As work and life shifted during the pandemic, the demand for high-skilled tech talent — engineers, product managers, designers — also intensified. Many tech workers quit their jobs, but it turned out the wave of employees who left were not part of the Great Resignation after all; instead, they were workers who decided that rather than sell their soul to one company, they can “rent” their skills to many.
Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at Wharton, said not everyone is going to work this way. But for workers in the subset of the economy who want the flexibility and freedom to make their own schedules and choose whom they work with, collaborating with others in remote teams can feel more secure than being on your own.
It’s part of the “universal human quest,” according to Mr. Grant, to say, “I want to be unique, but I also want to belong.”
Mr. Grant has been interested in teams for quite some time. He’s written several books on the data and science behind the motivations that drive people and organizations. In 2018, he met Raphael Ouzan, an entrepreneur who was starting to notice that many of his peers were looking to escape rigid work structures that wouldn’t allow them to choose their collaborators or projects. The two kept in touch.
The gig economy was by then firmly entrenched, but most of the opportunities in that economy, whether working with Uber, DoorDash, Upwork or Fiverr, involved short-term, simple tasks.
“The system is very commoditizing,” Mr. Ouzan said. “There wasn’t much out there for people who want to pursue a craft with autonomy.”
In 2020, Mr. Ouzan helped start A. Team, a members-only platform for companies and those it calls “product builders,” or people who help develop software. Mr. Ouzan believes…
The New York Times
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