Future of Work


Presented at FreelancerSL 2.0 Dialog Auditorium 23 October 2016
Jaffna Management Forum (JMF) – 18th October 2016 Jaffna Advance Technical Insitute – 19th October 2016
Millennial Careers 2020 Vision: Report by Manpower group highlights, Though Millennials favor full-time work, over half say they are open to non-traditional forms of employment in the future—freelance, gig work or portfolio careers with multiple jobs. Self-employment is also a tempting future option. This is based on a quantitative research across 25 countries surveying 19,000 Millennials. They asked what they look for in a job, what development opportunities they seek and what would make them stay with an employer.   Here are some key findings of the survey, Seventy-three percent report working more than 40 hours a week, and nearly a quarter work over 50 hours.
Fiverr, Upwork and Freelancer are few of the international online platforms where Sri Lankan youth are registered with and making a sizable income. LIRNEasia is currently conducting a research study to access the potential of Microwork / freelancing industry. Our study reveals on average freelancers are earning 180-200 USD per month even working as part time and the interest and willingness to work as freelancers is on rise. Understanding enthusiasm for working as freelancers among youth workforce, PODI JOBS is a local freelancing platform connecting employers and freelancers for work such as creating websites to writing copy/text, maintaining social media pages and many more. The new freelance site claims, “PODI JOBS aims to enable Sri Lankans to work from anywhere in the island.
Rupee depreciation and Interest rate rise are gradually slowing down consumer demand locally. But this may not be the case for Freelancers. Online outsourcing workers would be definitely happy about the depreciating value of currency. Sri Lankan Currency Depreciated against USD by 9% Jan-Dec 2015, it further reduced by 3% till 31st of March. Fiverr, one of the most attractive sites for online freelancers in Sri Lanka, where different services were offered for a standard rate of USD 5.
LinkedIn conducted a research focusing on LinkedIn members with the word “freelance” in their job title, and then they aggregated the most common industries and skill sets found (chart follows). The top results range from media and communications, to engineering and software development. Some of the key finding of the Study There are also slightly more females than males freelancing which indicates that more women tend to freelance as there are slightly more males on LinkedIn overall. When compared freelancers with to non-freelancing members across the same job functions, freelancers take the lead across the board — they have more recommendations, group memberships, skills listed, endorsements, and connections than average Linked Data shows that freelancers juggle roughly 2.1 jobs at once (indicated by members having more than one current role listed on their LinkedIn profile without an end date)
PayPal, being one of the oldest online payment provider, holds a major share in the online payment industry, and is the preferred payment mode for millions of people all around the world. There are a number of developing countries like Sri Lanka where PayPal does not work (for inward remittance). Negotiations with PayPal currently underway and it has listed Sri Lanka for 2017, Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure Harin Fernando said through a Facebook post.   Meanwhile, Stripe is another alternatives to PayPal. It facilitates simple way to accept payments from your customers.
Traditional BPO firms provide managed services directly to their clients, hire employees and contract workers, and require workers to be centralized in the same physical location. On the other hand freelancers continuously growing in numbers providing ITO/BPO/KPO services, and can deliver faster and more flexible access to a broader pool of workers than traditional approaches, often at lower cost. As online freelancing grows, it is anticipated that it will increasingly cannibalize work currently conducted by traditional outsourcing firms. According to “The Global opportunity in online outsourcing” report published by World Bank group highlights, on optimistic scenario there will be major cannibalization of the BPO industry and it is assumed that 25% of the current BPO demand will be served through freelancers by 2025. Growing momentum of freelancing globally would have an impact on Sri Lanka’s traditional BPO industry as well, which we need to be mindful of assessing the impact.
Online outsourcing is divided into freelancing and Microworking. According to “The Global opportunity in online outsourcing” report published by World Bank group in June 2015, the market size for online freelancing in 2016 is estimated to reach $4.4 billion, and for microworking the market is forecast to be $0.4 billion, resulting in a total online outsourcing industry-projected market of $4.8 billion.
Nalaka Gunawardene in his column published in Ravaya on 31 May 2015 looks at the current status, benefits and challenges of Sri Lanka’s Information Technology supported Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry. The column touches on the challenges faced by the industry and mentions the observations made by LIRNEasia Founding Chair, Prof Rohan Samarajiva at a recent panel discussion on ICT innovation and awareness organised by the Business Times Sri Lanka, where Prof Samarajiva commented on problem areas that should be a priority for Sri Lanka such as slow broadband speeds and too-high latency times. The column also touches on the need to enable PayPal payment systems and highlights the potential of the industry to create high-end jobs for skilled professionals in Sri Lanka. The full column can be read here.
Freelancing provides a reliable source of income with flexibility to the self-employed, those who are not part of a large organisation or for a person unable to work full time. This also provide a platform for unemployed youths and married women with small children to make an earning and thereby increasing inclusive growth. Payoneer, a financial services business that provides online money transfer and e-commerce payment services recently conducted a study among freelancers within 180 countries. Objective was to determine the average hourly rates charged by freelancers based on several factors. Payoneer’s Survey results were collected from the responses of 23,006 freelancers worldwide through an online questionnaire during November and December 2014.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report presents the findings of the qualitative research project titled “Communication, Information and Knowledge Needs of Urban Poor Micro-entrepreneurs in Myanmar”. It is an outcome of a research collaboration between CKS Consulting Pvt. Ltd. (hereafter CKS), and LIRNEasia, with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada (www.idrc.
The past decade has seen unprecedented, rapid growth in electronic connectivity in the form of voice in the developing world. Access to the Internet and to more-than-voice services is quite uneven with those at the BOP being excluded from the benefits of the rich potential of applications and services associated with the Internet. The report is a part of LIRNEasia’s research into the exploration of how to bring about an increase the inclusivity of the currently marginalized BOP by providing more useful services and applications on mobile platforms. In terms of providing useful services, the research will focus on three sectors; telecom, electricity and government services. How can these services be more useful to particularly to the micro-entrepreneurs at the Bottom of the Pyramid?
The survey was conducted among the low-income, urban micro-entrepreneurs (MEs) in three countries, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. The study defined micro-entrepreneurs as those who employed less than ten hired workers, i.e 0-9. The hired workers are paid employees or full-time equivalent, excluding the owner. This is an adaptation of international definition followed by World Bank and European Commission1.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The report broadly explores the customer relationship management (CRM) practices in the electricity distribution sector in Bangladesh. It identifies some of the existing challenges and how these can be improved with the use of ICTs and better service design. In a country where less than half the population has access to electricity through 13.5 million connections to the grid, the challenge facing the sector is two-fold. First, those that are privileged to be connected to the grid, need improved services.
ABSTRACT This paper investigates the factors that influence formalization of poor micro-enterprises (MEs) in urban locations in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The paper draws from a multi-country survey of information and communication needs of poor MEs in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka in the second quarter of 2013. Through logistic regression, it models business registration among such MEs to understand what affects the decision to formalize within these environments. The paper also looks at the barriers to registration and the policy implications from these findings. Using descriptive statistics and models we find that the MEs lack of formalization is explained to a significant level by their level of education, gender, size of the enterprise and awareness levels.