"Important principles may, and must, be inflexible. "
- Abraham Lincoln
In this modern world where everything is digital, it’s getting easier for people to work from the comfort of their homes. People are privileged to choose the work of their choice or take up multiple projects of different kinds. The gig economy is flourishing in today’s world, all thanks to food delivery, ride-sharing apps, and online platforms.
What Exactly is Gig Economy?
The gig economy refers to a market system where individuals work on a contract basis instead of working as employees. Here, the person is solely responsible for getting gigs, gigs meaning “Short-term job.” Previously it was called the Sharing Economy.
Some of the gig economy examples include freelancers, independent contractors, project-based hires, or app-based platforms like Uber, Lyft, Zomato, Airbnb, etc, giving users an opportunity to work as per their availability.
The gig economy is gaining momentum along with time, the reason being the flexibility to work from anywhere at any time.
How is it similar to the Zero Hour Contract?
In zero-hour contracts, people are paid on an hourly basis, which is similar to getting paid per gig. In both cases, the payment is not guaranteed until the work is done.
The new-age companies and startups benefit from such contracts as they cut off on office and staffing costs.
How does the gig economy benefit workers and employers?
Benefit for workers
Location and time-based freedom – Freelancers or contract-based workers have the freedom to work from the location of their choice as most of their work happens online. The use of apps like Google Docs, Zoom, Trello, InVision etc, makes it convenient for people to work at their own pace.
Work on the project of their choice – The perk of working independently is that people get to choose their own work. They have the option to choose it or let it go. The freedom to work on the projects that excite you is something that would not be possible in a regular job.
Growth – Unlike a corporate job where a person has to wait for at least a year for appraisal, the gig economy allows people to grow at their pace. People can take up multiple projects and make more money or work on a few and live a stress-free life.
Benefit for employers
Work with global talent – Employers find it difficult to hire the right person for their company within their vicinity. Gig economy allows them to work with the best talents from across the world. They can put gigs on work platforms or gig platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, etc, and get the work done efficiently. It helps them save time, effort, and money.
Save on infrastructure and other expenses – Many people have started doing businesses out of the gig economy. It’s a zero investment and high return bet if done in the right way. When the company is running online, there’s no need for an actual workplace. This saves a lot of money that is spent on office building, electricity, taxes, and insurances.
Speeding up the process – If there’s a requirement to finish the work at the earliest, it’s highly unlikely that an employee would be able to do it alone. In such cases, employers can hire multiple people from the gig economy and finish the project sooner without stressing the in-house team.
Factors contributing to the growth of the gig economy
- Work-life balance is the primary factor that is responsible for the rapid growth of the gig economy.
- A gig worker can control his work life and take up or let go of projects as per his/her liking.
- Employers find it easy to hire freelancers or gig workers and get started with the work without any delay.
- It’s cheap to hire people from the gig economy as employers only pay for the work. They don’t have to pay for things like taxes or healthcare.
To conclude, the gig economy is rapidly increasing in most of the countries across the world. People are more than willing to work on their own, especially the Millenials. In the coming years, the traditional working places will become a thing of the past. It’s highly essential to adapt to the changing scenarios of the world and benefit from it.