Business & ManagementIB

Changing employment patterns and practices

Changing employment patterns and practices.....New technologies and new social trends have influenced work practices in many countries. Some examples are....
Changing employment patterns and practices

The landscape of employment has undergone significant transformations in recent decades, driven by technological advancements, globalization, and changing societal values. These shifts have led to new patterns and practices in employment, including teleworking, flexitime, migration for work, portfolio working, part-time employment, and the migration of workers. Understanding these changes is essential for IB Business & Management students as they prepare to navigate and manage the contemporary workforce. This comprehensive analysis explores these evolving employment practices, their implications for organizations and employees, and provides industry examples to illustrate their impact.


Definition: Teleworking allows employees to work remotely for a portion of their working hours, combining office presence with work from home or another location.


  • Increased flexibility and work-life balance for employees.
  • Reduced commuting time and costs.
  • Broader talent pool for employers, not limited by geographic constraints.


  • Potential for reduced collaboration and team cohesion.
  • Challenges in monitoring and managing remote work.

Industry Example: IBM has long embraced teleworking, allowing employees to work remotely, thereby reducing office space costs and supporting employee flexibility. However, it has also recognized the need for occasional in-person collaboration to foster innovation and teamwork.


Definition: Flexitime provides employees with the flexibility to choose their working hours within agreed limits, requiring a core period of the day when all employees must be present.


  • Empowers employees to manage work and personal commitments effectively.
  • Can improve employee satisfaction and reduce absenteeism.


  • Scheduling meetings can be challenging if employees’ hours vary widely.
  • Not suitable for all roles, particularly those requiring constant customer interaction.

Industry Example: Deloitte offers flexitime options to its employees, acknowledging the diversity of personal circumstances and promoting a culture of trust and accountability.

Migration for Work

Definition: Enhanced infrastructure and connectivity have facilitated daily commutes over greater distances and even international migration for work.


  • Access to a wider range of job opportunities for individuals.
  • Enables businesses to tap into a global talent pool.


  • Can contribute to brain drain in regions losing skilled workers.
  • May lead to cultural and integration challenges for international migrants.

Industry Example: Many tech companies in Silicon Valley attract talent from around the globe, offering relocation assistance and support for international employees seeking work in the technology sector.

Portfolio Working

Definition: Individuals engage in multiple jobs simultaneously, often on a part-time or temporary basis, across different sectors or industries.


  • Diversifies income sources and reduces dependency on a single employer.
  • Offers variety and the opportunity to develop a broad skill set.


  • May lead to job insecurity and lack of benefits associated with full-time employment.
  • Managing multiple roles can be challenging and time-consuming.

Industry Example: Freelancers in the creative industries, such as writers, designers, and consultants, often engage in portfolio working, contributing to various projects for different clients concurrently.

Part-Time Employment

Definition: Employees work fewer hours than full-time roles, often with pro-rated pay and sometimes with fewer benefits.


  • Provides entry points into the workforce for students, caregivers, and retirees.
  • Offers businesses flexibility to scale labor needs according to demand.


  • Part-time workers may receive fewer benefits and job security.
  • Potential for underemployment, where individuals cannot find full-time work.

Industry Example: Retail chains like Walmart offer part-time positions, accommodating the varying availability of their workforce and adjusting staffing based on store traffic patterns.

Migration of Workers

Definition: Individuals work in countries or states where they are not nationals, often seeking better employment opportunities abroad.


  • Alleviates skill shortages in host countries.
  • Offers workers access to higher-paying jobs and new experiences.


  • Social and economic integration challenges for migrants.
  • Can strain public services and infrastructure in areas with high levels of incoming migration.

Industry Example: The construction industry in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries heavily relies on migrant workers from South Asia, addressing local labor shortages and providing vital employment opportunities for migrant workers.


The changing patterns and practices in employment reflect a global workforce that is increasingly flexible, diverse, and interconnected. These trends present both opportunities and challenges for businesses and employees alike, requiring adaptive management strategies and supportive policies to harness the benefits while mitigating the drawbacks. For IB Business & Management students, understanding these dynamics is crucial for developing effective human resource management practices and preparing for the future of work in a rapidly evolving global economy.


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