Cloud Labor

Cloud Labor – Virtualization of Work

The term cloud labor is best defined as shared work. In cloud computing, servers provide computing power and storage space on demand via the internet. This enables companies to get their workforce via the net. Tasks are made available on a website from where they can be processed by registered members also connected via the internet. For example, the service provider clickworker.com. This provides mutual benefit as the company can easily outsource the work and the workforce can easily access the work without traveling.

Cloud Labour ©   Flikr by Saad Faruque

The Development of Cloud Labor

The development of this kind of work began with the virtualization of monotonous and tiresome tasks such as searching for addresses and contact data online. These tasks paid only a few cents. This made them nearly impossible to complete before crowdsourcing emerged. In the meantime, this area of work has greatly increased and includes demanding tasks. These include writing or translating texts, programming software or selling and marketing products. Most people have access to the internet these days whether it’s via their mobile device or a PC at home. This means that more and more people are easily able to access work in the cloud. This has been especially prevalent since the rise of homeworking which was kickstarted by the pandemic in 2020.

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How Cloud Labor Benefits Companies

Cloud labor assists companies by streamlining projects and making work quickly available to the crowd. In the past, a company may have had to set up a new team in the office to gather data for a project. Now, businesses can simply call out to freelancers asking them to log into a central portal to complete the tasks in the cloud. This not only frees up time and money but gets results much faster. In a competitive market, this could make or break a company. Using data in the cloud also means a company can tailor the work however they wish. They can also only allow the most suitable people to work on certain tasks. This way, only the best quality results will be produced without the need to negotiate or delegate work in the office.

When to use Cloud Labor

Some may think their company has no need for cloud labor or that it won’t be reliable but they are likely mistaken. Companies are feeling the pressure to work smarter, faster and with higher production. This includes the need to integrate more flexible ways of working. The solution is cloud labor. All kinds of businesses are utilizing this smart method of work from retailers to social media giants. By having a hybrid workforce of employees, contractors and freelancers they are utilizing many skills, streamlining processes and speeding up production. Labor clouds are especially helpful when a company wants to improve response times in the field, complete projects quickly and expand its geographic footprint.

Best Practice for Companies

As with all kinds of aspects of business, challenges are experienced even when using cloud labor. Here are some of the ways these challenges can be avoided or overcome:

  • Ensure funding will cover the cost of hiring the labor cloud. Budgeting to avoid overspending can keep things under control.
  • Involve all staff at management level. Make sure they understand the role and function of the cloud.
  • Make room for experimentation. Test before work is released to the cloud. A few key staff should try out the work first to fine-tune it before opening it up to the workers.
  • Get everyone on board. Let important people in the company know about the labor cloud. Legal, HR, and stakeholders should be made aware. Explaining benefits will avoid it looking like a take-over to some. Letting them know it’s to complement existing ways of working and not to replace everything will avoid conflict.
  • How Cloud Labor Benefits Individuals

    The benefit to companies is clear. However, there are also benefits to cloud labor for the average person in a few ways. Firstly, many freelancers prefer this kind of work opposed to working in a traditional office environment. This may be for several reasons but flexibility is often the main advantage for them. Then there are smaller groups of people such as those wanting to supplement their income. This includes part-time workers, students and stay-at-home parents. Finally, this kind of work also benefits consumers. This is because companies can use cloud labor to develop products faster giving consumers more options when they are looking for new items or services.