The Now of Work

DigitalCollaborationPatternsThe Business of Business

The future of work is a hot topic but not one we should be fixated with or discussing as much as we do.  We should be talking about the NOW of work.

Workforce Change

The workforce is changing and companies aren’t keeping up with the changes.  There is an active reduction in human resources, talent management, knowledge management, operations staff.  There is a push for automation and AI without an understanding of the basic concepts of automation.

There is a shift in thinking across the workforce about the “Gig economy” that doesn’t hold up well for companies and workers alike.  This isn’t about whether or not it will at some point be the model, it is about today.   There are companies in support of this model (see list at the bottom) which support the freelance / gig approach.  Are companies prepared for this?   I don’t think they are since many claim that they can’t find the talent they need.

Many companies don’t know or understand what kind of knowledge or skills they need to perform complex tasks required.  They depend heavily on consulting partners that have great PowerPoint slides and MSA’s already in place.    Having a corporate agreement doesn’t make one an expert.

Many companies aren’t willing or able to define or create governance.  The workforce is broken down into smaller communities where sub-cultures form and become the norm.  Senior leaders (C-level) have no real insight into the organizational sub-culture.   This is where the social and cultural organizational norms start to break from higher level or wide organizational thinking.   This break is the point in which technologies and approach to problems start to create “Citizen IT / Developer / Solution Maker”

Many companies start to bleed money right at this point.   This place where silos meet is very interesting because it is also the place where they depart from each other.

The futurists will tell us about how we will work in terms of large sociological shifts but this doesn’t address “how we get from here to there”   This is the issue facing many in leadership today.

Centralized Core Services

The centralized core services model is economically appealing but doesn’t seem realistic in terms of IT or business.   Many companies have turned shadow IT into the normal way of doing business.   Organizational leaders have their own P&L, they manage their own balance sheet and they look for solutions specifically in line with what they need to do their work.   The concerns of others in the organization aren’t part of the equation and they are still measured on their own group, business or team performance.   The old performance and measurement models don’t support the on-demand shift of the business and the ideas behind “being agile” and ready to change direction.    Instead, centralized core services are a burden and annoying.   The CIO’s get hit with the pressures of core service operations while the business takes the monies once allocated as IT tax and converts it to business investment non-IT (technical) spend.   This also changes how people work as leaders seek to lean out their workforce and exchange internal employees for managed services.

While a managed service approach may be a great approach in consideration of the future of work, many leaders are confused at best as to why spend increases and performance decreases as they moved to service models.  One of the reasons this happens is due to a lack of knowledge transfer.   Additionally,  as a consultant I may know the industry but I have to learn about your company.   HOW your company works may be very different and without the time to learn and gain understanding, I can cause more harm than good both up front and over time.   Many companies that have gone to service models without understanding of knowledge transfer have sought to reverse the trend and take back the service areas they gave up.  The results aren’t good there either because now they are simply trying to rebuild a manage service model with internal resources that know just as much about their business as the outside service providers themselves.

The NOW of work is offsets and investment in offloading work to people or technologies that are supposed to perform  faster but now take more time to produce overall.    Some can argue that certain aspects are faster.   For example, if I reduce my internal infrastructure staff and move to a cloud model and hire top services to provide what we need to deliver technical solutions immediately, the company can have the tools up and running right away.   Using a credit card to turn on a service can take 5 minutes,  deploying the capabilities or services and integration with other services without the right knowledge can turn 5 minutes into 5 months or more.  In fact,  many leaders can’t understand why even with the best talent they can buy things take so long.

The 15 in 5 Rule

The 15 in 5 rule is this idea that for every 15 minutes of work a person does, we can reduce it to 5.    We can automate it using robotics.   We can reduce time to delivery by moving to agile methods.  We can reduce time to support by offloading the support services.   We can reduce labor and go faster by leaning out the workforce.  We can go faster by buying software as a service!    All of this is part of this idea in the future of work.   The NOW of work says “hold yer horses there..”    Let’s just talk about automation for a moment.   If you are a company that is doing something brand new and starting a new line of work or business, automation can lower the time to delivery vs labor fairly easily.   The reason is because where people once had to do certain tasks, automated technologies can NOW do these tasks from planning to implementation.  In other words,  you are designing a new process.    If you try to do the same automation on existing process, it may be much more difficult.    Why?  Because you don’t know what you don’t know and you either have to learn through every step both tacit and explicit knowledge or you have to break everything down and make new process anyway.

That doesn’t get you from 15 -5.   It gets you to something like +60-2.   In other words,  the investment side of automating something in existence has a much longer implementation cycle than estimated.   Consultants are brilliant but not magicians.  Many come into something that looked simple to learn and unravel the old Russian doll.  By the time they get to the core, there is a realization that automation may not even be the best approach.

Still leaders read books and articles as they ride the air, train and car and they hear of all the great things that are happening in the industry.    Unfortunately,  many in leadership positions can’t share their failures even though today we like to talk about how important failure is.     In the quest to get from 15-5,  they wind up paying later for time seemingly saved now.    It is part of the NOW of work.

Want to talk more about it?  ..  

I took these from random sources and pasted them in here so they are in one place.. .but here is list of GIG working sites… How many of these are working with your company? How many have an MSA in place?  How many have you worked with?    Consider these as they are .. the future of work but are here now!

  1. Upwork: The most popular freelance job site on the Internet today, birthed from the merger of oDesk and Elance. When you first start out, they take a 20% cut of your earnings, but this reduces as you build more experience.
  2. Guru: If Upwork’s service fees make you squirm, Guru is a more reasonable option. More than a million freelancers use this platform to find fixed price and hourly jobs.
  3. Freelancer: On Freelancer you can apply for freelance jobs and make submissions to design contests. It’s a relatively new platform on the market but already has a huge base of customers and clients.
  4. We Work Remotely: A job board for all sorts of freelance services, including customer service, programming and more. The only rule for posting jobs on the site is that no office is required!
  5. Fiverr: Here you can offer just about any kind of freelance service at a starting rate of $5 per project. Don’t let that put you off, you can easily earn hundreds a day if you set up the right kind of gig.
  6. Onsite: A curated marketplace of freelance opportunities in a variety of fields. It’s an invite-only platform, and you’ll have to provide work examples to be considered for admission.
  7. Folyo: A platform that connects businesses with a network of freelancers and influencers who review their needs and refer them to different freelancers who might be right for the job.
  8. Matchist: A platform where anyone can submit a project idea they want to bring to life. Matchist will assign a project manager and then match them with “experts” to make it happen. Become one of their experts and start benefitting from the job opportunities!
  9. Mechanical Turk: Run by Amazon, it’s a platform linking businesses and developers with an on-demand workforce to complete their projects. Join up, and you can make money working on HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks).
  10. The Muse: A platform offering a searchable database of more than 80,000 jobs in companies around the world.

Here’s a list of 79 current, active sites you can visit to find freelance job opportunities now. Shop around and find the ones that post freelance opportunities that you’re best suited for.

  1. Indeed: Aggregates data from job opportunities around the Internet all in one place. You can easily find more than 2,000 remote job opportunities on the site.
  2. Freelanced:A social network designed just for freelancers. You set up your profile, set your rates and apply for job postings on the sites. Clients can also give you “kudos” points that appear on your profile.
  3. Skip the Drive: Offers a database of searchable remote and telecommute jobs in business, accounting, web development, human resources, customer service, engineering, and more.
  4. Virtual Vocations: A hand-selected database of online telecommute jobs from more than 2,500 vetted companies. The website updates with more than 450 new jobs every day.
  5. Rat Race Rebellion: A platform that helps people find work-from-home jobs and earn extra cash. It hosts a job board with over 100,000 positions listed so far.
  6. Working Nomads: Working Nomads offers a curated list of job openings delivered right to your inbox. It’s catered to people who want the freedom to work anywhere in the world.
  7. Remotive: Offers a job board of freelance positions in marketing, sales, engineering, human resources, and a few other areas.
  8. FlexJobs: FlexJobs is all about finding you flexible, telecommute jobs. All positions are hand-screened and legitimate by their guarantee!
  9. PeoplePerHour: Originally designed for freelance needs in the UK, PeoplePerHour is still dominated by these businesses and freelancers. However there are job opportunities from around the world for freelancers everywhere.
  10. Crowdsite: On Crowdsite, employers post a 140-character shout describing their freelance needs. You can be considered for the job by responding to the tweet-like post.
  11. YunoJuno: YunoJuno is another great platform that helps connect businesses with top freelancers. It also offers features to support contracts and invoices.
  12. Just Answer: Become a Just Answer expert and start answering people’s questions on a freelance basis. Topics include mechanics, electrical engineering, computers, education, and more.
  13. Krop: A job board for all sorts of positions, from marketing to design, administration and more. With a free trial, you can build a creative portfolio and find jobs.
  14. CloudPeeps: An online community helping businesses find local or remote professionals to help with their marketing, content creation, designs and more.
  15. MeFi Jobs: MeFi is all about location. You can search for jobs posted by other members and see how far they are from you, based on your latitude and longitude.
  16. Aquent: A community of creative, digital, marketing and technical professionals from around the world that you can be a part of. As a team member, you can help fill gaps in digital and marketing staff for various companies in their network.
  17. Project4Hire: Project4Hire is an online freelancing platform for all sorts of services including IT, web development, translation, and more. You have to pay a 5% project fee at the beginning of every project, but it will be refunded if the client falls through.
  18. iFreelance: iFreelance is another platform for many different kinds of freelancers, including writers, coders, and marketers. As far as I know, it’s also the only platform out there that lets you keep 100% of your earnings!
  19. Damongo: Damongo calls itself the #1 website for micro jobs online! A lot like Fiverr, you can get paid for completing a wide variety of simple tasks related to graphic design, business, music, audio, and more.
  20. LinkedIn ProFinder: A professional services marketplace helping businesses find the best freelance or independent professionals in their area. It’s currently only available to businesses and freelancers in the U.S.


Do you have a teachable skill? Chances are there’s someone out there who needs your tutoring services. Whether it be a high school subject, a language, or just about anything else, there are platforms out there that make it easy to teach online. Here are a few to check out in your freelance job search:

  1. is the Internet’s #1 tutoring site, delivering more than 15 million tutoring sessions so far. Become a tutor on the site and you can start coaching people through all sorts of subjects.
  2. Chegg Tutors: This platform offers flexible tutoring opportunities starting at $20/hour. According to their site, top tutors can earn as much as $1,000/month. The more you build your reputation, the more you can earn.
  3. TutorVista: TutorVista is another popular tutoring site with more than 10 million live sessions served. You can work through monthly packages with your students or by an hourly rate.


Want to become one of the top freelance writers online? There are plenty of job opportunities out there waiting to get you a byline and more exposure. Here are some job sites just for freelance writers:

  1. Online Writing Jobs: A place to find writing gigs online. It can be blogging, writing research reports, creating feature articles for magazines, and more.
  2. DailyPosts: DailyPosts is a freelance writing agency that uses a virtual office to manage production. Become one of their top writers to find freelance writing gigs from around the world.
  3. Canadian Freelance Writing Jobs: This platform is designed just for Canada, but as long as you can write using Canadian English spelling, you’re golden!
  4. Textbroker: Founded way back in 2005, Textbroker is a platform that connects businesses with professional writers. Become one of their authors to start earning money through their prestige and network of clients.
  5. JournalismJobs: Journalism Jobs is an online database of open positions and freelance opportunities in print, broadcast, and digital media. Many of the jobs listed are full-time and location-based though.
  6. MediaBistro: MediaBistro is another great job board that writers, editors, and other media professionals can use to connect with magazines and trade publications in their industry. The site features thousands of telecommute jobs writers can apply for.
  7. The Shelf: If you’re a blogger and freelance writer, The Shelf is a good opportunity for you. On the platform, you can connect with other businesses and become an influencer to help them reach the right audience.
  8. Problogger Jobs: Problogger Jobs is a job board for open writing positions as a blogger. You can find regular postings in all sorts of blogging niches.

Local/offline freelance jobs

Of course, freelancing isn’t all about working from your computer! There are plenty of offline contract jobs you can take on to start earning extra money. Here are some sites that are designed to help you find local/offline work:

  1. TaskRabbit: An app that connects people with local freelancers to help them out with just about anything they need. It could be something as simple as walking their dog, or hiring a professional plumber.
  2. Uber: Uber has just about replaced cab services in a lot of towns. Sign up for the app and get approved as one of their drivers, and you can start earning cash driving people around your town.
  3. Lyft: Lyft is Uber’s biggest competitor in the transport services market. They’re worth a look!
  4. Sidecar: Sidecar is an up-and-coming transport services alternative you can check out as well. They focus on offering rideshare services so you can save money on your regular commute.
  5. LocalSolo: LocalSolo is an online platform to help businesses find freelancers based in their city. It’s still in its early stages, but to date has curated a network of over 25,000 local freelancers.
  6. Localancers: A freelancer/digital nomad directory combining local cooperation and international outsourcing. It uses your location to help companies find people who work in their preferred time zone.
  7. Bark: Bark is designed to help businesses find help with just about any kind of service locally, whether it be car repairs, photography, accounting, or more. The site is catered to helping people find someone close by that can help.
  8. Wonolo: Wonolo is an on-demand staffing platform helping businesses find temporary or contract staffing for their needs. You can become a pre-screened worker in a variety of fields, including general labor, administration, delivery, warehouse operations, and more.
  9. Ozlance: Ozlance is all about helping businesses in Australia and New Zealand find the freelancers in their country. The site supports all sorts of freelance opportunities.


Have a nice camera and an eye for photography? That’s all you really need to start earning money as a freelance photographer. Here are a few websites that will help you find paid freelance photography gigs online:

  1. Freelance Photographer Jobs: This website is a curated database of photography job opportunities in the U.S., UK and Canada.
  2. Photography Jobs: Photography Jobs Online is a site where you can submit your photos to sell to millions of potential buyers. You can choose from all kinds of photography jobs on the site and earn up to $125 per photo.
  3. Get Photography Jobs: This is a searchable database of photography jobs from around the U.S. based on state.
  4. The Creative Loft: This is another searchable database of photography jobs from around the U.S. It includes job opportunities in fields such as weddings, technical photography, travel, studio, portrait, and more. You can sort the job list by “freelance.”


Tech workers are probably the most in-demand in the world. Businesses struggle to find contract workers who can help them with their technology needs, while hiring a full-time employee just isn’t in the cards. Luckily, there are plenty of sites out there designed to help tech contractors like you find companies you can help:

  1. PowertoFly: PowertoFly is an online community charged with connecting women tech workers to their dream jobs, whether they be in office, flexible, or remote.
  2. Authentic Jobs: Authentic Jobs calls itself the leading job board for designers, hackers, and creative pros. Some of the positions available are in-house full time, but remote freelance opportunities also come up.
  3. Stack Overflow: Stack Overflow is one of the most popular job boards for employers to find tech freelancers. Some of the jobs listed are location-based, but you can also search for remote positions.
  4. Sologig: Sologig is a searchable database of engineering and IT jobs. You can search for positions based on keywords or location. There are many remote options available.
  5. Dice: Dice is an online search platform for tech jobs. You can easily search based on job title or keywords and location to find the perfect tech position for you.
  6. Gigster: Gigster connects companies and entrepreneurs with developers, designers and project managers to help them with their projects. Become one of their vetted developers and you might get opportunities to work with tech titans.
  7. FreelancerMap: FreelancerMap can help you find freelance, contract positions in the IT industry from around the world.

Web design and development

If those general tech sites weren’t enough for you, there are plenty of other opportunities out there in the industry. Here are some other freelance sites that will help you find jobs in web development, design, and other creative projects.

  1. Joomlancers: Joomlancers is a job board for freelance projects related to Joomla, Drupal, OScommerce, Vbulletin, WordPress, Magento and more. Some are simple gigs that take only a little time to complete and some are quite complex.
  2. Hirable: Hirable connects businesses with freelance developers for short or long term freelance projects. You’ll need to be pre-screened before Hirable can start connecting you with potential clients.
  3. A platform for developers and designers to meet up with companies who need freelance work done. Big name companies like Amazon, Zappos, and LonelyPlanet have found freelancers through this site.
  4. Smashing Magazine: The Smashing Magazine job board is another great place where freelance developers and designers can find job opportunities.
  5. WordPress Jobs: This is the official WordPress job board where freelancers can find jobs in theme development, plugin development, site optimization, and more.
  6. WPHired: This is another platform focused on helping you find freelance jobs related to WordPress needs, including design, plugin development, theme development and more. Occasionally blogging and site management job opportunities are posted as well.
  7. 99Designs: 99Designs is the go-to site on the web for businesses who need logos, websites, and other material designed. Businesses post opportunities and designers submit their creations. If they choose yours, you’ll receive a predetermined amount of money.
  8. DesignCrowd: DesignCrowd is a marketplace people go to get their logos, websites, posters, and other digital designs made. Like 99Designs, you need to participate in design contests to earn money.
  9. SquadHelp: This crowdsourcing marketplace is another contest-based platform for designing logos, slogans, and other marketing materials. You submit your creations to a client contest, and if they like it the best, you win the money.
  10. EnvatoStudio: EvantoStudio (formerly FreelanceSwitch) is a place where developers and other freelance creatives can find work opportunities. You have to apply to be a service provider, then you can set your own price through the platform.
  11. Behance: Behance offers a job board for creative professionals such as graphic designers, digital artists, and more. You can find a job based on your location, skills, and other qualifications.
  12. ArtWanted: Are you an artist looking to get paid for your work? Join ArtWanted, an online community to showcase your work and network with other artists. Art you post on the site can be purchased as original work so you earn some profits!
  13. DesignHill: DesignHill calls itself the world’s largest graphic design marketplace. Customers post design contests to the site that freelance designers can submit to. Whichever design is chosen gets a pre-defined monetary reward.
  14. Coroflot: Coroflot is catered to creative professionals. Designers post their portfolios to the site and companies post their job openings. Coroflot will make the connections.
  15. Dribble: A job board for designers. Employers have to pay a several hundred dollar fee to start posting jobs, so you know they’re serious (and have some money to spend).
  16. Juiiicy: Juiicy is private online community for freelance designers. Here you can find jobs and get referral opportunities from your designer peers.


If those job categories weren’t enough for you, here are a couple more specialty sites to help you find very specific job opportunities:

  1. Toptal: Toptal is catered to businesses looking for talent in the finance industry, including consultants, financial modeling and valuation, fundraising, market research, and more. You have to apply to the site to become one of their freelance finance experts.
  2. Traction: If you’re a marketing professional on the lookout for brands or advertisers to work with, then you’ll want to check out Traction. This platform will help set you up with potential clients as one of their marketing partners.

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