Data Scientists, the answer to everything?

During the past weeks I’ve been reading several articles stating that the competence of a Data Scientist is one the most wanted and needed competences, at least in the near future. We’re living in a tech and data driven society so maybe its not that strange after all, that “everyone” needs a data scientist.

Just have a look at IBM’s predictions:

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Do you know what they do? Let’s have a short explanation:

So maybe they are the answer to everything, if each one of us are supposed to understand data? Or for us to be able to start to work on processed data directly? Needed YES, but maybe not as powerful as the answer 42 is to the Universe….And of course, everyone can’t just be a data scientist, other skills are still needed.

Are you a Data scientist? Then please share your story.

The different types of remote work

My first guest on the blog šŸ™‚ Kathryn Casna who made a job for the content marketing bureau Gherigich,Ā when both writing an article and producing some really nice infographics to Salesforce Canada.

Kathryn:

If thereā€™s one thing thatā€™s true, itā€™s that technology has completely revolutionized our world at home and at work. Our ability to connect, the machines and the ways that allow those connections, has allowed us to establish broader communities for our personal and our work lives. And that has immediate and wide-ranging impacts for an important aspect of our days: where we work.

Technology and tools have allowed more and more people to skip the traditional workspace setup of going into an office every day in favor of working remotely, even some of the time. That ability is creating what some are calling digital nomads: people who are able to complete
their jobs, either some or all of the time, by being online and off site. And the increasing reliance on technology by more people and more companies is promising to ensure more digital nomads in the coming years. What does this mean for everyone? This graphic explains it.

Click To Enlarge

A New Kind of Employee: The Digital Nomad

Author Bio:
Kathryn Casna is a digital marketing and travel write from San Diego, California. Customer-facing retail, hospitality, and event productionĀ make up her professional roots. Today, she runs her own writing business Ā from whatever new locale she happens to be exploring.


Thanks for sharing your work Kathryn. I really appreciate it.

Are you a digital nomad or a remote worker pro that wants to share your story? Don’t wait, just share it šŸ˜‰

Reasons why AI is not the BIGGEST threat to jobs (and more)

So I found a very good podcast episode (which I want to share with you). The Future of Work Podcast with Jacob Morgan:

“Director Of Stanford’s New Big Data Program Gives Insight Into The Gig Economy, Big Disruptions Coming In The Future Of Work, Reasons Why AI Is Not The Biggest Threat To Jobs And More”

Summary of the episode: Paul Oyer, Professor Economics at Stanford is sharing his thoughts of Future of Work.

He share his thoughts about AI, and that AI might be a threat to the future labor market, but not as the main threat of “mass job destruction”. AI comes in the 3rd place. And also that the gig economy is actually growing, and will be important. What really caught my attention was the following sentences from Professor Paul:

It’s very hard for people to recognize that what they used to do is no longer needed. It’s difficult then to go and get trained. People need to be open to training.

Enjoy listening to it, and the rest of the episodes.

3 trends in the Gig economy 1st half of 2018

Even before I started this blog, I’ve tried to understand and learn more about the Gig economy, which of course takes a lot of time when reading a lot of different articles. My favorite app for summarizing “all about” the Gig economy/Future of Work etc is Flipboard. But that’s not what this post is about. It’s about the trends I have identified in the first half of 2018.

I have identified three trends within the Gig economy during 2018 so far, both from what I’ve read and also from own experiences in my daily job. The trends which I’ve identified:

  • Lawsuits
  • Remote work
  • Is the Gig economy a hype?

I think the video below provides you with a good summary of all the pros n’ cons of the whole concept of the Gig economy.

 

Lawsuits

Uber, Lyft, Amazon, and Pimlico Plumbers are just some of all of the big headlines in the Gig economy lawsuits . There has also been debates about the lack of safety nets in this way of working, which in some ways are brought up in the lawsuits.

The way some of these companies are working with their gig workers, is almost as if they were employed, hence the lawsuits. I guess that many gig workers pursue the gig career just for being its own boss, and setting your own schedule. In those cases is it totally different. They are forced to wear company branded apparels, and/or branded transportation, and also to have a fixed schedule to work from.

Except for the “hiring” contract, are you considered to be a gig worker then? You need to follow the employees code of work but doesn’t have the rights for overtime pay, minimum wage, insurance etc. Who’s paying for accidents when a gig workers is driving a branded car (the firm or the gig worker?)? That’s mainly what the lawsuits has been all about (if you want more info Google: Lawsuits gig economy).

The Californian Supreme court ruled that:

The courtĀ ruledĀ that employers must treat workers who do work related to a company’s “usual course of business” as full-fledged employees. For example, if a store hires a plumber to fix a sink, that plumber wouldn’t need to be considered an employee because the store isn’t in the plumbing business. But if a clothing company paid someone to sew clothes at home, then that person should be considered an employee, entitled to minimum wage, breaks, and other benefits of employment.

We’ll see who’s winning in the long run, hopefully all the gig workers. But we can all agree that to avoid such things as lawsuits, new reforms must me implemented for this type of work.

Remote work

Maybe this isn’t a trend that affects the surrounding that much, since a lot of companies nowadays outsource their entire functions to other countries. But the way I see it, there has been a bit of a trend from the gig worker side:

I know my value, I don’t need to move to get a gig! If the client wants me, I work from home.

Work-life balance, traffic jams or don’t want to relocate with whole family etc, is the three main arguments. They know as stated above, with the right technical skill work will come anyway.

So maybe we should embrace the fact that if competence are needed, the gig worker solve the problem from anywhere? Trust, remote leadership, and the right technical platforms should solve the issues right?

Is the Gig economy a hype?

Early in June there was a big debate whether the Gig economy increases or decreases. Is it a HYPE or not? The reason for this was that theĀ Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its report onĀ Contingent and Alternative Work. The report showed that there was a decrease from 2005 until 2017 within the Gig economy, hence questioning all other reports/trends pointing to the opposite.

But to be honest, the results were a bit misleading. You get the kind of answers you want when you performing a survey like this. If you want 1+1=3 that’s possible…My comments to the results:

  • Data is one year old when presented
  • It only counted all the gig workers that gig as a primary job, not side hustlers (Uber, Airbnb etc
  • Or the employed consultants that actually are gig workers since they do work on contract basis

Have a look yourself on the table below to see some results from the report.

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I really believe that the whole gig economy is booming with all the different apps/platforms where you can find a gig nowadays, But I guess it’s mainly the side hustling that grows. If we should truts all the trends that business soon will be automated then gig working as a primary job will increase to. You just need to find the gap in the market where you really can make some difference.

Conslusion

To summarize all of the three trends, the society needs to adapt to meet the future of work. And yes, the gig economy is growing. Just hang in there!

Have you identified other trends? Or are you as a gig worker affected by any of these three? Share your story to inspire other gig workers.

Leadership in the gig economy

The past weeks I’ve been having a couple of threads on Linkedin regarding on what’s happening in labor market, and what will happen. The discussions that followed could be summarized into three cagtegories:

  • Working hours
  • Remote work
  • Culture

Which all of them is really tied to the leadership. The leadership in this case is not only linked to the hiring manager or the organization, there’s also leadership responsibility of the Gigger for success in their gigs.

The gig economy is happening in a fast pace, and is here to stay.Ā Patrick Petitti, co-CEO of Catalant Technologies point it out like this:

The way that people have worked traditionally is honestly kind of depressing… The fact that you had to have a company tell you what to do, when do it, where to it, just isn’t right. We live in a world of technology where people should be able to work on the things they care about and they should have more control over how they live.Ā 

Working hours

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A hot topic at your workplace? Working 9-5 seems to be a bit old fashioned, don’t you agree? Yes when you work in the assembly line and the rest of the line is dependent on you, then of course its needed. And ff course there’s a lot of other jobs where you truly need to be there between two specific times.

But to be honest, are you always your BEST yourself all of those hours between 9-5? Do they really fit your own personal life? I heard from a gigger last week:

People don’t quit their day-to-day job to join the gig economy to work the traditional 9-5 hours.

FLEXIBILITY is the word we’re looking for. The gigs are all about flexibility. It’s a true cultural clash when the employees obey the hour rule, and the Gig worker wants to work its flexible and creative hours.

To add a different dimension to this, the length of a contract is varies as well. Sometimes the manager/leader gets to know the bigger, and sometimes they don’t. So how do you lead a project, team, a Gig worker, and an organization with all this flexibility?

My advice to the leader

  • Embrace the change. Accept it. People are more effective other hours than you are. There’s a reason you want just that person, right?
  • Set your expectations early on:
    • What you want to learn from the gig, and benefit the organization when its over.
    • How you include the gigger in your daily operations.
    • Balancing your different working hours and time zones, find your joint best solution.
  • Don’t micro manage, but set up regularly feedback session.
  • Partner up and work together to achieve the common goal.

My advice to the Gig worker

  • Accept that not all are familiar with a flexible working schedule.
  • Find the balance of routines (gym, breakfast/lunch/work). At least try to keep a regular schedule for your client, you make their world a lot more easy to lead you.
  • Blow the whistle early if you find out that you’re not able to keep the deadline.
  • Be transparent with the amount of work you put in.

Remote work

To the flexibility dimension of the gig economy comes remote work as well. I know that (at least in Sweden) a lot of organizations are really good in letting their employees working from home or other preferred locations, once in a while or on a regular basis. The job will be done. As long as you trust your employees.

But would you pay, let say, ā‚¬100/hr for a gig when you’re not able to “feel and touch” that person? Imagine if that person is doing his/her job from the beach of Bali. They job gets done, but can you trust this? Is your leadership skills ready for it? In my opinion be as ready as you can, and/or develop your remote leadership skills.

The War for Talents is over, and Talent Won….

Today, when the technological revolution happens in a super sonic speed, can you really expect that someone will learn your language, move to your country, and stay there for 6-24 moths for your gig? Niched and highly skilled giggers knows their value. If you can’t lead through remote and don’t accept it, they will turn down your project and find a better match. Not only that, highly skilled giggers is a scarce resource, due to the Digitalization that happens everywhere. “Everybody” needs the “same” competence at the exactly the same time.

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My advice to the leader

  • You must prepare for leading individuals/teams remotely. It will soon be a fact, unless it is already.
  • Rather call than email, or other preferred tools. But communicate in person.
  • Try to get to know the person that is doing your gig, to be able to gain trust and commitment.
  • Clarify your expectations on check-ins, feedback, and deadlines.

My advice to the Gig worker

  • Invest in good Internet connection, and good collaboration tools.
  • Make sure to not isolate yourself. Go to go meet-ups, hire an office on hourly basis. Meet other people in your situation. Network!
  • Have routines on your remote work, don’t postpone what needs to be done today to tomorrow.
  • Make sure to have an “office space”, to not mix up your private life and your gig life. Have your own dedicated working space.

Culture

Culture is really important in organizations, no matter the size. Strong cultures makes your company stand out in the crowd, makes people want to work for you, makes people more productive. Or asĀ Peter Drucker said:

Culture eats strategy for breakfast

The culture does not disappear just because you hire a gigger. It’s still very important. And a bit more complicated, since you want to transfer this culture into someone that is only employed on a contract. And the gigger on the other hand maybe left the corporate employment culture, to find its on luck. And of course is also influenced by different cultures from past gigs.

A big chunk (at least in a near future) of the gig economy will consist of Millenials. With of course has a lot of challenges. I summarized the Millenials with Mr. Simon Sinek:

My advice to the leader

  • Express your organizations purpose and culture.
  • Pay for drive and competence, not for the age. Of course, you need to ask what drives the gigger.
  • Have the courage to talk about the giggers future gig aspirations.
  • Even though you pay to get a problem solved, mentoring the gigger for his/her future success and also to embrace your culture.
  • Look for giggers that fits your culture.

My advice to theĀ Gig worker

  • Work on your own culture, what you want to express.
  • Find gigs with a similar culture, you’ll probably do a better job in those.
  • Ask why you where hired, when you’re hired of course. Your’e selling yourself so it’s rather important to understand why they buy.
  • Focus on the person talking to you, and not the rest of the Internet.

Conclusion

Working hours, remote work and culture were the main topics from my past weeks discussion regarding the gig economy, therefore I wanted to bring up the leadership needed from both parties (organization and gig worker). In summary, your leadership style:

  • Be open minded and flexible
  • Embrace the change
  • Lead without borders
  • Make sure to have a good Internet connection
  • Be clear and transparant on your expectations
  • Culture is important

Do you agree with my assumptions? Having your own experience based on those three subjects? What’s your best advice to the leader/gig worker?

Share your story.Ā