Business Practices for the Mobile Workforce: A Truly Global Market
Such a significant shift in working practices alongside countless technological innovations is set to make businesses more nimble, efficient and competitive. For example, city-wide cloud computing platforms could help start-ups take advantage of new technologies and applications without having to invest huge sums of money in in-house hardware and software.
The global talent pool
The virtual model is already altering recruitment strategies too. Faced with a global skills shortage, good talent is increasingly hard to find, but technology has created a global talent market that simply wasn’t accessible previously. This means that the labor market will need to prepare for an extremely competitive landscape, but at the same time businesses can prosper with a globally best-in-class workforce. For the HR team, this poses new questions/challenges: how does a company’s use of local talent weigh up against a remote workforce?
Striking a healthy balance and supporting remote workers through the provision of collaboration tools and creating productive environments for small work groups when they need to get together will become critical. Online freelance worker platforms like Elance.com are already contributing to the shift in business dynamics as the adoption of contracted workers for many types of job functions grows. Many SMEs and startups have already embraced hiring and managing talent ‘in the cloud’ in this way, but we are also now seeing a sharp increase in Fortune 1000 and FT 500 companies moving into the human cloud.
Large and multinational enterprises are adopting the online employment model that gives them the flexibility to scale up and down, hire faster, make cost savings and take advantage of ‘act on demand’ opportunities. Business tools and facilities need to reflect this dynamic model. Increasingly, individuals are adopting ‘portfolio careers’ whereby they undertake several paid activities simultaneously rather than being limited to a single job role. This lends itself perfectly to the new freedoms and flexibility of the next generation work model. All of these trends make for a much more fertile landscape for start-ups setting up shop, but it doesn’t need to stop at the entrepreneur.
Today’s businesses have access to free tools, innovative cloud-based technologies and vast internet resources. The next generation work model brings great opportunity but also poses challenges for many different parts of a business and all divisions will be impacted, from HR and operations to sales and finance.