The pandemic has hit the economy of the world really hard, affecting people’s jobs and compensations. According to a joint report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), 4.1 million Indians have lost their job owing to COVID-19. But, we are talking of jobs that were full-time, stable and on pay-roll.
But, on the contrary, the current scenario has led to the rise in the Gig Economy! People are taking up freelancing more than ever to earn and earn extra too!
“Gig economy is a term used for a free market where organizations hire and pay individuals for a task. These individuals are temporary and are associated with an organization only as long as the task is completed and paid for. The gig word in the term refers to the task for a short duration.”
A decade ago, Gig Economy was related to unskilled work such as driving (Ola and Uber), delivering (food, parcels, etc. through Zomato and Swiggy), and doing simple errands (Dunzo). But, from the last few years, jobs such as graphic designing, web & app development and social media management are increasingly in demand on a freelance basis.
Also, the young generation who are more inclined to freedom and flexibility of working hours are signing up on the Gig platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr. People are selling their hobbies-turned-talent and knowledge applications across the platforms.
Here are some interesting statistics that make us realize how well the Gig Economy is prospering!
- A report by ASSOCHAM puts the annual growth rate of the gig economy at 17 per cent and predicts that it will touch $455 billion by 2023.
- Upwork has seen a 50% increase in freelancer sign-ups since the pandemic began.
- Millennial and baby boomers lead the gig work market, including 37% and 35% of full-time independent workers respectively, claims MBO Partners.
So, what about Gig Economy is changing the typical 9am – 5pm job mentality of people!
Yes, in freelancing jobs you don’t have long-term employee-employer contracts to follow. All you need to do is complete the task and get paid. Instead, if you are not sure of the hirer, you can secure yourself with advances. No pandemic or any situation would make a huge difference!
You get to choose the precise role you want to be hired for, nothing more, and nothing less. Thus, you are in control of your own roles and responsibilities, giving you the complete contentment.
The best part of freelancing is that you work at the place of your convenience and time both. Unlike a regular job, you don’t have that clock controlling your life. The major benefit here is the perfect work-life balance which today everyone is desperately seeking for.
Still, a question arises! Is corporate culture ready for the shift?
In one of the CNBC reports, it claims that there are approximately 170 gig economy companies in the United States that only hire remote workers. So, yes, slowly but positively corporates are accepting the Gig Economy.
In fact, the Gig Economy lets them explore the talent and hire the best fit. The work is completely based on the quality of the work. They don’t need to give regular employee benefits that are covered in usual contracts that cut the cost to the company. Plus, they save space in the office for more important things to the core business.
To conclude, the Gig Economy works in the favor of both the parties involved – legally and financially! It reduces the haphazard insecurity of job loss and pay cuts. On the other hand, organizations have less liability for workers.
I think the way forward is to have more knowledge-based jobs such as engineering, AI and deep learning developers under the umbrella of Gig Economy, which will truly evolve the economy as a whole.