It was once rumored that the internet would kill jobs, but in fact, the opposite has happened with the job market. The widespread use of the internet has actually led to an increase in jobs –not just freelance, but also remote. Far from ruining the job market, online jobs have made it possible for people to work wherever and whenever they can.
There is a lot more that the internet has brought into our lives and changes it’s made in the way we work, all for the better. Here are the primary ways in which the internet has positively impacted the job market.
How is the internet contributing to employment and the job market?
Let’s look at how the internet job market is looking right now – how is it contributing to employment and the economy? What difference is it making?
According to statistics, freelance work (a lot of which is done online and remotely) has all but overtaken traditional work. Findings from freelancing websites show that the so-called independent workforce is expanding three times as fast as the traditional workforce. In fact, there are even companies who only hire on a remote basis, with employees working exclusively online.
Considering that it’s been on a growth trend and continues to be on the same track, we can make an informed prediction that the remote workforce will continue to grow at a rapid pace. In addition, the majority (51%) of freelancers are so satisfied with their work situation, that they would not return to the traditional workforce even for a significant pay increase.
Perhaps that is the biggest difference the internet has made – it gave job seekers an alternative to the traditional, corporate career path, it created some personal finance habits to them. While that may have been the only option in the past, that has been changing significantly, in recent years.
How has the internet improved jobs and the job market?
There is no doubt that working and jobs, as a whole, have been improved through the existence of the internet. More than anything else, the internet gives workers a greater degree of liberty and convenience than they’ve had in the past.
The internet makes it possible to eliminate barriers related to time, location, physical ability, communication, and even skill and experience. Online, you can work from anywhere, at any time, collaborate over different continents and time zones, and acquire new skills from the comfort of your own home.
The widespread use of the internet, together with technological developments, have also made it possible for jobs to be done on devices that are more and more portable, including tablets and smartphones. That way, one can even work on the go and definitely changed the job market. The internet has made it possible to transform what were once static jobs into flexible ones.
In addition, the internet has also changed the traditional workplace for the better. Internet technology makes it possible to implement some features that enhance the comfort and convenience of employees. Smart offices offer things like smart lighting, smart heating, etc., all personalized to the individual employee.
- It provided flexible hours
Life is rarely perfectly split down the middle between personal time and work time. Ideally, we’d be able to fit a traditional, 9 to 5 schedule, but sometimes, we need a bit more flexibility. Whether it’s because you’re a parent, a caretaker, or simply have a different lifestyle, online jobs make it easier for people to find work with flexible hours.
Most jobs that can be done online do not require one to adhere to a strict, 9 to 5 schedule. Some online work can be done part-time, or whenever it’s convenient for the employee, as long as they clock in the number of hours or finish the amount of work they need to do.
Obviously, that offers a significant amount of freedom, as it leaves one’s schedule open for other activities, such as school, a second job, childcare, etc. To some people, that is merely convenient. To others, it’s an essential feature of the job.
- It eliminated geographical barriers
Ever heard of entire areas sunken into poverty because of the lack of jobs? Young people tend to leave these towns in pursue of employment opportunities and more prosperous places to set up a family.
Ideally, everyone would find jobs near their location, but the truth is that most of the time, a good job requires moving away or at least, commuting for hours each way.
Getting a job online means that one can remain in their preferred area and work, instead of moving away where the job requires them.
That not only increases local employment rates, but it also boosts the local economy. Young families stay put instead of leaving, and they invest the income they earn online in local businesses.
- Advertising, searching for and getting a job is easier
We can also look at this from a recruiting point of view. It’s much, much easier to post available jobs and search for candidates online. Job post platforms, as well as platforms like LinkedIn, email, or company websites all provide ideal places to give details about available positions and ideal candidates. That makes the recruiting process easier, faster, and more efficient.
On the flipside, it also makes things much easier for candidates who are actively searching for jobs or just want to be aware of what’s out there. It’s much easier to check out available jobs and send out resumes when you can do it online. And 79% of U.S. job seekers have done just that.
That increases the chance that a candidate is going to find a position appropriate for their skills and experience. In addition, it cuts back on the amount of time it takes to search for a job. Instead of looking for positions in the papers or going around to different businesses to enquire about it, you just need to do a quick search online.
- It made in-office and long-distance communication easy
But the internet didn’t just contribute when it comes to facilitating acquiring a job, but also in the way we work. For example, it made communication significantly easier and more efficient, whether we’re talking about remote work or in-office work.
Widespread internet access meant that memos and other information that is meant to circulate around the office can be more reliably transmitted. No one can ever say that they didn’t receive the memo, because there are several ways one can be contacted, including email, instant message, team chats, etc.
Teamwork has especially been transformed by the internet. It used to be that the entire team had to meet in person or over phone conference in order to have an official meeting. Using the internet means that each team member can video conference in no matter where they are, whether that’s at home, at the airport, in a coffee shop, etc.
What’s the bottom line?
As you can see, the internet has improved jobs from several points of view. It has positively impacted both traditional jobs and the new wave of remote jobs, freelance jobs, and jobs pertaining to the gig economy.
Thanks to the internet, it no longer matters where someone is located or what their schedule is like. Everyone can do their work largely on their own time, at their convenience, whenever they can.
That has made a lot of people more employable, and it has even made significant differences in areas where people would normally leave in order to seek out jobs.