There is no doubt that gig economy or contingent economy or shared economy or whatever name it is known is being adopted by individuals (both those with fulltime job and those without jobs) and corporate organizations alike. This has led to a tremendous spike in the gig economy sector, one which is forecasted to continue many years from now.
This leads to three important questions — what is gig economy? Why the tremendous rise in the gig economy? And what impact does this have on the future of work?
These are some of the questions this article intends answering. Without much ado, let’s dive in already. Shall we?
What is the Gig Economy?
Gig economy, also known as shared economy or contingent economy, is a form of division of the labor market which is characterized by short-term or freelance jobs instead of the traditional full-time job observed in many corporate firms.
Okay, that may sound like a lot of labor market gibberish. Simply put, gig economy is a term which encompasses any part-time job done besides the normal corporate full-time job.
An employee of a corporate firm who engages short-term contract outside of his fulltime job in his firm is referred to as having a shared economy or gig economy. This means that he has an extra source of income besides his fulltime job. Uber drivers and freelancers are good examples of the gig economy phenomenon.
Why the Tremendous Rise in Gig Economy?
The nature of work has experienced a constant change over the past few years and the gig economy is a form of adaptation to this change. This term was greatly influenced by the economic downturn a few years back which compelled employees to seek other side jobs to boost their income.
Corporate firms have contributed to this alarming rise also by actively searching for contractors who are able to complete short-term tasks and at a lower price.
Consequently, the gig economy has been on the increase despite the economy balance as more individuals are venturing into this shared economy and more businesses seeking these special skills for short-term purposes.
The perks that come with the gig economy have also made it enticing to both individuals and firms, eventually causing more sellers and buyers to join the ‘new’ marketplace.
What is the Impact of Gig Economy on the Future of Work?
Although many analysts believe that this might disrupt the normal nature of work, I believe the gig economy is not much of a threat to the conventional work. In fact, it is an improvement in the way work is being done. It will be a perfect fit to remote working as it is the future of work.
Why work for a single company when you can work for multiple companies and earn more?
In contrary to the general belief that this will reduce the number of full-time workers in companies, gig economy will, in fact, make employees happier while working for their various firms.
A recent study conducted showed that 25% of employees already have side jobs without the knowledge of their employers and they are doing just fine with their work too. An employee, who has an additional source of income, although not stable, will be happy to carry out any task assigned to him.
I guess the government and corporate firms should make changes and policies that will favor the incorporation of this new form of labor market into the economy rather than doubt its survival because remote working and gig economy have come to stay and they are without [a] doubt, the future of work.