I read, write and think about the world of work and the gig economy quite a bit. I keep hearing prognostications that by 2025 40% of the jobs will be gig types of positions. I wonder though, how true that is. Are American’s going to be inclined to give up their full time jobs by the year 2025? Doubtful, but what about by 2050? Will the world of work have changed sufficiently that most companies will have eliminate the full time job as we know it? A lot of things will have to change to do so.
Full time gig employment
Today, even prior to 2025, it is possible for someone to work 40 hours or more per week. It may take two or three part time jobs or many different projects to put that time in. A decent living can be had by someone working that way. What is missing from that situation however, is the benefit plan and retirement plan that often accompany a full time job. Changes will have to occur before this becomes possible. One such change will have to be something like a universal basic income, as I wrote about in Future Friday: Will Universal Basic Income come to be? Additionally, a universal heathcare system will be needed, though as we are seeing currently in the U.S. that is not an easy hurdle to get over. I discussed some of those issues in Future Friday: Is the future of work really part-time jobs?
Denis Pennel who is managing director of the World Employment Confederation-Europe, also sees the world of work as changing. He says “We cannot solve 21st century issues with solutions invented a century ago! …In my view one of the first things that we need to do is to stop holding up full-time, permanent contracts as the standard ideal and classifying anything else as inferior.”
What would have to change?
What would have to change in order for such a world without full time work to occur? First we would most likely see companies reducing their workforces due to robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). Despite what the Trump Administration says, that is likely to occur within the next 50 years. We will need to see a change in the laws surrounding wages, overtime, and portability of benefits and retirement. There will have to be a huge change in societal attitudes toward work. People will not identify themselves as employees of a particular company. Many people may have an identity crisis.
Everyone will have to become more of a sales person in order to find continual work. Some people may have to decide that they don’t want to work fulltime. People will have to adapt to being in a constant training mode and that will have to be driven by them and by business and government.
Will that happen?
Do you see this kind of change occurring? What do you think we need to do? Please leave a comment below.