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 last week by the Institute for Employment Studies, the Teleworking and Globalisation report aims to quantify how teleworking technology is affecting the global distribution of employment.
Report author Ursula Huws, an associate fellow at the IES, 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 is going to happen is a convergence in teleworking kinds of jobs," Huws said. "Differences will tend to get levelled out."
Huws predicted that a dual labour market, in which high-tech workers would enjoy world standard conditions, while those in low-tech industries would be 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 has 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 is 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," she said.
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