Why Gig Economy Is the Future of Work?
Recruiters and sourcing specialists are seeing a dramatic shift in how talent is being hired. While gig workers and freelancers have always existed, it used to often be only within certain sectors and for specific kinds of companies.
Now, it seems like gig workers are becoming the norm, with many companies hiring gig workers to complete tasks they may have tasked their already busy workforce with or hired a full-time temporary position for. In fact, a Brodmin case study found that the global gig economy will be worth $347 billion dollars in 2021!
So, what is there to gig working? Why is there a sudden shift towards this type of work, not just by companies but by workers? Is it the flexibility, the freedom, or the hours?
Why Are Workers Moving to Freelancing?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, millennials are becoming more prevalent in the gig workforce. A study by MBO partners saw that 38% of the current freelance workforce is made up of millennials. With the higher degree of autonomy and power to pick the gigs you want, there is a lot that can attract younger workers to these roles, especially when many traditional roles have been overturned due to the pandemic. Of the roles that are moving towards gig work, Payoneer saw that web and graphic design take the lead with 30% of the workers being freelancers, followed by programming, IT, multimedia production, content writing, translation, and marketing.
When looking at the dynamics of freelancing, many people wonder if companies are taking advantage of these more flexible workers. A recent study by Upwork, however, shows that 51% of freelancers say that no amount of money would entice them to take a traditional job again, and 59% of non-freelancers say they probably will do freelance work in the future. Gig workers overwhelmingly are happy with what they are doing, with Brodmin finding that 79% of full-time gig workers saying they were happier working on their own than at a normal, traditional role. A large downside of this work, of course, is that there isn’t easy access to healthcare and other employer-provided benefits that most traditional workers gain from their positions.
The Upwork study also underlines part of the reason: 46% of freelancers say that flexibility is what attracts them to the job path. Corresponding with this, one in five of the freelancers talked to faced health challenges that would prevent them from working if it weren’t for gig work. Often not considered are the factors of gig work that can dramatically make working more accessible, whether for those who are chronically ill, disabled or discriminated against in many professional settings.
How Do Companies Benefit from Gig Workers?
Companies also can bring in huge benefits by hiring gig workers for most occasional projects and positions. The biggest reasons companies start considering gig workers is for cost savings. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that employee benefits often make up 32% of an employee’s compensation. By hiring gig workers, you not only can offer higher wages to get better talent due to your cost savings, but you still will often save money on your end as well. Hiring specialists usually means that less training and onboarding is involved too, especially for consultants and designers who are working on a specific project for you.
Gig economy workers are often talented specialists in their fields, meaning that you are able to hire the right person for the job without having to put the stress on other employees to take on that role. While there is a benefit to upskilling current employees, sometimes what you need done is outside the scope of their usual work and would interfere with their already task-heavy workflow. By hiring a specialist to assist in projects, you can help lighten the workload for your employees while providing them a valuable ally in their goals.
Gig work has many benefits for both companies and employees. By bringing these professional, specialized perspectives into your company to help you with projects, you empower your teams to dream bigger with their projects. In the long run, gig economy workers save companies money while allowing them the flexibility to pursue goals that may be outside the scope of their current workforce. As freelance workers continue to grow in our markets, we will continue to see companies adopting these workers as valuable assets to their projects and teams.
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