Work: For decades experts proclaimed that technology was reshaping the workplace, and a “gig economy” was taking over. But a funny thing happened in the years since. Nothing.
Along with the advent of personal computers, broadband internet and smartphones came predictions that the traditional employer-worker relationship would soon be a thing of past. Workers would increasingly become freelancers, and companies virtual. Telecommuting would be routine.
In 1999, the Department of Labor predicted that the “traditional work arrangement (is) giving way to something fundamentally different” as companies shift to “just in time” workers.
Kiplinger predicted in 2000 that 100 million U.S. workers would be telecommuting by 2010.
The RAND Corporation said in 2004 that we’d see a shift toward “less permanent, even nonstandard employment relationships.”
Intuit predicted in 2010 that, by 2020, 40% of the US workforce will be “contingent workers.”
In 2011, the Atlantic called the transformation to a gig economy “nothing less than a revolution.