The Future of Work

May 22, 2009

There was an interesting article about ‘The Future of Work’ in Time Magazine this week. Seth Godin, author of Small is the New Big, contributed some particularly insightful points. Godin describes a future in 5 or 10 years, where businesses will employ only a few essential employees and outsource the rest of their work.

A growing number of businesses are already adopting this way of working. We speak to dozens of you every day who tell us how you have cut costs by outsourcing work via Many are cutting costs by more than 50% a year.

For example, earlier this week we spoke to Michael Parker, founder of A Quarter Of Ltd, which is a traditional sweetshop, selling retro sweets online. Michael has outsourced PR, affiliate marketing, article writing and web site development, saving an estimated £7k every month in salaries.

Similarly, Kerchoonz, the social networking site that allows free legal music that pays the artists, saved costs by finding freelancers for their PR, Marketing, IT and sales functions, for which they’d otherwise have to hire fulltime or agency staff.  Founder, Indiana Gregg, says “we have made an estimated saving of 32% in the last year by using freelancers through”.

Ask-Kent, a B2B telemarketing company, founded by Richard Romaine took his entire business virtual in January 2006. It previously had 10 fulltime people in an office. As a virtual company it has five telemarketers working from home at any one time. By doing this, Richard has cut overheads by £80k a year. This kind of business model is also greener as it eliminates the commute.

Thanks to all of you who are using the site and recommending it to others, has grown from 4,700 to more than 30,000 in the past year.  This suggests that ‘The Future of Work’ as Seth describes it is already well on its way to becoming a reality.


3 Responses to “The Future of Work”

  1. The virtual office is very much the way we run our business, and my goodness doesn’t it save ALOT of overheads. You can quite easily run a very professional PR/Marketing/Sales campaign using a combination of freelance telemarketeers and web marketing services like Mailchimp (for email mailshots) and press dispensary (for Press Releases)

  2. […] A recent blog on the free-lancers website , People per Hour, talks about Seth Godin’s, vision of the future. He thinks that in the very near future, many organisations will only employ a very few essential people and the rest of the work will be outsourced. Because of this – a great deal of their “workforce” will be located in offices and also homes all over the place. There will be little need for expensive office space. […]

  3. Wayne Says:

    Yes, it all sounds good. But what about the UK workforce and unemployment on the rise.

    It maybe good to save money personally, but what would happen if every business outsourced all their work to other countries (ie. India/Asia).

    Where would that leave the UK. I totally agree with outsourcing UK to UK.

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