The structure of Digital Work City is the result of a group of professionals’ concrete smart work experience ( http://www.blacktieprofessional.com/ ) over the last 5-6 years. This experience has been discussed and analyzed within a variety of informal working groups, in which participated trade union representatives, university professors, policy makers, associations and companies’ managers. They all want to face and contribute to the positive resolution of some of the global issues, and specifically Italian problems, of the labor market, in which individuals offering their professional activities often take part under unfavorable conditions. In particular, to:
Thus, Digital Work City is much more than a simple economic activity. It functions as an economic ecosystem aimed at realigning socioeconomic problems with individual, professional, and financial issues of the people who are part of the labor market. This effort made it possible to build up an unprecedented tool for those who want to realize themselves and not just an income in their work.
Therefore, be careful to translate what we are proposing into something already heard or seen.
It is not.
Digital Work City intends to develop a work environment that encourages the progress towards activities and professions of a future which, in some ways, is already present. In particular:
Digital Work City addresses those who are interested in a flexible, autonomous, innovative and remote form of work. The professions-target cluster can be divided into three macro categories:
The organizational structure and the proposed activities will address a large number of people who can be divided into the following typologies:
The platform’s multifunctional structure (matchmaking, training, community, services) is “unprecedented”, as said by Federica Saliola, World Bank Lead Economist. Artificial Intelligence will be able to process these many data to allow synergies (training alignment/work/services) not possible today in the same environment. This will encourage everyone to pursue the maximum benefit. Particularly, digital technology makes it possible to bring training closer to work and to allow the meeting between supply and demand of skills in a dynamic, instantaneous and proactive way.
It will also enhance a precise and streamlined managerial and professional training model that fits seamlessly into workflows, in online mode or by micro services, allowing for constant adaptation and development of skills.
The list of services integrated by third parties is the result of months of scouting and evaluation work, carried out by HR and Digital experts. External providers are specialists in giving the best solution for each topic (i.e. welfare, e-learning, finance support, etc.). The community’s strength can allow the individual to obtain better prices and conditions; at the same time, it will help the service provider to better target their own activities, also lowering marketing costs.
The discussion group carefully examined all the hypotheses related to the current system of labor market regulation.
The difficulty was to find a collective agreement that was ductile and suited to a completely innovative reality, that of platform and digital work, preserving the principles that govern the employment relationship. On the other hand, we could not forget the different case of self-employment, which can well find its place in the work on platform.
Plus, we could not forget that our system can be defined as “closed”, since the individual contractor has no freedom to organize their life as they want, except from rare cases.
Therefore, we found a solution both concrete and bold: a real Digital Company that coordinates and controls all the activities, where the platform is, at the same time, an employer, a service provider and a system of organization of an operative community.
As far as employment management is concerned, we decided to refer to the national regulatory framework, specifically to national collective bargaining about the main business necessities: remote working, innovative management of working time and salary, as well as the promotion and discussion of the forms of employees’ participation.
Within this digital company people will be organized in the most modern way and encouraged to develop their competencies. In this way we count on better protecting VATs, likewise freeing workers excessively dependent from their employer.
The business model could only put the individual at the center, overturning the idea of a person as a tool at the service of the organization, and shifting the axis of revenues from the traditional ones (sale of aggregated data of the user to third parties who do advertising, or charging a fee to those who bring work requests) to a model of transaction fees, charged to those who work, bring competencies and create wealth.
There are essentially two reasons for this: first, we would like the circulation of job opportunities to be as fluid as possible and, consequently, not to be discouraged by additional costs. Secondly, the focus is always on people’s needs, who pay for this service in a transparent and sustainable way.
If our earnings depended more on other interests, we probably could not really dedicate ourselves to the mission we chose.
As a matter of fact, our main objective is to help people finding job opportunities and carrying out their activities in the best way possible, related to resources and financial constraints. We want to make work and associated services more manageable and accessible.
This point introduces the peculiarity of the organizational model we are proposing: flexible and capable of making intellectual capital and employability of each person to grow. It is a system where people are not constrained specifically to one occupation, but they can choose different and multiple professional careers. They know in advance timing and costs and can combine each path in a unified way, as if they are making a puzzle with curiosity and knowledge of the facts. A system where the ownership of data and the confidentiality of activities are protected and enhanced.
In this way there will be no more barriers between employer and employee, between those who do and those who think, between those who work in a sector and those who work in another, between those who have experience and those who have not. The labor market will reward the performance based on the real results and commitment and it will provide training tools to those who do not have yet the skills to effectively collaborate and compete.
The organization becomes a system that provides tools, support and opportunities to people so that they can reach their own objectives.
In this framework the collaboration and sharing of competencies are guiding stars. The platform also creates a connection between actual workplaces (co-working spaces) and virtual ones (collaboration systems) where the work takes place.
The work we have done is ofarchitecture of a complex social system made of technologies, people, proprietary assets and external partners, customers and suppliers.
It is now clear that we do not sell a software or a project management system, but a model of work, skills development, implementation of projects with social impact, collaboration. A model based on various elements, including a software. It is the required but not sufficient means, upon which revolve the various people and institutions that participate and regulate the labor market.
The system we built serves to work in a simpler, smoother, fairer, more inclusive, productive way. What to do and how to do it depends on all of us. Thanks to the costs structure competitive for the client, the innovation and the good design, we would like the platform to be used to realize services and products with social impact, in line with the SDGs and UN objectives and with the widest respect for national and supranational communities. This does not mean that it cannot be used to create excellent and simple products and services that could make life easier, funnier and more comfortable.
The complete realization of what we have in mind will take time, efforts, investments and significant funding, but who will really decide if this path is right and worth to be built together is YOU.
So, the question is: are you ready to innovate the labor market together with us? Do you want to be a partner in this change? What we are proposing to you is to adhere to an idea of company where digital and technology are a means to improve everyone’s daily life.
A perspective that starts from work but that we know will have to include many other areas (i.e. school, healthcare).
For this reason we invite you to reflect on the status quo, to ask yourself if it would not be more exciting, enriching, useful and fulfilling for those who work to feel protagonists of every choice and action, making a concrete use of the digital tools that the progress made available to us. And to live the work as a form of self-realization, dynamic and constantly evolving, of meaningful dialogue and exchange of experiences with other independent professionals. Something that can harmonize to everyone’s life, balancing efficiency and flexibility, autonomy and protections.
We are convinced that it is time to design a new way of working and we have now laid the first stones.
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