The Hourly Revolution: What It Means for Employers

The Hourly RevolutionIt seems every day there’s another article or piece of research that talks about things like an agile workforce, mobile workers, co-working, or any of another dozen or so terms that apply to the burgeoning new way of working. The trend is clear: fewer workers will work for one company for their career than at any point since the Industrial Revolution. Further, fewer workers will be serial monogamists than ever before. A big factor is what’s been called a millennial mindset–no desire for a mortgage or ownership of large capital goods, thus lowering the monetary requirements of a career. Since by the end of this year, millennials will be up more of the U.S. workforce than any other generation, and that pattern is similar in many other western countries, you can understand the demographic issues at play. We call the intersection of these demographic shifts and the trends away from single longterm employment, “the hourly revolution.”

The hourly revolution is a change for workers and employers alike. Flexibility, in terms of task, location, and more, is prized above nearly all other attributes of a job. The willingness and even enthusiasm of workers to work in an hourly fashion, rather than just a 9-to-5 workday, is a big part of that shift. In addition, many of those workers may have more than one employer. Keeping track of hours, while ensuring the employee feels a productive and valued part of the team is a big challenge for both staff and organisations. And because workers in the hourly revolution have less of a problem with moving to a new employer, the issue is time sensitive for both parties.

As more workers think of themselves as perpetual free agents, there should be an increase in services and corporate cultures aimed at appealing to them. We have already seen this evolution with the numerous remote working spaces now available and monetised around the flexible millennial workday. But with other factors are at play, it’s not just a white collar story. With the expansion of the cloud, the near ubiquity of smartphones, and the general move towards the consumerisation of IT, even blue collar workers should benefit from these massive employment shifts. But too often, they feel left behind and disengaged.

We recently released a white paper on this and other related topics because we feel strongly that no worker, whether white or blue collar, should be left behind in the wake of the hourly revolution. To learn more, please click here to download Employment Matters: Leveraging Technology to Empower Staff.

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