The Information Technology (IT) revolution is transforming labor markets globally in an unprecedented way, and the world is at the beginning of what some have called the “Sharing Economy.” New ways of working are linking free-lancers with corporations across the globe through sophisticated IT platforms that provide not only new opportunities for high-skilled programmers, but the possibility to perform traditional cognitive jobs - such as data cleaning and copyediting – from very remote locations.
While these new opportunities represent opportunities, they also pose challenges for policymakers in terms of adapting the design of risk-management tools, such as retirement savings, health insurance, and contracts, to this new and growing reality in order to benefit workers.
As pointed out during this workshop by Tomasz Klekowski, Chairman of Lewiatan Association of Digital Technologies Employers, this revolution is mostly good news for Poland. Poland is revealing its comparative advantage in performing high-skilled tasks for the European and global IT sectors, with Polish IT experts often featured on online labor exchange platforms, such as elance.com (represented among the workshop’s panelists), and the country benefitting from massive corporate foreign direct investment by IT companies.
While this process is driven by the private sector, the fundamental enablers of this revolution depend on the provision of several public goods – among them, a friendly business environment, a high degree of macroeconomic and political stability, and, above all, a stock of high-skilled labor at competitive rates.