'The Rise of the Naked Economy'
You don't have to be an economic analyst to realize that the American workforce has changed dramatically over the past few years. Make that the global workforce.
Our parents finished school, then spent the next 30 years at the same company. Job security, health insurance, a pension, and a gold watch at retirement were expected rewards for long-term loyalty. Happiness and personal satisfaction rarely figured into the mix, if ever.
Thanks to wireless technologies, a new net-savvy generation coming up, and a shift in cultural values, this cubicle-bound style of work is going the way of the dodo, and not a moment too soon.
"The rules of work have changed," write Ryan Coonerty and Jeremy Neuner in their new book, "The Rise of the Naked Economy." "Fundamental leaps in technology, demographics, and economics are driving a once-a-century shift in how, when, where, and why we work."
READ MORE: "Bridging the 'digital divide': It's high time to re-imagine how and where we work" by Matt Bauer, Sustainable Industries, June 20, 2013.
Their book offers a view from trenches of this shift as they are co-founders of NextSpace, a pioneering chain of coworking spaces known for building community among indy workers.
We recently caught up with Neuner to find out more about the book and the decidedly-positive trends reintroducing flexibility, collaboration, and a wee bit of nakedness back into the workforce.
Shareable: Not so long ago, it was considered risky, even a little bit crazy to abandon a traditional job for the freelance life. Now, your book suggests 40 percent of the workforce will be "fractional" or "disaggregated" by the end of the decade. What's changed?
Neuner: That’s right: for a long time, there was a stigma around freelancing. Too often, our society viewed freelancers as people who couldn’t get “real jobs." The biggest change is that technology—the means of production in the information and innovation economy—is now in the hands of individuals instead of companies.
As a freelancer, independent consultant, or entrepreneur, a couple thousand dollars gets me a laptop, a mobile phone, and a range of inexpensive (and increasingly free) software tools.