Diginomica: The Future of Work – when everybody gets a gig
First there was a pandemic, then some lockdowns and then working from home. Then those working from home decided they liked it and…
The COVID-19 pandemic came at most of us out of left field like an express train. Pandemics mau have been predicted for some time, but various governments had already ditched plans made for managing such a crisis. So when it occurred there were predictions of total collapse and disaster.
One of the key predictions was of course wholesale ruin for the economy and given the general disarray in 2020 that would not have been too surprising. But instead it can be argued that while it has suffered, it might be less than expected. Yes, business sectors geared to working with people en-mass – bars, restaurants, entertainment, non-essential retail – have been hit hard, but elsewhere?
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) now predicts, for example, a decline of 4.5% for the UK in 2020 which, considering all the circumstances, suggests that 95.5% of the economy stood up pretty well under particularly gruelling circumstances. This does beg the question as why this might have happened.
Working from home has obviously been brought to reality by cloud services providing universal access at point of use to the vast majority of the population, which then opened the doors to its immediate complement, the availability of video conferencing and collaboration tools, such as Skype, Teams, Hangouts and, of course, Zoom. All of that was predicted five or more years ago, though it took the pandemic to demonstrate it is now a global essential, not a ‘nice-to-have’.
Because many epidemiologists predict that there will be more pandemics, with some certainly far more serious, the ability to keep economic activity ticking over will be vital. Rule 1 of that will be keeping people apart as far as possible while providing an environment geared to their work needs. […]
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