Gig Economy: Will Each of Us be a Gig Worker in the Future?
Traditional 9 to 5 is no longer a norm, especially with millennials and GenZ entering the workforce. These tech savvy generations seek work-life balance, like their whole life depends on that. And as we know our good old 9 to 5s have a bad reputation of not being very flexible, gig work and freelancing could become the new normal.
For those who are not aware of gig work and all that it entails; gig work or freelancing means working on a short term contract on a certain project, mostly with flexible and remote working options. There has been a 78% rise in the participation in gig works.
Many people offer their services like graphic designing, copywriting , coding etc. services to companies as a gig worker. Meaning a short term contract, working on the given project. These days platforms like UpWork, Fivver, Freelancer, Guru etc platforms are gaining popularity among freelancers. These platforms connect organizations with freelancers who offer the services they need. All they have to do is create a profile and determine the services they will provide along with the prices they will charge for the same.
Freelancing gained its momentum right from the pandemic. Pandemic got everyone to adapt working from home, as our new normal. And, ever since, we haven’t looked back. Many young workers loved working remotely and once they got the taste of that, they refused to start working from the office even after everything was back to normal. So much so that they were ready to resign than to come back to office.
Also because of the declining economy, companies can’t afford to appoint permanent employees. Gig work is not only beneficial to the gig workers but also to the business owners. The business owners don’t need to invest in the office space, and do not have to provide the worker with other benefits like healthcare, insurance etc. which they might have to, if it were a traditional 9 to 5 job. Gig work with all its benefits and glory has some dark sides to it too, which we will discuss later.
Is operating as a gig economy right for you as a business owner?
As a business owner, there are numerous benefits of hiring freelancers or gig workers.
Save a ton of money
The basic rule of business is to earn more and spend less. When it comes to hiring freelancers as opposed to permanent employees, you can save a lot of money and in return have access to the best talent pool you can imagine. In this declining economy, one way to get through is by cost-cutting and when you hire freelancers, they work from wherever they want and you as a business can save a lot of money by not having to invest in huge office spaces. You save money on benefits too. Not to forget that you can hire them on a need basis. All in all spending on freelancers is money well spent.
You can scale your business rapidly by hiring freelancers. With little word of mouth and a bit of marketing you will have a flock of freelancers at your disposal. You can choose the candidate that has the skills best suiting your needs, without any interference from any middleman. There are many platforms like Fivver, Upwork, guru etc. as we discussed earlier that can connect you with the best talent. Without getting into hassles of explaining HR policies and onboarding employees, you can get straight to business and scale your business rapidly.
Diverse pool of talent
One of the major benefits of hiring gig workers is that, most often than not, the talent has a variety of skills that they can offer. Gig workers are mostly skilled at various skills that are complementary to their main skill. The stack of skills that they have can be very beneficial in taking the business to new heights.
Disadvantages of Gig Economy
Less reliable workers:
Sometimes, remote workers have multiple commitments and multiple jobs. So as they have a lot on their plate, they may delay the work, or the quality may suffer. So before you choose a freelancer, you need to be thorough with it and cross check if they can give you the work on time with the quality you desire.
No legal contract:
If you hire freelancers without any legal contact to bind them with. You are creating more problems than solutions. If in future you have any problems, you cannot catch hold of the workers.
Advantages of working as a freelancer/Gig worker
Learn variety of skills
When you work as a freelancer, you develop time management skills, as you decide your own schedule. You also develop negotiation skills, because you have to negotiate your charges often with business owners. Thus, in entirety, you develop an entrepreneurial mindset, which will benefit you greatly throughout your career.
Independent & flexible working hours
When you take up a freelance project, you are given a deadline. What and how many hours you put in is all up to you. Thus, you get to plan your own schedule around the deadline and can work from anywhere. You can enjoy other hobbies and strike a work-life balance the way you desire. You can even take on freelance projects on top of your regular 9 to 5 to earn a little extra something.
As lucrative as you want it to be
First and foremost, there are less entry barriers in the gig economy. Meaning that finding entry level gigs are not as hard to find as an entry level job is. All you need to do is have some skills and develop those skills further as you go. Also, there is no limit in the earning cap, as opposed to regular jobs where you can only earn a certain amount. The more you are willing to work the more money you make.
Disadvantages of working as a freelancer/Gig worker
Gig work is less stable, some months you will be swamped with work and some months will be as dry as they come. So having savings for gig workers is crucial.
There is no limit on how much you earn, but one limitation is that you don’t earn benefits like healthcare, insurance etc. benefits that are provided in regular jobs.
As you are a sole person responsible for your work and that you operate on your own schedule, can be a little stressful. Plus, the additional negotiations and talking with the clients can add more stress.
Given that workplaces are changing rapidly, many factors that are driving this change like the pandemic, inflation and a declining economy. It is becoming increasingly hard to survive on just one job to make ends meet in the current economic situation, forget buying houses.
We are nearing the future where having multiple jobs is the only way to survive. So, working on multiple jobs and taking up gigs may be the only way to go. Having said that, companies will have to be on the lookout for moonlighting and will need to have strong policies supporting it.
What are your thoughts on gig work? Let us know in the comments.
(Author: Karishma Chandnani is a Content Writer at TechDoQuest. She offers refreshing & youthful perspective to the topics she writes about)