IPMA International Project Management Association
8 April 2019 / 9:00

Clickworkers – people working remotely on projects

The availability of powerful information and communication technologies is changing work arrangements. Business-to-Consumer (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B) platforms enable collaboration in order to realize products, projects & services. People may work from home, from a co-working space in another town or from the beach. They do not necessarily need to be together with all other team members in the office. They even do not need to be an employee of the company, realizing the project for a client.

Clickworking, sometimes also called “micro jobs” or “crowdsourcing”, is a way of collaborating and delivering services for a client that needs a project done fast and with all ideas available on the market, where ever it is available. On a platform, an idea is being spread to realize a project. The project is already broken down in work packages and people can bid for realizing one of these work packages. Everything is done online, so the place, country, time zone etc. of the people working on the project does not matter. They just “click and work”. As a consequence, they are free to work on several assignments in parallel, for different clients and thus need to organise themselves in delivering the work products.

Clickworkers are not entering employment, they do not pay into social welfare systems and need to take care of their own wellbeing (health insurance, pension funds etc.). On the one hand, flexibility is a plus for clickworkers. They decide when and from where they perform the work. They may combine family life, taking care for kids or elderly people at home or they may combine clickworking with other job arrangements. On the other hand, they need a constant flow of clickwork assignments to finance their life. Often payments are not enough for them to afford a decent living. Or they do not care for their future life and get stuck at a certain point in life, falling through the social network of society…

Advantages for the one, offering clickwork via a platform are the flexible and fast way of getting creative work done, offering it to a worldwide network of people interested in doing a specialist´s work. It is rather a low cost and fixed price, nevertheless, the work needs to be specified and deliveries clearly defined, otherwise this way of working doesn´t work. It also depends on the reach of the platform as the number of people available helps to get very specific assignments done. The work arrangements need clear legal arrangements, allowing the one asking for projects to be done through a platform to fully utilize the deliverables.

When is it wise to utilize clickworking for projects? Getting as much know-how as possible, integrating multiple perspectives and getting projects done fast, these are some of the reasons doing clickwork. Project teams are independent of politics and other limitations inside a company, the focus is just on getting the work done. Work can be done 24/7, utilizing different time zones all around the world. It may be used to solve a problem, a company is stuck in, with experts having different perspectives, thinking outside of the box. Clickworking may integrate clients and suppliers in the value creation. Clients may be involved in defining their requirements and suppliers for offering concepts or solutions. Everything is done online, in real time and may end up in a product that is printed in 3D for taking away…

2 Comments

  • Victoria says:

    I agree clickworking can be beneficial to many, no need to commute helps the person and the environment as well. My main concern with so many people working from home is that they lose their communication skills and sometimes it takes meeting face to face with a person when conducting business.

  • Jodi says:

    This is a great knowledge base for individuals and companies to utilize when needed.

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Reinhard Wagner

Author of this post

Reinhard Wagner has been active for more than 30 years in the field of project- related leadership, in such diverse sectors as Air Defense, Automotive Engineering, and Machinery, as well as various not-for-profit organizations. As a Certified Projects Director (IPMA Level A), he has proven experience in managing projects, programmes and project portfolios in complex and dynamic contexts. He is also an IPMA Certified Programme and Portfolio Management Consultant, and as such supports senior executives in developing and improving their organizational competence in managing projects. For more than 15 years, he has been actively involved in the development of project, programme and portfolio management standards, for example as Convenor of the ISO 21500 “Guidance on Project Management” and the ISO 21503 “Guidance on Programme Management”. Reinhard Wagner is Past President of IPMA and Chairman of the Council, Honorary Chairman of GPM (the German Project Management Association), as well as Managing Director of Tiba Managementberatung GmbH.

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