Where is work headed? The work landscape is shifting as businesses seek to innovate and succeed against the rigors of a global economy as well as the pressures inherent in the ongoing recovery from the Great Recession. In light of this there are some compelling ideas about where working America is going. A recent report, “Dynamism in Retreat” by the bipartisan think-tank, the Economic Innovation Group, has painted a comprehensive picture of why our economy continues to struggle, and it leaves us with some prescient observations about how we as businesspeople and policy makers might (re)conceptualize work and business creation in America.
The report offers two realities of the economy as:
1) Business Creation, an integral part of economic health and growth, continues to stagnate and flag—and without this “creative” part of creative destruction,” the economy is thus prevented from being in a “constant state of rebirth, serving to replace dying industries, foster competition with incumbent companies, and produce new, higher wage jobs.”
2) There are fewer jobs available, but they’re available to even fewer people because of how geographically concentrated they have become in prominent cities across the country—“the preponderance of business creation is now intensely concentrated in a handful of metropolitan hubs that have managed to maintain resiliency amidst the national slowdown.”
So, given that where is work headed? While the report aptly concludes that there’s no silver bullet to solve all the problems of our economy, it also wisely observes that we can be sure that “if we can make the economy work again for entrepreneurs in a greater cross-section of America, we can start to rebuild the broken pathways to the American dream.” This leads us to consider what kind of business models afford improved access to a “greater cross-section of America,” and which entrepreneurial endeavors are likely to leverage this surplus of willing and experienced workers, particularly in geographically isolated areas. Certainly, part of enabling entrepreneurial success across America, and especially outside of major metropolitan areas, is to embrace business models that transcend hyper-locality and traditional expectations of office dynamics like 9-5 hours and in-person, 5-days-a-week presence in the office. This enables businesses to employ and retain the qualified professionals they need to continue to grow and thrive, without the constraints of locality, and with all the benefits of work ethic and professional experience.
The American Dream is by no means lost, but the path has certainly been complicated by roadblocks that confound traditional ideas of what historically has worked to keep wages up, businesses growing, and Americans employed. A new path is in sight and becoming clearer—one that is foraged by innovative ideology and technology that connect qualified professionals and employers beyond standard constraints of time or geography. We at WAHVE are proud to be part of this trailblazing path, on the road to a stronger, more dynamic working America.