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Knowledge workers: We're on our own


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November 29, 2005

Knowledge workers: We're on our own

Stephen Baker

Face it, knowledge workers, if we're not already freelancing, we're heading in that direction. I'm typing this on a company-owned laptop, but Gartner predicts that within three years, one in 10 companies will be forcing employees to provide their own laptops. I'm surprised the number isn't higher.

Increasingly, we'll be on our own. We'll buy our own laptops, our own insurance, and we'll cut individual deals with our employers--if we still have them--giving them a finely calibrated slice of our production. Why is this happening? Companies have the data and the intelligence now to cut the jobs they need done into tiny slices, each one going to the person best equipped to handle it anywhere on the globe. It's a virtual assembly line. Companies need pieces of us, but buying the whole thing? It's like buying a Cessna or a horse: High maintaince, and easier for most to rent.

So what do we do? For starters, we blog. That way we build our individual brands, our knowledge, and our network of connections. These are going to be ever more vital assets in the years ahead. If we do a good enough job building them, companies may decide to bid for our services fulltime, even throwing in insurance and a 401K. But just like the companies, we too will have loads of information about our own value and prospects. In the ecosystem that's unfolding, one teeming with knowledge entrepreneurs, I'm betting that most of us, by choice or circumstance, are going to be running our own show.

10:20 AM

society

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? My freelance future from ??

Thank you, BusinessWeek. Steven Baker, in BW's Blogspotting, writes about how knowledge workers are increasingly going to be forced into freelance, or semi-freelance, status as employers demand more finely-focused contributions from their workers, and bec [Read More]

Tracked on November 29, 2005 11:49 PM

?? employees and individual contracts... from h2h comms 2005 blogsite

This could be a real challenge for internal communications... [Read More]

Tracked on December 1, 2005 06:48 AM

Amazon's Mechanical Turk at .09c a sentence on subject. Dude you are doomed.

Posted by: Mike Reardon at November 29, 2005 06:50 PM

Yes, this is where we are heading!

Our blog is our bland.

See this outstanding post by Neville Hobson: "The importance of continuity of personal presence" - http://www.nevon.net/nevon/2005/11/the_importance_.html

Posted by: Bryan Person at November 30, 2005 10:34 AM

My guess also is that this will seep down to the unorganised, small business, entreprenuerial ventures first. The massive MNC set ups, global organizational frameworks and brand sticklers who seek to "engage" employees may not be ready for this for a long time.

best

Sairee

Posted by: Sairee at December 9, 2005 03:26 AM


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