News In Context

A Glimpse Of The Future Of Work: Freedom Of Choice

PwC gave us a glimpse into the future of work when it announced May 6 that it will spend $2.4 billion to build a mobile app that will provide employees the power to build personalized careers, from choosing the types of assignments they work on, to the hours and days they work, to where they work and the benefits they need.

The app, which will be called My+, “is centered around choice and flexibility, and tailor-made to further support development, well-being, purpose and personal ambitions,” the accounting, audit, tax and consulting giant, said in a press release. “Our commitment, the largest in professional services to date, lays the foundation for a future where our people can make customer-like choices, supported by consumer-grade technology, to build a personalized career experience at every stage of their life.”

The move shifts corporate work life into a business model like Uber’s in which services are offered on demand through direct contact between a customer and a supplier, usually via mobile technology, underscoring how much the balance of power has shifted, and continues to shift, in favor of the worker.

In an article in Forbes Yolanda Seals-Coffield, PwC’s deputy people leader is quoted as saying that the launch of My+ is an acknowledgement that money is no longer a sufficient incentive. “We can’t sustainably compete on compensation and benefits alone,” she said. “We must take bold action—to provide a personalized career experience, based on choice, that engages our people to stay longer and inspires top talent to join us—along with developing business professionals to lead our teams and serve our clients.”

The introduction of PwC’s new app comes at a time when all companies are struggling with how to retain their employees and attract new talent.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, if you’re 45 years old in the U.S., you’ll change jobs or companies every four years. If you’re under 35, you’ll change jobs every 3.1 years. If this happened during the 1980s, people would say you can’t keep a job. Now, if you stay at a company for 15 years, people would ask you why you’re just choosing to stay at one company, instead of asking why you left, notes an article in Fast Company.

After two years of video meetings and Slack chats, many companies are eager to get employees back to their desks. The employees, however, may be not be so eager for a return to morning commutes. In an article in the New York Times this week Nick Bloom, an economics professor at Stanford University who surveys 5,000 workers every month, said most wanted to return to the office two or three times per week. One-third never want to return to the office and prefer to remain remote.

Like it or not, today’s employees are demanding more options, so companies that want to engage top talent and secure a future labor pipeline may find they have no choice but to adapt.



Analysts Say FedEx Has Lucrative Back Door Into E-Commerce

FedEx Corp could boost its profit by $1 billion annually if the delivery giant leverages its ShopRunner buyout and its partnership with Microsoft to deepen its e-commerce presence and cater directly to customers, Citigroup analysts said this week.The brokerage’s report, which also said the company could nearly double its share price in four years from current levels, comes as FedEx struggles with slowing growth after a pandemic-fueled surge in online shipments.


Cryptocurrencies Melt Down In A Perfect Storm Of Fear And Panic

The crypto world went into a full meltdown this week in a sell-off that graphically illustrated the risks of the experimental and unregulated digital currencies. The price of Bitcoin plunged to its lowest point since 2020. Coinbase, the large cryptocurrency exchange, tanked in value. A cryptocurrency that promoted itself as a stable means of exchange collapsed. And more than $300 billion was wiped out by a crash in cryptocurrency prices since Monday.


Crypto-To-Fiat Banking Platform Raises $40 Million

BVNK, a London-based startup focused on serving global businesses that operate across borders in crypto and fiat currencies, has raised $40 million in a Series A round led by Tiger Global. Launched in October, BVNK wants to make the use of crypto financial services more accessible, helping its clients manage treasury, payment and investment operations for digital assets from a single account. It is offering a business account which provides a ‘Know Your Business’ process for access to GBP/EUR/USD and digital asset wallets. Firms can manage settlement, exchange and payment from a single account interface.


Tech Giants Lose Over $1 Trillion In Trading Value, Aramaco Surpasses Apple As The World’s Most Valuable Company

Aramaco surpassed Apple as the world’s most valuable company this week. Aramco’s market valuation was just under $2.43 trillion on Wednesday, according to FactSet, which converted its market cap to dollars. Apple, which fell more than 5% during trading in the U.S. on Wednesday, was worth $2.37 trillion.  The move is mostly symbolic, but it shows how markets are shifting as the global economy grapples with rising interest rates, inflation, and supply chain problems. Energy stocks and prices have been rising as investors sell off equities in several industries, including technology, on fears of a deteriorating economic environment. Apple has fallen nearly 20% since its $182.94 peak on Jan. 4. Stocks at large have sold off since the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate on Wednesday, but technology has endured more pain than other sectors of the economy. Investors now have less interest in what drove business during a strong bull market in recent years, including during the pandemic, and are now pushing more money toward safer pockets of the market, including staples like Campbell Soup, General Mills and J.M. Smucker, according to a CNBC report.

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About the author

Jennifer L. Schenker

Jennifer L. Schenker, an award-winning journalist, has been covering the global tech industry from Europe since 1985, working full-time, at various points in her career for the Wall Street Journal Europe, Time Magazine, International Herald Tribune, Red Herring and BusinessWeek. She is currently the editor-in-chief of The Innovator, an English-language global publication about the digital transformation of business. Jennifer was voted one of the 50 most inspiring women in technology in Europe in 2015 and 2016 and was named by Forbes Magazine in 2018 as one of the 30 women leaders disrupting tech in France. She has been a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneers judge for 20 years. She lives in Paris and has dual U.S. and French citizenship.