now paid directly for quality output and results.
Occasionally we reminisce about office politics and the appalling bosses we used to have. It was incredible the way so many unsuitable people rose to the top as a result of deranged personalities and psychotic belief mechanisms.
That still exists in Government, but even world leaders are starting to admit their human frailties - or just getting found out more often. Those early Covid pandemics made people realise that boasting and bullying were highly unattractive traits. The fall-out lasted for ages, and we had a great time reinventing a smarter way to earn a living.
Work's become a better place, so much more interesting and enlightening - so sit tight because it will be with you sooner than you think.
Does your business have an opinion and a recognisable voice in our digital age? If not you need to do something about it.