People worldwide consider the gig economy a much-desired solution to the mundane and monotonous life of 9 to 5, as it allows the freedom and eases to work. Some like the conventional way of working and despise the nature of the gig economy. In today’s time, the world needs and demands the gig workers to rescue the economy from the slowdown caused due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The world’s expectations and outlook towards their work are transforming- defined schedules and defined workplaces are changing to flexible working hours and workspace. Likewise, vertical career progression is drastically shifting into flexible ways of working. These shifts to flexibility have emerged the concept of ‘Gig Economy,’ which provides work on-demand, and now it is both in person and virtually after the COVID-19 pandemic. The gig economy will be an essential part of the formal employment sector. People are now inclined towards on-demand workers instead of full-time workers as full-time workers are expensive for the organization.
If we consider human science and behavior, it is evident that people crave freedom, ownership, and flexibility in every aspect of their lives. People who are deprived of these things have a feeling of dissatisfaction, discomfort and are disconnected in their work as well, and most of the people are having full-time employment. These factors are the main reason for the Gig economy’s boom, as here people are allowed to work on their terms and timings. People who prefer to work in remote areas are the ones who are a true believer in the Gig Economy as it gives them the ease of working from wherever they want to work. Gig Economy is best for those who are creative or skilled in their fields as they can provide their services to many without having a long-term commitment to one entity such as content writers, photographers, etc. The larger group of gig workers are using the digital marketplace, where they can easily advertise their services and get connected with the buyers.
There were two types of gig workers: Low-skilled workers, food delivery, cab driver, etc. The others were freelancers and talent gig workers like musicians, creative professionals, web designers. But now, in recent years, a new wing of gig workers has emerged: corporate gig. Senior management is now leaning in the gig workers. Virtual employment is acting as a catalyst for the gig economy during and post-pandemic.
Sectors like education technology, where companies have started providing part-time employment to homemakers for online teaching, is boosting the gig worker sector in the economy. Corporate jobs have seen the most notable change in the working pattern due to gig work. Companies that never have used gig talent before now have 4-8% of jobs for gig workers only.
Professions like finance, legal, human resources, information, technology are the ones that are ready to adopt this new style of working. Still, it is not the same with supply chain workers and manufacturing units as their work can attain complete efficiency only by the conventional way of fixed employment.
In bricks and mortar companies, gig employment is estimated to be 5-7%, whereas it values 20% of the total employment in the service sector. According to the research, in the next 3-5 years, gig employment could be 10% of the entire corporate sector.
The confidence in the corporate sector is gained because of the recent situations as the companies are exploring this option to reduce their cost. The employees are also optimistic about the gig work as it gives them the flexibility to work in small setups, which feels safer to them during the current pandemic. The gig economy is a win-win situation for both the employer and the employee.
It has some downsides too – no consistency of work and no social security for the employee. Since employees are also not bound under a contract, employers also have a high turnover rate. Only time will tell whether or not this type of employment sticks, but it surely has given the people hope to get some security, especially after the pandemic.