Virtual work will lower incomes and threaten social security: report

A weekly roundup of news and views on office culture, workplace trends, the daily grind, and more The rapid rise in the number of Canadians who do contract work online is threatening to lower wages and undermine social benefits such as employment insurance and the CPP, according to a federal study. “A growing online marketplace for work could make self-employment the dominant form of work in Canada, potentially leaving large numbers of Canadians with uncertain job security,” says Policy Horizons Canada, an organization within the federal public service. The report suggests that by 2030, most Canadians will get some of their income through “virtual work” found on online platforms such as, competing for contracts with workers from low-wage countries. (CBC)

Can robots do your job? Within two decades, more than 40 per cent of the Canadian labour force is highly likely to be affected by automation, according to a report released by the Brookfield Institute. This interactive map shows which jobs are most at risk. (Macleans)

Talk about musical chairs. Hootsuite founder Ryan Holmes was one of those managers to get excited about research showing that employees using standing desks are more productive. Well, have a seat, says Dr. Jack P. Callaghan, a kinesiology professor at the University of Waterloo. Problems with the original Texas A&M study, he says, included a lack of randomization of the workers and a lack of historical performance data (all workers with adjustable height desks were newer employees in a call centre). “My own stance right now is that the implementation of adjustable height desks tends to be neutral when it comes to productivity,” said Callaghan. (Fast Company)

The irreverent site “Nonprofit with Balls” has been getting some attention lately for its smart take on the politics and culture of working in the nonprofit sector. Writer Vu Le, the executive director of Seattle-based Rainier Valley Corps, documents the dramas of his industry in posts such as “Dear business community, stop thinking you are better than us nonprofit folks” and “The sustainability question, why it is so annoying.” In his bio, Le says he hopes that “one day a TV producer will see how cool and interesting our field is and make a show about nonprofit work, featuring attractive actors attending strategic planning meetings and filing 990 tax forms.” (Fast Coexist)