The Brief No. 28: Axiom Offers Public Shares, Tech Offers False Promises
February 27, 2019
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Appraising an Iceberg: Axiom, a legal staffing provider that earned $300 million in revenue last year, has announced plans to go public. The specifics of their decision, as well as peripheral actions, are raising a myriad of questions among experts and legal news outlets. First, a press release revealed that Knowable and Axiom Managed Solutions would be splitting from their parent company, with further reports confirming that the new entities would not be involved in Axiom’s IPO. Strategies behind the split remain unclear, considering a revenue boost would have the most impact on technology development, with relatively minimal change to legal staffing operations. For now, it seems like the public offering will primarily serve to increase scale and provide investors with a substantial return, and the following weeks will hopefully shed more light on the mysterious developments thus far.
Selling a Cart Without a Horse: As iterations of the modern workplace rise and fall, patterns and some troubling trends emerge. Companies seeking to take advantage of tech popularity often rush to assemble the appearance of innovation, like realtors displaying fake fruit at an open-house, without considering its essential purpose. The flashy facade may succeed in attracting forward-looking talent and cash flow; but eventually, like a new homeowner biting into a plastic lemon, investors confront the disparity between promise and product.
Alexa, Process Revenue Reports: Integrating technology in the right places allows businesses to operate efficiently on a larger scale, and that includes a decentralized workforce. Still, remote work also presents new challenges. As the constraints of space are lessened by technology’s connectivity, so too are the limitations of time, and employees are experiencing increased pressure to remain available outside of traditional office hours. Maintaining mental health awareness while embracing new technology is essential to building sustainable business practices, which calls for new management strategies.
You’re Not the Boss of Me: A growing gig economy is providing workers with greater options. The results from a 2015 Harvard study-- which showed a 5% increase in gig economy workers-- have since been tempered, but further investigation insists the more modest estimates are a reflection of a system that inadequately summarizes employee behaviors, failing to represent individuals who have joined the gig economy as a supplement to traditional employment. This development has policymakers analyzing ways to account for the economic impact of new revenue streams, including accurate taxation among the self-employed.
Penthouses with Glass Ceilings: While a broad view of gender economics shows encouraging progress, closer inspection exposes lingering hurdles that impede women’s ability to impact change. A recent UNC study shows that among top-earning U.S. households, “men control the majority of income resources.” This income discrepancy among the one-percent likely results from fewer female executives, which is itself a symptom of deeper issues in how women in the workplace are perceived. If power dynamics are to achieve sustainable balance, it is vital that businesses increase support for female employees and provide clear pathways for interaction with those in leadership roles.
It can be terrifying to watch the professional landscape shift under your feet. As AI reshapes workplace operations with sweeping momentum, many employees are left wondering where they will stand when (and if) the tectonic plates finally rest. In this compelling conversation with TED Institute’s Bryn Freedman, Roy Bahat shares his insight for policies and employers about the meaning of work to those impacted by these shifts.
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