Business Technology

Could blockchain be the future of employment models?

5 min read

02 November 2018

Blockchain could revolutionise employment practices in the future. But we must remember that we are the masters of it, and we can use it to accelerate human performance.

New technologies will shape the future. They will change our personal lives, our professional lives, our workplaces – but the way in which they’ll do so is hotly debated.

Could these ‘new technologies’ result in the death of employment as we know it? Should we wait, twiddling our thumbs anxiously, as AI puts us all out of a job? Is that all we can do?

In reality, it won’t be one particular technology that alters the employment landscape. AI is built to respond to our commands, not to form its own psyche. It’s not going to ‘go rogue’, like the android in the film, Alien.

It is, in fact, the mechanics behind the said technology that will cause the shift.

Much has been made of blockchain’s potential when it comes to supply chain transparency.

In fact, a recent Real Business article attested this, pointing out the proactive, customer-friendly effect a fully accountable blockchain model can have on a business.

But there’s more to blockchain that we may not have considered.

It offers opportunities that are just as impactful, just as game-changing as the aforementioned benefits.

“Blockchain could change the way businesses operate internally, from top to bottom. Depending on your outlook, it offers a world of opportunity or a very real threat.”

Blockchain could offer creative flexibility for employees

If we integrated a blockchain-style model into employment, then workforces would become more like talent pools. Employees would have the opportunity to contribute to different client briefs; the work tracked like a supply chain and paid in relation to the project’s final success.

And that could be seen as scary. A free-for-all. But as boomers realise that, in fact, they can’t stick around forever, they could do well to lay the groundwork and implement this sort of model for generations to come.

Because millennials and Gen Z will bring a smarter way of working; a more flexible approach to employment. And smarter working should mean working as much or little as you want, when you want.

“The most instant and obvious benefit to this means businesses save on overheads, as more people will be working through software solutions, creating ‘virtual offices’.”

For this to work, there would need to be some sort of jobs portal, with technology compatible to a business’ needs. Something that can host everyone’s LinkedIn, their project history, their highest achievements in accordance with this system.

As well as applying for work, this system could automatically match employees with briefs. Thanks to the nature of blockchain, businesses can see if candidates have missed deadlines, if this was an isolated incident, where their strengths are and so on.

– No more padding out the CV, then. Businesses could see how potential hires would, and do, work in practice.

Easily quantifiable talent

The more successful the employee is, from accumulating projects and delivering great results, the higher their ‘value’.

It may seem crass, but isn’t this how employment works nowadays, just without the room for excuses or exaggeration?

Ultimately, this will make people want to work better. Work has always been competitive. With this model, it’s just more transparent.

“And no matter how far down the rabbit hole we burrow, the world of work will always need a human touch.”

AI-powered mechanisms have created books and film trailers; so while basic creativity might be at risk, high-level thinking can’t be replaced by a machine. Personable roles like HR can’t be swapped for a screen.

This is, of course, hypothetical. And while I don’t have the means to implement it, others do.

It stands to reason that it will remain entirely possible to run an empathetic, human business, while still making the most of new technologies.

David Haycox is senior business development EMEA at Oliver an in-house specialist agency.