Cloud Labor

Cloud Labor – Virtualization of Work

The term cloud labor is best defined as shared work. As in cloud computing, where servers provide computing power and storage space on demand via the Internet, companies can get their workforce via the Net. Tasks are made available on a website from where they can be processed by registered members who are 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 the need for travel.

Cloud Labour ©   Flikr by Saad Faruque

Development of Work at 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 on the Internet. These tasks pay a few cents only, which made them nearly impossible to complete before crowdsourcing emerged. In the meantime, this area of work has greatly increased and includes demanding tasks such as writing or translating texts, programming software or selling, marketing products. Most people have access to the internet these day whether it’s via their phone or laptop 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 prevelent 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 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 and 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

You may think that your company has no need for cloud labor or that it won’t be a reliable enough solution but you may be mistaken. Companies are feeling the pressure to work smarter, faster and with higer production and 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. Having a hybrid workforce of employees, contractors and freelancers they are opening up all kinds of skills, streamlining processes and speeding up production of results. Labor clouds are especially helpful when a company wants to improve response times in the field, complete projects quickly, utilize people with specific skills, and expand their geographic footprint.

Best Practice for Companies Using Cloud Labor

As with all kinds of aspects of business you will experience challenges 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 so you don’t spend too much will keep things under control.
  • Involve all staff at management level. Make sure they understand the role and function of the labor cloud.
  • Make room for experimentation. Test before you release work to the cloud, get a few key staff to try out the work first to fine tune it before releasing to a labor cloud.
  • Get everyone onboard. Let important people in the company know about the labor cloud: legal, HR, stakeholders. Explain the benefits as some old-school management may see this new way of working as a take over of some kind. Let them know it’s to complement existing ways of working, not to replace everything.
  • How Cloud Labor Benefits Individuals

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