Coronavirus Will Lead to Flattening of Organizations - and Fewer Jobs - Following Crisis, Says West

Friday, March 27, 2020

 

View Larger +

Darrell West PHOTO: Brookings Institution

Brookings’ Darrell West — who recently wrote “The Future of Work” — appeared on GoLocal LIVE where he spoke to the changing nature of work and employment during the coronavirus crisis — and after. 

West is the vice president and director of Governance Studies — and is the founding director of the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings and Editor-in-Chief of TechTank. 

“I think what the coronavirus is doing is just really forcing people to innovate, because with all of the work from home requirements -- certainly in DC all of us are now telecommuting -- but we’re actually finding it works pretty well,” said West. “We’re still writing papers, posting blog pieces, doing media interviews, and hosting online forums.”

GET THE LATEST BREAKING NEWS HERE -- SIGN UP FOR GOLOCAL FREE DAILY EBLAST

“I do worry in terms of what it’s going to mean for joblessness. In [The Future of Work], I did kind of note that technological innovation could end up requiring fewer workers and as a country, we’re going to have to grapple with that in this recession [which] actually may make that a reality even more quickly than I had anticipated,” he added. 

Flattening — of Organizations 

While health and government officials are working to “flatten the curve” of the number of coronavirus infections, West spoke to what he sees as the “flattening” of organizations during and after the coronavirus — and need for fewer workers. 

“I think what this crisis is going to do is lead to the flattening of organizations — because as you pointed out there are a lot of organizations that have a number of mid-level supervisors whose job is just to make sure everyone else is doing their own job,” said West.

“But in a digital world you actually don’t need those mid-level supervisors because through online metrics and other indicators you can actually see if the frontline people are doing their job,” he added. “So you don’t need as many supervisors, you can eliminate some of these mid-levels.”

“So I do believe this crisis will accelerate that type of organizational change and just lead a lot of organizations to rethink how they are doing their day to day business.”

Brookings’ Darrell West — who recently wrote “The Future of Work” — appeared on GoLocal LIVE where he spoke to the changing nature of work and employment during the coronavirus crisis — and after. 

 
 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

 
 

Sign Up for the Daily Eblast

I want to follow on Twitter

I want to Like on Facebook