Startups are blossoming throughout the economy, and they’re showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.
There’s a lot of changes that these small entrepreneurial ventures have brought with their increasing popularity. The most major being that the job market is practically unrecognizable compared to the last century or even the last decade.
If you’re currently in the job market looking for work or for people to work for you, you should be aware of these changes. The workforce is younger and much more diverse than our parents and mentors were used to. Startups are also using technology in newer, more innovative ways every single day.
We all need to be aware of these changes and understand them as much as possible. This will prepare our companies and us for the changing trends in workplaces and attract the best employee or the best jobs on the market.
Autonomy and flexibility are now major players in the labor force game, and startups are at the forefront of it all.
Below are just a few ways in which these shifts are taking place.
1. The Advent of Freelancing
A report “Future Working: The Rise of Europe’s Independent Professionals” has stated that the number of independent professionals has grown rapidly since the year 2004. The numbers have gone from around 6.2 million to more than 8.9 million in 2013 alone. This marks a growth of 45%, making independent workers the group with the highest growth rate in the EU’s labor market.
That’s quite an impressive feat!
From there on, the numbers have been growing by millions every year. One major factor in these statistics is that freelancing has become so easy to do. More and more individuals are choosing to become their own boss and take on some clients in their field of interest. That way, they can stand to earn just as much as they work, with no office politics, workplace discrimination, or unfair compensation.
Freelancing is giving people the freedom to work from the comfort of their own homes. Many are jumping at the chance to work on the go or earn a bit of cash in their spare time. With personal technology ruling the roost, freelancing is understandably widespread and an undeniable factor in the job market.
Mobile devices, apps, co-working spaces, and almost instant communication has removed the need for a worker to be physically present in an office.
Every freelancer is a startup in themselves, and usually takes on employees when they have more work than they can handle. With all the support, resources, and flexibility that comes with the digital age, startups have made freelancing a very popular aspect of the job market.
2. Changing Up the Workplace
Millennials are taking over the workforce, as was inevitable. They will soon be holding the majority of authoritative positions if that hasn’t already happened. This generation is also responsible for heading most of the startups we keep hearing about, with varying but mostly positive degrees of success.
These changes mean that the landscapes of workplaces are shifting both literally and figuratively. More and more startups are copying the workplace flair of Google and Facebook, where the atmosphere is becoming less traditional and more home-like.
If people are going to work in a physical place, they will want to be equipped with the latest technology, such as cloud computing, collaborative spaces, and even a sprinkling of artificial intelligence and/or virtual reality.
The workplaces of startups are often referred to as ‘co-living workspace,’ with employees acting more like a family, rather than a work unit focused only on output.
Remote working is on the rise as well, meaning that employees have a much greater degree of flexibility than before.
3. Co-Working Spaces
If you’ve subscribed to any major content creators, you will have noticed the open, fun, and collaborative nature of their offices. They have the freedom to move about and discuss their tasks to enhance their work experience.
This is a step up from the traditional workplace, where workers are confined to their cubicles day in, day out. Now, it’s more likely that employees will sit at different workstations throughout the week, with communal tables, and lots of breathing space.
With this freedom and openness comes the co-working space. Startups usually don’t have much capital to work with, so renting or purchasing an office building is usually out of the question. Since abandoning one’s dream due to the lack of a proper space is simply not acceptable anymore, co-working spaces are now a reality.
These are the spaces which a startup can rent or conduct their projects in, along with members of other companies. Your startup’s office is no longer limited to the immediate staff within your company; it can expand beyond. You could be sitting next to your competitor discussing how to collaborate with one another instead of fighting for the same market share.
Such co-working spaces are usually eco-friendly, designed in a home-like manner, and extremely popular with freelancers, entrepreneurs, small business, and struggling startups.
Large corporations aren’t too far behind! There are many benefits of a communal workplace, and everyone should consider benefiting from it.
4. Loads of Payment Options
The concept of freelancing and remote work would not be in place if it weren’t for the fact that payment options are increasing as well.
A direct deposit seemed to be the height of convenience back in the day. Now, we have services like PayPal and Payoneer, and even cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and LiteCoin to help us make global transactions.
For those who want to expand their freelancing to international markets, such services have made things extremely easy. With cryptocurrencies all ready to take over the financial world, freelancers, remote workers, and vendors operating internationally won’t have to worry about fluctuating exchange rates.
This makes the practice of buying and selling internationally much more stable and predictable, along with being more secure as well.
Some freelancers may even accept gift cards instead of actual payment.
Even in the case of a regular salaried job, employees may ask for a range of payment options. Some companies are now paying wages in Bitcoin, while there are several apps that enable wages to be transferred with a few clicks.
5. The Importance of Soft Skills
There was a time when soft skills were highly underrated. These are skills which are intangible in their qualifications and results, such as the ability to communicate well with people, solve problems quickly, or just plain old charisma.
Startups are now recognizing the importance of such skills and are searching for them for every employee they hire. It’s not just about qualifications anymore, but what a person does with the responsibility they’ve been given.
The reason soft skills are so important now is that startups realize the need to cater to the end user above all. With a customer-centric mindset, the venture would be more likely to have success in the chosen field.
Soft skills are also being developed within teams, making for a more agile work environment.
Waterfall workflows were once the traditional standard, but not anymore. Everyone needs to have people skills and adaptability on several levels, from the newest intern to the owner or founder themselves.
If you’re thinking of shunning modern practices and sticking to the traditional methods, it’s high time you reconsidered.
Companies all over the world are switching from traditional roles in favor of the digital initiatives made popular and possible by startups.
With the dynamic environment of today’s job market, we can look forward to several changes shortly. The changes above are also guidelines towards making ourselves adaptable to the inevitable shifts in the market.
These shifts will come thick and fast as the market becomes more versatile and flexible. Customers are likely to take their patronage where they can get more convenience and updated services.
You have to follow suit, or be left behind!
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