The blurring of international boundaries in the high tech and digital industries means knowledge workers from Bangalore to Buenos Aires will enjoy increasingly similar remuneration and conditions, a new study has predicted.
Published today by the Institute for Employment Studies, the Teleworking and Globalisation report aims to quantify how teleworking technology is affecting the global distribution of employment.
Associate fellow at the IES, Ursula Huws, said the ease with which IT-related work, such as programming and call centre operations, could be relocated internationally would lead to increasing standardisation of working practices.
“I suspect what’s going to happen is a convergence in teleworking kinds of jobs,” Huws said.
“Differences will tend to get levelled out.”
Huws said a dual labour market, in which high tech workers were enjoyed world standard conditions, while those in low tech industries were subject to local market forces, was likely to emerge.
The report examines the types of work which are most mobile and analyses why particular activities prove most popular in different regions.
Software programming had proved the most volatile and mobile activity to date, with many companies now looking to transfer development work from the overheated Indian market to emerging centres such as Russia, Bulgaria and Indonesia.
There was no chance of the globalisation trend being reversed, Huws said.
“This new global division of labour is unstoppable. If work involves the manipulation of digital symbols, it can be done anywhere,” Huws said.
Little research had been done on the impact of IT on the global division of labour and the Institute was trying to remedy this with a series of studies, Huws added.
“There’s been lots of talk to date but it’s all anecdotal.”
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