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The Unbundling and Re-bundling of Jobs in the Future of Work

April 23, 2021



The Unbundling and Re-bundling of Jobs in the Future of Work

The Unbundling and Re-bundling of Jobs in the Future of Work

Laetitia Vitaud is an author and authority on the Future of Work and brings a European perspective with her experience living, lecturing, consulting, and doing research in France, the UK, and Germany. She has long been concerned about the unbundling of jobs and the impact on employees, especially women. In this episode, Laetitia shares her views on new employment dynamics and emerging options that mean proactive attention and re-bundling can change future outcomes for workers.


[03:51] Why did Laetitia have a mid-life crisis at 20 and what did she do about it?

[06:28] Laetitia initially focused on how individuals make professional transitions successfully.

[07:39] Evangelizing the idea of freelancing which was a novelty in France in 2016.

[08:10] Laetitia compares the difference between US healthcare vs. French healthcare.

[10:29] There was a rise in freelance job opportunities during the mid 2000s. Why is that?

[12:06] Consulting contracts for younger people are common in Europe because the full salary bundle has become a barrier to hiring someone as an employee.

[13:09] Rigid employee contracts for well-protected bundles led to outsourcing to service companies as well as freelancers.

[14:50] The evolution of the social contract with specialization, alienation, and subordination.

[16:23] The broad attractive work bundle offered by Ford and other auto manufacturers.

[18:01] Laetitia shares some key traits that have disappeared from the job bundle.

[18:56] Unalignment, exploitation, and inequalities are effects of the unbundling.

[19:45] Corporations’ attempts at realignment and filling in the gaps.

[20:34] Laetitia describes broad job dissatisfaction about trade-offs.

[22:18] What is a ‘good job’ now?

[23:33] Considering the concept of ‘good work’ which could mean bundling gigs.

[24:52] What questions should you be asking about your work?

[26:36] People aren’t calculating if their current bundle enough for the long-haul.

[27:32] The disparity in younger and older employees recognizing the reality of job bundles.

[29:08] How someone can become a craftsperson and remain relevant and valuable in the market.

[29:59] How employers can redefine contracts, employment arrangements, and open up work to be more flexible, attractive, and creative.

[31:09] How the pandemic has increased flexibility in work models to adapt to uncertainties.

[32:57] Managers are so reluctant to have a distributed workforce. Why?

[33:45] The return to the office is about order and rituals.

[37:07] ‘Hybrid work’ means many different things and must be applicable for everyone’s needs.

[39:28] Flexible working is a mindset first and not enforcing one model for everyone.

[40:28] How to create an inclusive workforce in a hybrid context.

[42:35] Increased options for creating new bundles—especially beneficial to counter ageism and discrimination against women.

[45:01] IMMEDIATE ACTION TIP: Thinking about the impact of increased longevity, before you make any important decision, invite past and future selves to the table to confer with your current self. You should all have a say in discussing important issues before making your mind up!


“In France, whatever you do, you will have access to healthcare insurance and it would not cost you more [as a freelancer]. So, it’s easier to leave a salaried job and become self-employed even if you have a preexisting condition.”

“This quote what's good for GM is good for America and vice versa is actually a very profound thing because there's perfect alignment between what you do and the interest of the country, the nation, the planet, and that's that, that's also something that disappeared from the bundle.”

“What made the Fordist deal attractive was that in exchange of this alienation—division of labor and subordination—you had a very attractive bundle.”

“The more rigid the contract is, and the more companies want a flexible workforce and on demand work, the more hesitant they are to recruit people with that rigid contract.”

“The business of consulting is booming in those countries where the work contract is so rigid. You have so many consultants everywhere.”

“It’s not all bad for everybody. Some people have a satisfactory bundle, but by and large a lot more people are dissatisfied with the bundle that they have.”

“A lot of people are trapped in the vision of the old bundle and do not realize that without the job security [in this new bundle], they need to do some financial calculations that incorporate the risk of losing their jobs and transitioning to other jobs.”

“One way of inventing a new bundle by becoming a craftsman or craftswoman.”

“The question about what a good job is too narrow, because it's based on the assumption that basically there is a bundle behind a job.”

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