Tim Houlne, CEO of Working Solutions, a call-center provider, says his company employs 5,000 agents across the country, all of whom work from home. In a recent interview on Yahoo!, Houlne says more employees and organizations alike are embracing the coming wave of independent, virtual workforces.
Houlne, who also wrote a book on the topic titled The New World of Work: From the Cube to the Cloud, sees three trends shaping the workplace:
- Work is being fractionalized. "Companies increasingly split projects among employees, allowing one to pick up where another left off."
- Careers are being virtualized. "A decent computer setup and a broadband connection are all many workers need to get the job done, allowing more people to work from home and more companies to shave the costs of maintaining an office."
- Talent is globalized. "An employer can leverage this, and find educated individuals with specific skills and domain knowledge that can really enhance the business."
In Houlne's view, technology isn't taking jobs away, but, rather, elevating workers into higher-level roles. In his call-center business, "you see automation stripping off simplistic transactions," he explains. "That leaves you with a more complex transaction that requires a dynamic thinking experienced professional. Agents or people that have that knowledge aren’t going away."