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Uberisation of Work Force – Help or Hurdle for HR

Prof. Shurlly Tiwari, Asst. Professor – HR

Uberisation refers to the movement of workforce in the service sector; it is a new concept, which is increasingly becoming popular. Companies like Wipro and TCS believe in Uberisation of workforce as it facilitates smoother operations without the hassle of finding the part time work force.
Uber means “top most or superior”. It is quite similar to the business model of UBER, where the demand meets the supply for the vehicle and for the movement of the customer. Company focuses on proper feedback of the driver and actions are taken to improve the performance.
Similarly, Uberisation is an efficient way, by which IT companies get the best available skills on contract. uberisation helps organisations to save their time, effort and money on recruitment and training It also gives flexibility and freedom to the employee.
Today, most of the companies believe in developing their employees in new skills through training. 90% of employees are trainable but 10% are doubtful cases, based on their age, location, not interested in working on that particular skill etc.
This 10% workforce can be utilised to do nonspecific jobs of the company or can also be laid off. However, to meet the requirements of the organisation, skilled labour is hired on contractual basis .This labour is also used in different departments for a specific time and for very specific results.
Uberisation of employees is a demand and supply model. Today some tech companies are breaking away from traditional practices and there is room for several freelancers and consultants to work as a team. Imagine a flexible and talented workforce always by your side, ready to give you just enough time to deliver key projects on time. That is how powerful uberised workforce is.
Indian IT companies like Infosys and Wipro are already exploring this idea and it is a clear indication that how the future of IT industry will take shape through uberisation.
Benefits of Uberisation:
It is cost effective

In an hourly pay arrangement with freelance work, you will not have an insight into how those hours are being utilised, and there is always a possibility of costs scaling up. However with uberisation, it becomes easy to keep a  check on return on investments.

On Time delivery

For a start-up running on tight timelines and budget, time is money. Working with a freelancer demands constant monitoring and eyes on progress. However with uberisation delivery on time is ensured.
Transparency in process

Working on site at client’s premises. State-of-the-art facility for both practical and virtual support, which includes offline and online meetings, discussion rooms etc.

Information used for learning:
Information used by the mobile labour is used to make learnings for the other projects and can be used for further references.
One of the problem that IT industry faces today is  when an employee is asked to sit “on bench”, which means , asking an employee to continue in the organisation without work , this method is to make sure that employees don’t leave the organisation . By uberisation organisations can be  sure of the availability of skill, when project approach in the organisation, employee need not to worry for salary. Meanwhile, his expertise can be utilised by other companies or department, this will be a win- win situation for both employee and the organisation.
Sometimes, this wait for the next project becomes more than expected; in such cases, it becomes difficult to maintain the moral of the employees. Under such conditions uberisation can be used. The employees can be rotated in the other projects within the organisation or outside the organisation also. Thus, it adds value to the employee and helps organisation.
Generally, there are apps made for Uberisationin Human resource department, the movement of workforce with the help of app, in which the demand and supply can be met without the help of a  middleman.
Uberisation is a transition to an economic system where agents exchange under-utilised capacity of existing assets or human resources (typically through a website or software platform), while incurring only low transaction costs.
In the world of start-up, Uberisation proved a big help. Especially by using, a mobile app it reduces operational costs and still earn profits, without charging customers too much has made many start-ups embracing ‘Uber-like’ digitisation model. Notable examples include:
Watch over you” this app helps the young kids and adults to be safe in their surroundings, one click can send a call to the emergency medical help and security help immediately.
Netflix, an online video-on-demand app, has connected viewers and content producers. It has over 65 million paying subscribers worldwide, and has gone beyond its original core   streaming on request business, becoming producers of original and exclusive content
In hospitability sector, AirBnB enables travellers to find accommodation worldwide, without owning a single hotel or hiring any employee. It is poised to surpass revenue of the most valued hotel groups in the world: Hilton Worldwide and InterContinental.
Organisations could dramatically cut their labour costs. No more idle employees warming the bench, you call them when you need them.
Flexible working for employees. Workers are more like self-employed entrepreneurs rather than employees. Uberised workers can go offline whenever they wish. The on-demand technology can increase workers’ access to opportunities. It is solution to the unemployment and underemployment problem in India
Uberisation has the potential to regulate working conditions of labour in informal sector. This is a harbinger of relief for the domestic workers who are forced to work up to 18 hours a day and face dire living conditions, abuse and violence. However, domestic workers industry is an unstructured industry, with a lot of corruption of agents involved into it, but in future these things can be controlled.
A few more benefits of uberisation for employees are, `no more employee appraisal determined by your boss. The user rating system for the quality of the service provided by a provider is all you need. It is an accurate measure of employees’ performance
As Uberisation makes its headway, companies are free to hire employees without need of complying rigid labour laws. It helps in developing new careers like language translators etc.
It can be an additional source of income for full time workers due to its flexible nature of employment.
On-demand domestic work companies including BookMyBai and TaskBob connect domestic help to households
Urban Clap has setup a mobile marketplace for local services such as plumber, yoga trainer, and guitar teacher providing home delivery of this service to app users.
 Uberisation is an emerging trend in the market; it can bring many innovative solutions to the employee problems and solves attrition. Job opportunities and flexibility increases by Uberisation. But, it also creates an environment, which is vulnerable and the data centric organisations can find it difficult to continue with the change of labour. The maximum benefit of Uberisation is for IT and ITES companies, whereas in the other sectors like in manufacturing or retail, it might not be of much help.
·         Uberisation – a boon or a bane.-linkedin article by Manav Jain – circular economy.
·         Infosys, Wipro, other IT companies exploring ‘uberisation of workforce’
 By:Priyanka Sangani
·         ET Bureau updated: Jun 14, 2017, 02.45 PM IST
·         Is Uberisation of The Workforce a solution for India.- Published on June 13, 2017
·         How uberisation of workforce is changing our work ecosystem by Harshal Sancheti