At GigaOM and WebWorkerDaily, we define a web worker as someone who uses the web as a part of their everyday work. Given the broad nature of this definition, web workers could, quite possibly, represent a large majority in today’s workforce.
With this in mind, we asked our readers at WebWorkerDaily a number of questions about their work lives, including those concerning location, coworking, employment/freelance status, technology adoption and more.
The results of this survey underscore the fact that, without a doubt, today’s web worker work force is dynamic and forward-leaning in the adoption of technologies that empower a highly distributed and flexible worklife.
Some examples of this include:
- Nearly 85 percent of those surveyed use a mobile phone for work, which is more than any other type of telecommunications device.
- Six in 10 surveyed use voice over IP, or VoIP, as a part of their everyday work lives.
- Approximately half of those surveyed have used video chat and/or video communications.
- Nearly 40 percent of those surveyed use a web-based productivity suite, with nearly seven percent exclusively using web-based software over locally installed solutions like Microsoft Office.
- Nearly 36 percent of respondents indicated they use a web-based email provider like Google or Yahoo.
But the story of today’s web worker isn’t just about the adoption of technologies; it’s also about the work flexibility such technology empowers. When asked about their various work locations, one-third of our respondents indicated they work at least part time in a coffee shop, while another 27 percent do the same in a public space, like a library.
Work flexibility is also illustrated through the adoption of coworking, with 28 percent of those surveyed indicating they use coworking in some capacity, and over six percent indicating they use coworking full time.
In summary, the web work is pervasive and responsible for, in many ways, how the overall nature of work and the workplace is changing. The trends uncovered in this report will give the reader a peek at just how it may change — in 2010 and beyond.