The future of work

If you are already working for yourself independent of an ‘employer’, then you are at the vanguard – in the future of work.

We wanted to put that on record, because here at KindredHQ, we want to challenge the norms of the working establishment and we want to you be part of that.

Warning.  For some people, the following statements are going to be quite scary.

In the future, work will be open source.

Any of us can contribute, everything gets peer reviewed, everything is transparent.  Your worth will be based on the quality of your work as defined by others.

Charles Handy probably started it in the 1980s.  He was one of the first to identify that ‘careers for life’ were destined to become a thing of the past, and in Wikinomics, Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams talk about a paradigm shift in how work is being done.

They talked about the shift from the modular work of the Industrial Revolution to the ‘social work’ of the 21st century. One of their best examples of this is Geek Squad, whose members used a variety of social tools including an online game called Battlefield 2 to collaborate, share tips and form ad hoc networks.

Now, we’re as nervous as the rest of the world about whether we’re really up to it.  Unless you are newish into the job market and you haven’t been conditioned to exist in the workplace hierarchy, then it can be terrifying.

And exciting.

Jody Ranck writes about ‘The New Workforce’ for Gigacom, saying: The landscape of open innovation, crowdsourcing, freelancing and ubiquitous social media combined with a more distributed firm has given rise to the notion of the firm as a “network of networks” (Cortada 2011).  Basically, there isn’t any need for the old firm to exist anymore in the way it did in the past.

I’m sure that if you are freelancing you don’t feel like you are at the vanguard; the early adopters and pioneers.  You probably take one day at a time.  But consider this.  You are might be working in multiple places, perhaps co-working,   You will be active in social media, which can become a lifeline for professional and personal support.  You will be networking in the real world sense, forging new partnerships and business.  You happily seek advice on your work from others, because you know it helps improve it.  You are making your own network within networks.

You are far better prepared for the new workforce that you may think you are.

Despite all this, we face a lot of resistance to this model from the established corporate world who are still getting over employees working from home and flexible working patterns.  And this is to be expected.  The idea that control lies in the our hands and that the corporate management structure is powerless in the face of this is threatening.

But it’s still new territory and we sense that it might be easier to face this open-source model for the future of work together.

Who is Alex Butler

Hello, I'm Alex Butler and I founded the KindredHQ community and blog back in 2011 after I re-started a freelance career. I LOVE freelancing and I wouldn't swop the freedom, control and joy of working for myself for anything. But I realised how much I missed the company and energy of other people - of having a team around me. So, I got a few people together one day with our laptops, a jar of coffee and some jelly babies and we sat and worked together one afternoon. We've been doing that every week in London, UK since then! I am still 100% freelance and I like to share the everyday highs and lows of being a freelancer here on the blog.

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