barbados flagBARBADOS
Govern Ment of Barbados Ministry of Labour


  • Tuesday January 16, 2018 03:52:26 am
feedback
about
users Additional Features
Tip of the day

See information on "labour laws", "health and safety" regulations in the workplace and more.



News - E-Commerce: How Will It Affect the Labour Market?
print friendly e-mail this page


Labour News.


E-Commerce: How Will It Affect the Labour Market?

Written By Ann-Marie J Lorde,
Research Officer,
National Union of Public Workers



No successful business today operates without a telephone and facsimile. No successful business of the future will be able to operate effectively without being on-line and using digital tools. Businesses are and will continue to become increasingly dependent on technology as Electronic Commerce (E- Commerce) becomes one of the primary modes of trade.
E-Commerce is supported by technological tools such as the fax, telex, telegraph, ATM transfers, e-mail and the Internet. E-Commerce may be described as a global electronic market place where market transactions occur twenty four hours a day and where competition is on an international level. Consequently businesses need to use technology to develop a competitive advantage. It successfully combines the efficiencies and global advantages of information technology and with the passage of time, national borders will continue to diminish in importance. In the words of Alwyn Didar Singh, an e-commerce specialist, “We have moved from an industrial economy where machines dominated productivity, to an information based economy where intellectual content is the dominant source of value-added and which knows no geographic boundaries.”

The Government of Barbados, recognizing the opportunities provided by the Information era to disseminate its information and deliver its goods and services, has put in place the legal framework for E-Commerce by passing the “Electronic Transaction Act”.

E-Commerce is more about strategy and business management than it is about technology. Enterprises in almost all sectors of the economy are using the internet and the other technology to:

  • more effectively service their customers
  • cut purchasing costs
  • increase sales
  • reduce transactional time
  • minimize the problems of geographical isolation.


It is therefore important to see E-Commerce from the transactional perspective.
The Changing Work Environment

Businesses and workers exist in their own organizational culture. This culture impacts upon how businesses perform and behave in the market place. More importantly, communication styles also vary and have some bearing on the success of trade relations between businesses. With E-Commerce and the Internet, a new digital culture and new forms of communication will emerge and will place demands on the existing organizational culture to conform to external norms. Businesses, especially small and medium size businesses, will have to adapt to this new culture while at the same time attempting to retain their own unique style and individuality. Businesses will also need to foster innovativeness by developing an organizational culture that encourages employees to be forward thinking and creative.

Workflow will change in this new business environment. Wherever an employee can access a web browser, he/she can interface with the business, thus revolutionizing relationships between employees and employers. On-line conferencing and virtual meetings will offer an organization the opportunity to disperse its workforce and still manage the work of the business effectively. This means that management must focus on timely delivery with tighter management schedules.

Opportunity is also provided for the management of out-sourced businesses in this digital reality, because they too have access to the same common interface. Furthermore, technology also provides the possibility to create tight monitoring and control functions over data access. This assists in maintaining the confidentiality of sensitive business information. Human Resource Needs and Capacity Building
As technology transforms industry, commerce and services, many skills will need to be improved or acquired. Unskilled and elementary workers will also become displaced as employers will demand skilled employees to develop and maintain a competitive edge through technology, namely E-commerce. Consequently, human resource development and more specifically education and continuous learning will become a significant focal point for all stakeholders i.e. the labour force, employers, trade unions and government. Capacity building especially in the areas of information technology will become crucial. The development of E-Commerce therefore signals that emphasis must be placed on the development of education and training policies in the curricula of training institutions to ensure that the needs of the new business environment are met. Training needs will have to be a main focus for the policy makers, negotiators, enterprise managers, trade practitioners and workers, including those who are specialists in the area of communications and information technology.

This training is necessary if the stakeholders are to acquire an adequate level of e-awareness, become e-literate and understand the role they play in this new environment. This can enhance their ability to create and effectively manage new businesses, and boost their customer services to compete more efficiently on the globalized market.

One must however recognize that human resource development and capacity building is far more than just training. It is a continuous learning process for all stakeholders, not just for managers and workers.


New Forms of Employment Contracts
Electronic Commerce will drive the creation of a new workforce and work ethic. Through the use of personal computers, fax machines and cellular phones, workers are already operating from their homes in “virtual offices”. Spatially, workers can become more flexible in the way they produce goods and services. They will function in a less rigid work environment and will not be confined to a desk or an office.

Having more freedom to manage their work time, the workers of this environment working from “virtual offices” will decide whether they want to work at night or during the day while maintaining a part-time job. For those workers operating from corporate offices, the opportunity is provided for the implementation of a shift system or flexitime, making it easier for businesses to operate on a 24-hour basis.

This has therefore created the platform for short term, fixed term and renewable contracts. This situation does pose a challenge to trade unions. Trade unions will increasingly find it necessary to re-negotiate the terms of employment for workers as these types of working arrangements and labour relations may contradict established labour agreements pertaining to working hours, conditions of employment and productivity measures.
Written By Ann-Marie J Lorde,
Research Officer,
National Union of Public Workers

No successful business today operates without a telephone and facsimile. No successful business of the future will be able to operate effectively without being on-line and using digital tools. Businesses are and will continue to become increasingly dependent on technology as Electronic Commerce (E- Commerce) becomes one of the primary modes of trade.
E-Commerce is supported by technological tools such as the fax, telex, telegraph, ATM transfers, e-mail and the Internet. E-Commerce may be described as a global electronic market place where market transactions occur twenty four hours a day and where competition is on an international level. Consequently businesses need to use technology to develop a competitive advantage. It successfully combines the efficiencies and global advantages of information technology and with the passage of time, national borders will continue to diminish in importance. In the words of Alwyn Didar Singh, an e-commerce specialist, “We have moved from an industrial economy where machines dominated productivity, to an information based economy where intellectual content is the dominant source of value-added and which knows no geographic boundaries.”

The Government of Barbados, recognizing the opportunities provided by the Information era to disseminate its information and deliver its goods and services, has put in place the legal framework for E-Commerce by passing the “Electronic Transaction Act”.

E-Commerce is more about strategy and business management than it is about technology. Enterprises in almost all sectors of the economy are using the internet and the other technology to:

  • more effectively service their customers
  • cut purchasing costs
  • increase sales
  • reduce transactional time
  • minimize the problems of geographical isolation.


It is therefore important to see E-Commerce from the transactional perspective.
The Changing Work Environment

Businesses and workers exist in their own organizational culture. This culture impacts upon how businesses perform and behave in the market place. More importantly, communication styles also vary and have some bearing on the success of trade relations between businesses. With E-Commerce and the Internet, a new digital culture and new forms of communication will emerge and will place demands on the existing organizational culture to conform to external norms. Businesses, especially small and medium size businesses, will have to adapt to this new culture while at the same time attempting to retain their own unique style and individuality. Businesses will also need to foster innovativeness by developing an organizational culture that encourages employees to be forward thinking and creative.

Workflow will change in this new business environment. Wherever an employee can access a web browser, he/she can interface with the business, thus revolutionizing relationships between employees and employers. On-line conferencing and virtual meetings will offer an organization the opportunity to disperse its workforce and still manage the work of the business effectively. This means that management must focus on timely delivery with tighter management schedules.

Opportunity is also provided for the management of out-sourced businesses in this digital reality, because they too have access to the same common interface. Furthermore, technology also provides the possibility to create tight monitoring and control functions over data access. This assists in maintaining the confidentiality of sensitive business information. Human Resource Needs and Capacity Building
As technology transforms industry, commerce and services, many skills will need to be improved or acquired. Unskilled and elementary workers will also become displaced as employers will demand skilled employees to develop and maintain a competitive edge through technology, namely E-commerce. Consequently, human resource development and more specifically education and continuous learning will become a significant focal point for all stakeholders i.e. the labour force, employers, trade unions and government. Capacity building especially in the areas of information technology will become crucial. The development of E-Commerce therefore signals that emphasis must be placed on the development of education and training policies in the curricula of training institutions to ensure that the needs of the new business environment are met. Training needs will have to be a main focus for the policy makers, negotiators, enterprise managers, trade practitioners and workers, including those who are specialists in the area of communications and information technology.

This training is necessary if the stakeholders are to acquire an adequate level of e-awareness, become e-literate and understand the role they play in this new environment. This can enhance their ability to create and effectively manage new businesses, and boost their customer services to compete more efficiently on the globalized market.

One must however recognize that human resource development and capacity building is far more than just training. It is a continuous learning process for all stakeholders, not just for managers and workers.


New Forms of Employment Contracts
Electronic Commerce will drive the creation of a new workforce and work ethic. Through the use of personal computers, fax machines and cellular phones, workers are already operating from their homes in “virtual offices”. Spatially, workers can become more flexible in the way they produce goods and services. They will function in a less rigid work environment and will not be confined to a desk or an office.

Having more freedom to manage their work time, the workers of this environment working from “virtual offices” will decide whether they want to work at night or during the day while maintaining a part-time job. For those workers operating from corporate offices, the opportunity is provided for the implementation of a shift system or flexitime, making it easier for businesses to operate on a 24-hour basis.

This has therefore created the platform for short term, fixed term and renewable contracts. This situation does pose a challenge to trade unions. Trade unions will increasingly find it necessary to re-negotiate the terms of employment for workers as these types of working arrangements and labour relations may contradict established labour agreements pertaining to working hours, conditions of employment and productivity measures.
However, one can argue that the high levels of pay earned from E-Commerce do not make it imperative to impose labour codes. Nevertheless, it is still necessary that workers are sensitized to their rights. Technology and Health Concerns The continuous use of information and communications technology may lead to the emergence of new occupational hazards and medical disorders such as:

  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • back and neck problems due to bad posture
  • eye and vision problems resulting from long periods sitting in front of the computer




Stress levels will also be on the increase, resulting from the need to meet strict deadlines and the increased pressure for workers to become proficient multi-taskers, thus making it very difficult to focus exclusively on any one project. Overall, employees will have to spend long periods on the computer and where necessary, put in excessive overtime.

These health concerns can pose a challenge to the National Insurance Scheme (with respect to increased claims) on the one hand and to both the employer and self-employed (with respect to lost man hours) on the other. Employers will need to consider the implementation of medical plans for their workers, and the self-employed will need to make their payments to National Insurance to ensure they are covered.
Stakeholders should therefore consider developing a policy framework with respect to health for persons operating within this new work environment. Conclusion E-Commerce can transform Barbadian businesses into efficient competitors in an increasingly competitive market. However, its possible effects on the labour force cannot be ignored. There will be shifts in the labour demand, from unskilled workers to highly skilled employees. Consequently addressing training and educational needs of the labour force must become a priority of policy makers. The nature of employment will also push employers, employees and trade unions alike to re-evaluate work contracts. In addition, the faster pace of business due to the increased use of information communication technology will have new implications for occupational health and safety. These issues must be addressed if we are to capitalize on the opportunities presented in this dynamic information age.
PHOTOS:
Not Available Written By Ann-Marie J Lorde,
Research Officer,
National Union of Public Workers

No successful business today operates without a telephone and facsimile. No successful business of the future will be able to operate effectively without being on-line and using digital tools. Businesses are and will continue to become increasingly dependent on technology as Electronic Commerce (E- Commerce) becomes one of the primary modes of trade.
E-Commerce is supported by technological tools such as the fax, telex, telegraph, ATM transfers, e-mail and the Internet. E-Commerce may be described as a global electronic market place where market transactions occur twenty four hours a day and where competition is on an international level. Consequently businesses need to use technology to develop a competitive advantage. It successfully combines the efficiencies and global advantages of information technology and with the passage of time, national borders will continue to diminish in importance. In the words of Alwyn Didar Singh, an e-commerce specialist, “We have moved from an industrial economy where machines dominated productivity, to an information based economy where intellectual content is the dominant source of value-added and which knows no geographic boundaries.”

The Government of Barbados, recognizing the opportunities provided by the Information era to disseminate its information and deliver its goods and services, has put in place the legal framework for E-Commerce by passing the “Electronic Transaction Act”.

E-Commerce is more about strategy and business management than it is about technology. Enterprises in almost all sectors of the economy are using the internet and the other technology to:

  • more effectively service their customers
  • cut purchasing costs
  • increase sales
  • reduce transactional time
  • minimize the problems of geographical isolation.


It is therefore important to see E-Commerce from the transactional perspective.
The Changing Work Environment

Businesses and workers exist in their own organizational culture. This culture impacts upon how businesses perform and behave in the market place. More importantly, communication styles also vary and have some bearing on the success of trade relations between businesses. With E-Commerce and the Internet, a new digital culture and new forms of communication will emerge and will place demands on the existing organizational culture to conform to external norms. Businesses, especially small and medium size businesses, will have to adapt to this new culture while at the same time attempting to retain their own unique style and individuality. Businesses will also need to foster innovativeness by developing an organizational culture that encourages employees to be forward thinking and creative.

Workflow will change in this new business environment. Wherever an employee can access a web browser, he/she can interface with the business, thus revolutionizing relationships between employees and employers. On-line conferencing and virtual meetings will offer an organization the opportunity to disperse its workforce and still manage the work of the business effectively. This means that management must focus on timely delivery with tighter management schedules.

Opportunity is also provided for the management of out-sourced businesses in this digital reality, because they too have access to the same common interface. Furthermore, technology also provides the possibility to create tight monitoring and control functions over data access. This assists in maintaining the confidentiality of sensitive business information. Human Resource Needs and Capacity Building
As technology transforms industry, commerce and services, many skills will need to be improved or acquired. Unskilled and elementary workers will also become displaced as employers will demand skilled employees to develop and maintain a competitive edge through technology, namely E-commerce. Consequently, human resource development and more specifically education and continuous learning will become a significant focal point for all stakeholders i.e. the labour force, employers, trade unions and government. Capacity building especially in the areas of information technology will become crucial. The development of E-Commerce therefore signals that emphasis must be placed on the development of education and training policies in the curricula of training institutions to ensure that the needs of the new business environment are met. Training needs will have to be a main focus for the policy makers, negotiators, enterprise managers, trade practitioners and workers, including those who are specialists in the area of communications and information technology.

This training is necessary if the stakeholders are to acquire an adequate level of e-awareness, become e-literate and understand the role they play in this new environment. This can enhance their ability to create and effectively manage new businesses, and boost their customer services to compete more efficiently on the globalized market.

One must however recognize that human resource development and capacity building is far more than just training. It is a continuous learning process for all stakeholders, not just for managers and workers.


New Forms of Employment Contracts
Electronic Commerce will drive the creation of a new workforce and work ethic. Through the use of personal computers, fax machines and cellular phones, workers are already operating from their homes in “virtual offices”. Spatially, workers can become more flexible in the way they produce goods and services. They will function in a less rigid work environment and will not be confined to a desk or an office.

Having more freedom to manage their work time, the workers of this environment working from “virtual offices” will decide whether they want to work at night or during the day while maintaining a part-time job. For those workers operating from corporate offices, the opportunity is provided for the implementation of a shift system or flexitime, making it easier for businesses to operate on a 24-hour basis.

This has therefore created the platform for short term, fixed term and renewable contracts. This situation does pose a challenge to trade unions. Trade unions will increasingly find it necessary to re-negotiate the terms of employment for workers as these types of working arrangements and labour relations may contradict established labour agreements pertaining to working hours, conditions of employment and productivity measures.
However, one can argue that the high levels of pay earned from E-Commerce do not make it imperative to impose labour codes. Nevertheless, it is still necessary that workers are sensitized to their rights. Technology and Health Concerns The continuous use of information and communications technology may lead to the emergence of new occupational hazards and medical disorders such as:

  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • back and neck problems due to bad posture
  • eye and vision problems resulting from long periods sitting in front of the computer




Stress levels will also be on the increase, resulting from the need to meet strict deadlines and the increased pressure for workers to become proficient multi-taskers, thus making it very difficult to focus exclusively on any one project. Overall, employees will have to spend long periods on the computer and where necessary, put in excessive overtime.

These health concerns can pose a challenge to the National Insurance Scheme (with respect to increased claims) on the one hand and to both the employer and self-employed (with respect to lost man hours) on the other. Employers will need to consider the implementation of medical plans for their workers, and the self-employed will need to make their payments to National Insurance to ensure they are covered.
Stakeholders should therefore consider developing a policy framework with respect to health for persons operating within this new work environment. Conclusion E-Commerce can transform Barbadian businesses into efficient competitors in an increasingly competitive market. However, its possible effects on the labour force cannot be ignored. There will be shifts in the labour demand, from unskilled workers to highly skilled employees. Consequently addressing training and educational needs of the labour force must become a priority of policy makers. The nature of employment will also push employers, employees and trade unions alike to re-evaluate work contracts. In addition, the faster pace of business due to the increased use of information communication technology will have new implications for occupational health and safety. These issues must be addressed if we are to capitalize on the opportunities presented in this dynamic information age.
PHOTOS:
Not Available However, one can argue that the high levels of pay earned from E-Commerce do not make it imperative to impose labour codes. Nevertheless, it is still necessary that workers are sensitized to their rights. Technology and Health Concerns The continuous use of information and communications technology may lead to the emergence of new occupational hazards and medical disorders such as:

  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • back and neck problems due to bad posture
  • eye and vision problems resulting from long periods sitting in front of the computer




Stress levels will also be on the increase, resulting from the need to meet strict deadlines and the increased pressure for workers to become proficient multi-taskers, thus making it very difficult to focus exclusively on any one project. Overall, employees will have to spend long periods on the computer and where necessary, put in excessive overtime.

These health concerns can pose a challenge to the National Insurance Scheme (with respect to increased claims) on the one hand and to both the employer and self-employed (with respect to lost man hours) on the other. Employers will need to consider the implementation of medical plans for their workers, and the self-employed will need to make their payments to National Insurance to ensure they are covered.
Stakeholders should therefore consider developing a policy framework with respect to health for persons operating within this new work environment. Conclusion E-Commerce can transform Barbadian businesses into efficient competitors in an increasingly competitive market. However, its possible effects on the labour force cannot be ignored. There will be shifts in the labour demand, from unskilled workers to highly skilled employees. Consequently addressing training and educational needs of the labour force must become a priority of policy makers. The nature of employment will also push employers, employees and trade unions alike to re-evaluate work contracts. In addition, the faster pace of business due to the increased use of information communication technology will have new implications for occupational health and safety. These issues must be addressed if we are to capitalize on the opportunities presented in this dynamic information age.
PHOTOS:
Not Available


Published: Sunday, 14th May, 2006





top

Jobseeker or Employer

Email:
Password:
RegisterReset Password



Join Our Mailing List:

Email:


News Scroller


   
  
  
give
seperator
HIV/AIDS in the workplace
seperator
forms
seperator
jobsearch
seperator
labour-legislation
seperator
blm-statistics
 
seperator
seperator

library-video-audio-clips
seperator

sitemap


seperator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3rd Floor West, Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados | Tel: (246) 535-1400 | Fax: (246) 535-1573 | E-Mail: mol@labour.gov.bb