Posted by E.L.E.X on February 20 2019 under Tech/Programming
A Brave New World Of Work
Over the course of my five-year career, I have been unable to get my father to understand that in doing my work, I am not just “pressing laptop”. “Why did you not go to work? Which one is you’re ‘working remotely’? You better don’t let them sack you o!”, or “Are you sure it’s not Yahoo Yahoo you’re doing?” he’d say. We have a strange understanding of my employment. He knows I work, but what exactly I do confuses him a little.
This is representative of the evolving nature of work today. There’s a dichotomy between the traditional corporate style typically employed by legacy companies and the informal, shared space variety favored by startups and other small businesses. These different approaches, though a piece of the same pie, highlight the evolving nature of work in Nigeria. As the world around us evolves, how we work reflects that evolution in the creation of new work tools and roles as well as changing job market dynamics.
The Co-Working Boom
The continued expansion of the Nigerian tech ecosystem has spurred growth in gig economy jobs and roles. Because the gig economy is a labour market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs, roles like “social media manager,” “user experience designer” and “digital transformation specialist” that didn’t exist just 7 years ago are now commonplace as tech-enabled businesses, brands and platforms struggle to compete for consumer attention in the ever-expanding digital space.
Entrepreneurs are also looking to innovation hubs and shared spaces to cut down on operational expenses and double down on building core products. At the same time, as Nigeria’s startup community grows, co-working and remote work are quickly becoming mainstream. According to a 2017 co-working report by Venia Business Hub, there are over 71 co-working spaces in Nigeria. In 2011, there were only 2 in the entire country, both in Lagos.
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