The Future of Work and the Rise of Small Business Startup

Future of work Islandmums

Our work and career landscape are under unprecedented changes thanks to tech, social and global trends. Are you ready for yours?

Long gone the time when a job for life and career in one company was the status quo. Today’s workforce is exponentially more mobile in all directions – up, down, sideways, geographically and technologically. The millennial generation specifically is showing some of the lowest time commitments to any particular job or career trajectory in the recorded employment history.

They want to be inspired, to feel fulfilled and to find opportunities both paid and unpaid that are exciting, new and allow them to expand their horizons.

Many jobs that have historically been deemed save are under real threat of extinction thanks to development in machine learning and artificial intelligence. This 2013 report by Frey and Osborne shows the probably of 702 job types of being susceptible to computerisation. Jobs has been statistically assessed along three major criteria  – perceptions and manipulation (finger dexterity, manual dexterity, work space), creative intelligence (originality, fine arts) and social intelligence (social perceptiveness, negotiation, persuasion, assisting and caring for others). Recreational therapists, healthcare social workers, mental health workers, dieticians, oral surgeons face some of the lowest probability of computers replacing humans while bookkeeping and accounting clerks, models, inspectors, legal secretaries, drivers, credit analysts, insurance claims clerks and underwriters, tax preparers and telemarketers facing highest probabilities close to 100%.

The real currency become creative and social intelligence and with that come ideas and innovation.

Our work habits are rapidly changing too.

No longer do we really need to be stuck in an office box, 9-5, five days a week. The “office” or rather the factory environment is the creation of the Industrial Revolution and we know how far have moved away from that. It’s now possible to manage a business or communicate real time with anyone from a smartphone anywhere in the world. And while personal contact and meetings are still important, 100% continuous face contact is no longer necessary is perhaps more a sign of a controlling corporate culture rather than a proof of productivity.

Workers all over the world want more flexibility in their work schedule to fit other personal interests and/or family, they are seeking more diversity and ever more prepared to uproot and relocate to far away countries and work on previously unthinkable assignments.

We want more control in our lives not only in terms of hours, time and location worked but also managing our own wealth, insurance and pension rather than being traditionally dependent on one employer.

There is one common thread in the trends above. It’s the inescapable increase of businesses or startups being launched every year. Startup Britain reports that a record 600,000+ businesses are to launch this year alone in the UK.

What is exciting is that these 600,000 businesses are not the huge international startup superstars we all hear about in the news. No, they are a vast array or small businesses opened up by people who want to have more flexibility in their careers and perhaps businesses opened as side-projects beside other paying jobs.

This Forbes article points to the fact that though 30% of US businesses are women owned only about 2% of them break the $1 million revenue while men-owned businesses are 3.5 times more likely to reach that goal. Could it be because many women are opening businesses to have more flexibility in their family/work life which may mean work less and/or set-up smaller operations that don’t require management over-sight which may inevitably lead to smaller revenue base? Or perhaps they just don’t have a choice but to go small (but still with a flexible set-up) either because the traditional work environment does not support this flexibility and because majority of child-care (and much household care) still falls on the women so they much create their own path to manage it all?

Many employees are moving away from full-time paying jobs to contractor positions not because of economic downturn but by choice – to gain more flexibility in their own work and to manage their career as a Me Limited businesses rather than to be subject to the whims of the HR department.

It’s never been easier and perhaps exciting to start our own thing whether as a full-fledged high growth business idea or a small hobby that pays some of the bills on the side.

It’s the best time to create, launch, innovate, try, fail and start again. It’s never been less costly or easier to create and launch a product to a local, national or global audience.

At Islandmums we are passionate of being at the heart of the family and business community in the Channel Islands. We help promote businesses to local families through our digital marketing and membership card channels. Many of these businesses are small set-ups by mums or dads who want to earn an extra income on the side or seek more flexibility in their work-life-family balance.

We are excited to be partnering with Startup Guernsey to help drive this trend of Small Business growth further in Guernsey by launching the “Small Business Essentials” workshop series, starting on November 18th during the Global Entrepreneurship Week.

It will touch base on the absolute essential one need to know to start a business or hobby in Guernsey with digitally savvy, cloud-based tools that are easy and accessible to anyone. It touches base on emerging business models and setting the right foundations for the business success from the beginning and avoiding many of the typical pitfalls of small business startups.

It’s a vision to help hundreds of local people to gain more flexibility in their lives, to realise some of their dreams and perhaps to embark on a more diverse and future-proof career of creativity and realising their own projects no matter the size, the shape or the location.

Small Business Essentials series is composed of four topics – Right Foundations, Previous Customers, Technology 101 and Unavoidable Basics and will be run in partnership with Startup Guernsey and local freelancers and service providers.

You can book now for a free workshop on Wednesday November 18th, 11:45 – 2:15 at Les Cotils –


Sasha Kazantseva

Chief Mummy Officer,