This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

October 12, 1999

The Emerging Project Worker

80 days until January 1, 2000

We've seen the full-time worker, the part-time worker, the temporary worker, the permanent part-time worker, the contract worker, and the contingent worker. Another category is surfacing, and we anticipate the new design will be quite prevalent in the years ahead.

Enter: The Project Worker.

Project workers are similar to contract workers, but are hired by the project. They're not paid hourly, daily, or weekly, but for the project. It's a fixed-fee arrangement. The duration is whatever time it takes to get the job done. The project worker is hired for his or her expertise in a particular area for which the employer has a need. In some cases, payment is made upon completion of the project, but other arrangements see the worker receiving some sort of a start-up deposit.

Projects can be rather short-a day or a matter of days. Or they can have a much longer duration-months. Roles will range from meeting management to interim CEO, from auditor to construction manager for a building addition or assembly line re-work. There are many projects to be done in business today, but not enough people or time to do them. It's a lot easier to hire someone just to manage a project, than to hire a regular employee. The hiring and payment process is a lot easier to bring on a project worker, and he or she is gone without complaint when the job is done. A regular employee would expect more work to do when the project was completed, and there may not be more to do right away.

In the pure sense, project workers could sereve more than one employer at a time. As long as the job is being done, and there was no prohibitive clause in their agreement, the project worker could spend some time with one employer and other time with one or more other employers. Depending on how the projects were structured, all parties could be well-served with this kind of arrangement.

Project workers are the next step along the continuum toward workers being truly free-agents.

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