Till now whenever someone mentioned the gig economy, we always assumed it to be limited to blue-collar jobs. But today the gig economy has expanded enough to become popular and profitable even for white-collar jobs. There are both supply and demand side forces at work to bring about this significant change that will and is shaping the future of work.
Before we move forward, to give a quick understanding – The gig economy is a market where companies employ individuals for short-term projects, and on the other hand, individuals are free to take up more than one project at a time. The individuals who work in the gig economy are part of the gig workforce and this includes freelancers, contract workers, and contingent workers.
The pandemic made organizations comfortable with remote working, the struggling economy led to job losses opening people to take up gig work, and the advancement of tech as well as intermediaries like staffing companies and freelancing platforms gave confidence and made the process of taking up a gig job as well as hiring a gig worker plain sailing!
An article by People Matters “Can the gig economy work for white collar professionals?” mentions the following data
- Around 15 million freelancers are employed in projects in sectors like IT, HR, and design (As per ASSOCHAM)
- There are over 8 million independent or gig professionals (as per BCG report)
Once both the organizations and individuals got a taste of Gig work, the value it provides also became clear to both parties. Companies can easily access professionals with niche skills & expertise, reduce go-to-market time, and most importantly lower overhead costs as well as optimize talent productivity. At the same time, individuals have better control over their work-life, they can easily access global opportunities, work with multiple organizations and gain rich experience as well as increase their income sources.
Till now white-collar employees used to stay away from gig-working considering the stigma associated with it as well as the lack of security. But Millenials and Gen-Z are increasingly choosing gig-working due to their preference for flexibility and the increase in options available that can be utilized to secure oneself financially. Plus the newer generations see the potential to earn more through gig-working than one would in traditional 9-5 jobs.
Gig Economy is growing and becoming a popular choice for all the parties involved, the intermediaries that are facilitating the gig workforce will further accelerate the growth, making it the preferred choice of employment.