Prior to today’s information age, power resided in the people who provided and owned physical labour but in this societies network paradigm there has been a shift from production based on physical labour to one based on information, as Mitew put it, “When production is based on information, information is power”. In response to this I became interested in the information that liquid labour handles and why liquid labour must be the way it is to handle information production.
Taking It Home
As of June 2013, 14.24 million Australians had internet access within their homes but more importantly, 7.5 million Australians accessed the internet via their mobile devices. This is important because it stresses the point that internet access and information production is becoming increasingly more dynamic, time and physical location are becoming less of a boundary. Liquid labour has a characteristic of being similarly dynamic in order to match this flow of information. For example, by the same June of 2013 5.64 million Australian workers used the internet to work away from the office.
Effectively Not Central
With knowledge and information being such an enormous product to manage, liquid labour relies on a decentralised control structure in order to process information effectively. This contrasts with the standard hierarchal control structure used to handle large scale production in physical labour based business. A decentralised control structure allows the individual workers to be more active in the decision making process, “A manager often can make a decision without having to wait for it to go up a chain of command, allowing the organization to react quickly to situations” (Joseph, C). In the information processing business, the ability to keep up with information flows is imperative
Bleeding Our Locations
As effective and practical as liquid labour appears to be, especially towards today’s information age, it’s workers tend to suffer social issues such as presence bleed. “Presence bleed explains the familiar experience whereby the location and time of work become secondary considerations faced with a ‘to do’ list that seems forever out of control” (Gregg, M). As Gregg describes presence bleed is when work permeates (or invades) personal life due to the blurring of ‘where’ work is appropriate as liquid labour transcends any office space. As the world transitions away from physical labour based industries to focus on information processing and the handling of immaterial product which was unseen till recently we are finding a need to adapt and learn how to manage work around dynamic information flows. As the industry develops it is important that we not lose sight of basic principles such as a distinction between work time and down time and the importance of accurately processing online knowledge.