Are You Ready for Digital Free Agency?

Ann All

One of the biggest impacts of consumerization in the enterprise is that it puts more power into the hands of individual employees.


Combine this trend with increasing numbers of easing-into-retirement Baby Boomers, working parents and others who want a better work/life balance, and employers' continued difficulty in finding workers with desired qualifications. What do you get?


"Digital free agents" who are unwilling or unable to work a 40-hour work week, according to Gartner. The firm advises employers to prepare now by developing new descriptions for more flexible jobs that can be accomplished in 20 hours a week.


Unlike some observers, who believe the blurring of lines between work and home environments and proliferation of technology is making folks work longer and harder, Gartner says these trends will benefit both employees and employers -- not to mention the IT departments that are willing to swallow the consumerization Kool-Aid.


A Gartner research director tells

CIOs need to recognize that it is a business value opportunity that enables specific governance strategies to be developed as well as setting the stage for further consumerization initiatives. Ultimately, by preparing for digital free-agency, the IT department will be able to position itself as a proactive enabler of true business change.

The legal departments charged with developing policies for dealing with all of these digital free agents may not be quite as pleased. Companies should not forget such necessities as performing risk assessments of employees' home offices and providing a format to report work-related accidents that occur at home, advises a lawyer interviewed in a recent article.

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