“The escalator doesn’t work, and you’d think they’d still be used as stairs, but in this economic depression, even the stairs are unemployed.” – Jarod Kintz
Today, the world is entwined in a battle of economic turmoil. Almost 26 months have passed since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in the world. After losing millions of lives to the virus, the world continues to get back on its feet – stuttering along the way. Economists could foresee that there would be unemployment in the next few years, but the breadth of the entire COVID-19 global crisis was unpredictable.
The International Labour Organisation projected more than 200 million global employments in 2020 – almost 21 million more than in 2019. This is not hard to believe, given the number of organisations that had to downsize to sustain their business operations. Although organisations focused on recovering from the crisis, some had to shut down their operations entirely. Nevertheless, a few organisations managed to not only survive but, surprisingly, also thrive in uncertain circumstances. One of those is Rikard Hegelund and Teddy Wold’s creative tech company, Klingit. The Stockholm-based organisation used the remote working model to start its operations and maximise its outcomes. What makes Klingit a silver lining among the dark clouds is the extensive opportunities it offers to professionals worldwide. When enterprises were forced to lay off workers, Klingit was adding new members to its team.
The International Labour Organisations (ILO) suggested that the process of recovery in developing countries has been non-existent. The pre-existing work deficits have been dampening the recovery process in different regions. The ILO also stated that even the return to the pre-pandemic performance seems unlikely. In these circumstances, Wold and Hegelund aspire to change the global economic stature.
Klingit is a borderless company that doesn’t rely on locations or demographics when hiring its workforce. Instead, they search for employees who aren’t necessarily local and can solve the problem of limited working hours. “We are not worried about people from different parts of the world adapting to our organisation because we want to create opportunities for them. If a designer working from remote areas in any country wants to work with a good organisation, relevant opportunities should be provided”, says Hegelund.
The idea that Klingit proposes makes sense and could possibly be the future of businesses. When organisations are fixated on hiring resources from the local market, they can’t benefit from talent outside their borders. Of course, working in tandem within a single workspace does help with managing things better. However, during the pandemic, we learned that, when managed well, remote working could offer the same, if not more, benefits in every area of the operations. The fact is, working in the same office or physical space doesn’t completely prevent operational hurdles and can lead to setbacks regardless. Both workers and employers found that the challenges faced in virtual operations could be overcome using technological and strategical innovations, which were not difficult to create if focus and will were present.
The International Labour Organisation also claims that apart from the unemployment predicament, professionals may also have concerns about employment growth. People in countries with low or medium incomes face a scarcity of professional growth that professionals operating in richer economies don’t have to worry about. Further, these countries also experience higher inequality, gender discrimination, and weaker social protection systems. These concerns are like salt to wounds for the people living there, many of whom may find it hard even to make ends meet.
Another viewpoint is that even if slowly and steadily the world achieves economic stability, it doesn’t necessarily translate to more job opportunities, especially for those in remote areas. Experts suggest that economic growth is a prerequisite for increasing productive employment. Everyone is looking for sustainable development, with equal opportunities for all kinds of workers. This is something that will require brainstorming and proper strategising. After all, it’s not just opportunities; it’s professional development that workers seek.
Hegelund aims to open countless opportunities for professionals worldwide, and Klingit’s geographical headquarter’s location – Stockholm – also holds significance. Stockholm is called the “Silicon Valley of Europe”. In the traditional work model, the chances of a professional from a developing country acquiring a job in Stockholm may be quite slim. However, Klingit’s business model allows such professionals to work with a leading international organisation without moving anywhere. It also gives them a chance to work with people from different parts of the world. Having an opportunity like this is a dream come true for many people.
The economic market has suffered considerably due to the pandemic. According to the ILO, the labour market’s return to pre-crisis baselines may be insufficient given the damage caused by the pandemic. Therefore, traditional practices may be obsolete in these circumstances. This is why Klingit offers a glimmer of hope since its method could shift the current global economic stature paradigms. Wold and Hegelund’s vision for upgrading the world’s organisations could be the driving force to lead the world out of the current economic turmoil.