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Gig Economy: Are we Going Toward a Freelance World

by | Mar 30, 2022 | Industry, Utopia




For decades the norm of jobs has been full-time jobs or part-time jobs. But the days of being hired by a company and working there until retirement are gone.  Now a variety of people have decided to take on a short-term jobs approach, known as a gig.

Essentially the term gig economy describes an environment where people work for others as independent contractors. Hence, they set their hours, choose their clients and usually work on a “per-project” basis rather than a monthly salary.

With flexible time and earnings, 84% of freelancers claim they are living their preferred lifestyle. As compared to traditional jobs where only 54% claim they have a good lifestyle. It seems most workers now prioritize lifestyle over earnings.

Gig is a slang term meaning a job for a specified period. But nowadays it’s found its way into mainstream business vocabularies as more and more communities are moving toward a gig economy.

What is the gig economy?

The gig economy is a relatively new phenomenon that has changed the way work is done. Traditionally, workers have remained in their traditional workplaces for many years but more recently freelance workers have become widespread and have revolutionized the world of work.

While it’s not an entirely new concept, it has recently become popular in many countries. Hence, gig economy is a free market system in which temporary positions are common. Where people work as freelancers, independent contractors or project-based workers.

These temporary hires all fall under the title gig workers and are found across every industry. These workers could be writers, rideshare drivers, photographers, accountants, realtors, handymen, programmers, tutors, artists, dog walkers, and the list goes on.

It is revealed that freelancers seem to be happier and healthier than those working in traditional jobs. Where 78% of people working in the freelance economy say they are happier and 68% say they’re healthier.

Anyone who enters into formal agreements with a company to provide services without being on the company’s payroll is considered a freelance worker. With digitization, the workforce is increasingly mobile, so workers can select temporary jobs from around the world.

And employers can find the best individuals for each job without any geographic constraints as many jobs can be done online. The freelance economy has been gaining popularity as an alternative to traditional industries.

Many companies are incorporating freelancers into their business strategy while still employing full-time employees. For those who choose to become part-time employees, the gig space is a way to supplement their income or supplement their current income.

Around 36% of the US workforce forms part of the freelance economy, either full or as a side hustle. It is also revealed that 55% of freelancers have full-time jobs. They work as gigs part-time to earn extra money. And according to Deloitte, 64% of full-time workers want to do side hustle to earn extra money.

According to McKinsey, the fastest-growing segments of the gig economy are those in the creative industry. Pizzerias can easily hire copywriters and other experts to write the restaurant’s website in a very cost-efficient manner.

Hence in today’s world, making a decent living is no longer limited to the 9-to-5 routine. And these contract base and side hustle jobs can be very lucrative if done well and the freedom associated with them is very tempting. Perhaps that’s why the gig economy keeps getting bigger.

Future of gig economy

While the future of work may be uncertain, one thing is certain, this economy is here to stay. The contractual economy is largely comprised of individuals who bid on gig tasks and perform them individually. But this model of employment is likely to change dramatically in the decades to come.

Three key forces are predicted to drive its future: mounting pressure, changing customer needs and automation. Those factors are influencing the future of the gig economy. Once it is fully developed, it will likely be more inclusive and less fragmented.

As the freelance economy grows, the work it offers will change. Instead of being confined to a few sectors or industries, it will become more organized. In the future, some jobs can be divided into smaller tasks and paid on a task-by-task basis.

It is estimated that 59% of male and 74% of female freelance workers enjoy working independently.   And the percentage of freelancers has risen from 55% to 67% between 2011 and 2019.

The future of the gig economy won’t be determined by technology alone. It will be shaped by social, political and technological factors. As these factors evolve, the trend will continue to expand.

Intuit’s 2020 report on the future of gig work shows that 80% of large US companies plan to shift their recruiting strategies to cater to the demands of this new style of work. While this trend has been around for several years, there are some major trends and challenges in this new freelance economy.

It is estimated that by 2023 around 52% of the US workforce will either be in the gig economy or work independently. And a 2020 survey by Payoneer states that freelancers earn between $10 to $28 hourly.

Increasing flexibility is the priority for the gig economy. It is important to understand that it is a disruptive force that will continue to transform the workforce. As the freelance economy grows, it will reshape society.

The shift from traditional employment models to flexible, freelance and independent labor has benefits for both the worker and the company. It is also beneficial for society and the environment. It is beneficial to all types of businesses.

The freelance economy can help businesses save money by reducing the cost of corporate real estate and by reducing bad hires. Companies don’t have to hire lots of employees, buy a lot of equipment, or rent locations. As freelancers are usually professional, have their equipment, and can work remotely.

The concept is a 21st-century phenomenon that will make us all more flexible and mobile. It’s important to prepare businesses for the changes they will bring to the world of work. It is estimated that by 2030, half of the US workforce will be working as freelancers.

Instead of being a large corporations, most corporate entities will be based on a Hollywood model of work. And workers will be in high demand on a project-to-project basis.

The freelancing market is rising and more people are interested in doing contractual work. And technology is making it easier to find freelance jobs. And companies also are increasingly working with freelancers as they can easily find a professional one according to their budgets.

In October 2020, a UK court ruled that Uber drivers are employees and that they should be paid minimum wage and holiday pay. This case set a precedent for other countries and many are now beginning to consider the freelance economy as a viable option.

Whether you work as a social media manager, a photographer or a marketing consultant, the gig economy changes the way people work. Those in the freelance economy tend to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work wherever they want.

However, there are some downsides to this trend. For starters, it makes it more difficult to find contracts as the employer usually opts for the freelancer who has the highest rating online. There are far too many people chasing the same jobs and not enough time to do it well.

The gig market is not a perfect environment for everyone. It is unpredictable and the benefits received from the traditional workplace are limited in the freelance world. For instance, there’s no set career path or mentor within the industry.

While some freelancers can get jobs simply by indicating their availability, many others have to be proactive in offering their services. However, working as a gig can be very lucrative and you can work on several projects at the same time.

You can also set your price and there is no geographic restriction. Gig workers can get freelance jobs on an international level, all they have to do is create a profile on online freelance platforms.