Rise of the Gig worker

Work – a combination of people, purpose and place – is experiencing a revolution with the aspect of ‘place’ considered very differently in the era of COVID-19, as workers adapt to an out-of-office system.

They’re the Gig workers; the digitally savvy and connected who work from home, or anywhere, and perhaps balance multiple roles to make ends meet.

Can they succeed, can it be sustained, and what does this say about the traditional office?

Internationally acclaimed futurist Andrew Grill and Professor John Spoehr, Director of Flinders University’s  Australian Industrial Transformation Institute, will share their insights at a public webinar on what changes the community can expect to see in workplaces following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Much has been said on how the pandemic is changing lives, but what will it mean for workplaces when life ‘returns to normal’ – how will employees work and engage, what has been accelerated, and what models and technologies will businesses embrace to support them through the tough economic climate?

A topic that affects everyone, this discussion will delve into the future of work in the digital age including the internet of things, automation, artificial intelligence and the ways this new work paradigm can be leveraged, from two of the world’s most qualified commentators.

Former IBM Managing Partner, London-based Andrew Grill, is a sought-after speaker and board-level technology advisor. Unlike other futurists who look to decades in the future, Mr Grill focuses on the short years ahead to share insights for consideration – or actioning – now.

“In this socially distanced world we’ve seen an increase in collaboration, communication and community, as people find new ways to connect and work and look out for each other. But will the rise of the Gig worker continue beyond COVID and what does that mean for economies and employment in the future?”

Professor Spoehr is a highly regarded economic and social analyst with a long record of research and thought leadership, who recently produced the report ‘Impact of COVID-19 on the South Australian economy and employment – 2020 to 2023’.

“Actions to contain the coronavirus will continue to have profound economic impacts; the pandemic will see a number of areas advance faster than previously expected,  but what of those who may now have work to return to? These are questions demanding attention globally, and which are challenging policy makers to find a way forward, perhaps with a ‘digital New Deal’ to pull the necessary levers to drive recovery ” Professor Spoehr says.

This event is part of Flinders University’s BRAVE research and innovation lecture series, which delivers expert views on significant issues of interest to the community. The online format of next week’s discussion provides a fantastic opportunity to understand the changes ahead – with the ease of tuning in from homes, cars or the outdoors.

Beyond COVID – The future of the workplace will be held on Thursday 21 May at 5:30pm ACST (register to watch/listen)

Posted in
Australian Industrial Transformation Institute Research