Realizing the Potential of Global Digital Jobs | World Economic Forum

Talent Acquisition

This new 35-page report explores how the rise of digital jobs—those that can be done fully or mostly remotely— can help organizations fill talent shortages by connecting skilled workers from regions with a talent surplus to those with labor shortages. To help organizations tap the potential of this opportunity, the paper identifies 1) key barriers, 2) risks, 3) solutions, and 4) mitigation actions to develop sustainable global digital workforces. For example, one of the highlighted risks of a digital workforce is that “geographically scattered teams can often lead to ineffective micromanagement or a lack of support for employees working from home. Managing a global digital team requires different management techniques than managing people face-to-face.” The report notes that two key issues that managers need to be aware of when managing a digital workforce are 1) Cultural differences. Varying norms and values can impede communication and alignment of goals; managing different time zones adds complexity to collaboration. 2) Employee engagement. Limited face-to-face interaction can lead to decreased engagement and increased turnover. The paper shares different tactics for managing these risks and offers a few case studies on how organizations overcome barriers to managing a digital workforce.