Gig economy: How is it changing the workforce?

3 min read

Gig economy: How is it changing the workforce?

Hearing about someone hiring a freelancer and interns temporarily is as normal as preparing ‘the final document’ for the 11th document for your clients. But how are these freelancers and interns we’re talking about related to the gig economy?

Hold your horses; I got your back!

‘Gig’ is the term used to refer to the assignment given to freelancers and interns to work on a temporary period. After COVID-19 hit us all, it drew many people’s interest. 

Not only do they pay well, but they also don’t have to be bound by anyone. The way it’s growing is influencing an archetypical shift in the workplace, workforce, and work model, with the potential to revamp the future of work.

Wish to learn why? Keep reading. 

The engagement of technology in the gig economy

It’s safe to say that one thing that has hugely impacted us after the pandemic is our dependence on technology — almost everything, and I mean that, went online!

Traditionally, it has been quite difficult for businesses to expand internationally. Not only because establishing local branches overseas for local markets is fraught with legal but also due to various practical challenges. 

But cloud and mobile connectivity have proven to be the game changers for internationalization, allowing people to work from anywhere and enabling the setup of cloud-based services & remote operations over a secure connection.

Automation is one of the most prominent technological advancements that has helped businesses with scheduling, timesheet tracking, and task assignment while also ensuring timeliness and quality candidate experiences.

Acting as a catalyst for changing industry

With new things happening around the industry daily, coping is very hard — you get to stay updated and on track with everything. What the gig economy means for corporations is the accessibility and freedom to scale and optimize the workforce as required to respond to changing business goals.

Moving on an exponential growth trajectory, the gig economy workforce is projected to increase 3X from 7.7 million in 2021 to 23.5 million in 2030. The growing gig economy is influencing a paradigm shift in the workforce, workplace, and work models and can reshape the future of work.

A study done in 2021

The mutual benefit factor

It’s not just the employees that the increasing gig economy is benefiting from, but also the employers are enjoying those benefits.

How? By working in a flexible workspace, their stress to work and manage people & equipment works at a minimum. Besides, they also get the work done at the most minimal cost and according to their choice. 

None of the employees or employers are confined to work with a specific person. In fact, companies that hire a flexible workforce can get the exact workforce they need at a particular time, save money on training and benefits, and avoid mass layoffs. None of these conditions have to be overboard; everything works at a minimum and on-demand basis. 

Similarly, the gig economy provides independent workers with a long-term career path that includes greater flexibility, work-life balance, and skill-based opportunities that they can pursue at any stage of their lives. 

Not only are people opting for more options to work as an employee on a contract basis, but they are also fulfilling the assignment by giving their best as both an employer & employee. 

Advantages of the gig economy

If the above said is still not convincing, here’s a quick list of the pros the gig economy brings.

  • Having the ability to choose the type of work and projects that you take on.
  • Being able to change your work-life balance.
  • Flexible working hours, with the ability to choose when and for how long to work.
  • Low entry barriers. Anyone, regardless of skill level, can enter the gig economy.
  • The ability to work from any location on the planet.

There are just so many more advantages you can go for. Working in the gig economy not only provides numerous benefits to the business but also to the workers.

Disadvantages of the gig economy

As the gig economy is rising at an amazing speed, so do the platforms that are allowing people to find work as gig workers. With various terms and conditions being always subjected to client risk, many people feel the gig economy is precarious, and one should focus more on a stable source of income. 

Before you play around with it, consider all the conditions properly. To clarify what I mean properly, here are some of the disadvantages of being too dependent on the gig economy: 

  • The competition is high. 
  • With so many services and platforms, it’s hard to distinguish between authentic and fraudulent.
  • To meet the demands and supplies, one’s work pressure can sometimes get too high.
  • Professionals are typically responsible for filing their own taxes & policies. 

The disadvantages don’t end here, but the sense of understanding does start here. As powerful and booming as much of the current gig economy is, it’s essential for us to be mindful while entering it. 

Last words

In an era where industries and customers’ demands change very frequently, it’s hard to stay up-to-date and alert with it. All of it requires shifting employee expectations, fluid workforces, and the democratization of technology.

The gig economy will continue to rise & keep increasing the scope of work for many individuals. It will create more and more experienced players in the market and allow people to experiment and find their own strengths without having to invest so much effort into it — eventually becoming very competitive. But instead of resisting it, let’s take it as a good way for what’s ahead!

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