I had three meetings yesterday in the city (NYC) all of which touched upon the on-demand economy. My first was with a strategist leaving full-time employ for a freelance arrangement. Following a merger and reorg, this senior employee was thought to be more valuable as an on-demand or freelance employee. This planner also now has a business card from another agency, as chief planning officer, for use in on-demand situations. My picture, BTW, is on a couple of company websites as a brand strategist (stringer?), but these are just bits in the ether.
My two other meetings were at We Work campuses. We Work offices are “rent ‘em when you need’em” places that provide full office services, on demand. It’s a wonderful business model if not a little “Just Mayo.” The upside of We Work facilities is they tend to be peopled by a younger generation of workers who are good fits for the agile on-demand economy. For start-ups and end-ups, We Work is a great solution. I suspect We Work’s will soon come in flavors and one day account for 40% of NYC rent, but that’s a tale for another day.
Suffice it to say, the on-demand nature of business today is an exciting response to the times. In a deck I did for JWT, Microsoft’s ad agency a few years ago, I called foretold of this phenomenon with a slide on the “Logged and Tagged Workplace.” A place where individual workers become less important and their work product and assets more. Another cool, if unsettling, concept.