Gig Economy Definition
Gig economy refers to a hiring environment where jobs are mostly temporary and flexible (that is they can be completed from any place without prior physical connection with the assigner) and companies prefer hiring on contract rather than employee in-house workers. Companies in a gig economy mostly focus on getting tasks completed via independent freelancers and contractual workers, who necessarily don’t need to commit all their time to a particular job. In a gig economy, the importance of a full-time employee is often overlooked and jobs are dished out to persons who aren’t on the lookout for a lifetime career unlike in a traditional employment economy.
A Little More on What is the Gig Economy
Gig economy generally refers to an employment situation or environment where people are willing to work on a part-time basis. Due to this desire, payments become cheaper as well as wages and efficiency issues becomes a matter of the past. Some notable examples of services in gig economies are Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, and other freelance platforms. Instead of hiring a company driver or a personal driver, one can choose to opt for a quick Uber drive. Also, instead of buying a vehicle in every city or country you visit, you can choose to order a lift from Lyft. Persons who are looking to visit places where they have no apartment or home can make use of AirBnB, as they connect you with persons who are willing to offer you a place to stay for a little token. In a gig economy, technology is crucial, as most or all of the services offered are usually carried out online. In most cases, cities and high standard towns usually offer a gig economy compared to more remote places.
With the trends in gig economy, it is usually harder for full-time employees to grow in their career, since freelancers, independent workers, and part-time temporary workers are cheaper to handle and are more available to take on complex tasks. This however doesn’t limit the opportunity of getting a full-time employment as some companies still prefer to stick to the traditional method in some of their positions.
Gig is the term used in classifying the services which a person or individual offers in this employment setting. For instance, a part-time professor is different from a full-time professor because he or she is contracted unlike a tenured professor. When hired by colleges, they tend to receive lower wages than what a tenured professor would get, and they also get to work lesser hours.
The Driving Forces of a Gig Economy
The United States is one of the top nations to fully embrace gig economy as there is a lot of freelance and contractual employees taking on and delivering tasks in highly efficient manners. According to recent reports, more than a third of the working population are actively involved in some gig activities. Further expert studies shows that this number would rise soon enough. In high tech environments with access to basic internet, working remotely has become a norm, as even some full-time employees are allowed to work from their homes depending on the nature of their jobs. This new development helps to improve independent contracting as a lot of company tasks doesn’t require employees to work from a cubicle. Employers also have access to a wider range of applicants since the problem of location is eliminated by the internet. Also, they’re a couple of tasks that can be performed by computer softwares like basic accounting and mathematical computations. This sends a threat to full-time employees holding accounting roles in some firms.
Gig economy is also driven by the economic condition of a nation. Some employers cannot hire a full-time worker to complete tasks which they need, so in that case, they’ll prefer to go with a freelancer or an independent contractor. An example is creating a book. If a firm chooses to go with a published in-house author for creating their book, they might end up paying over 10x what they would have paid a freelancer to work on that same book in a relatively faster time. Also, persons who engage in a gig economy as workers get to benefit more from working on two separate jobs at the same time. This has a tendency of increasing their monthly income and makes it easier to transition to the newest skill in the industry. Also, the barrier of career change in a gig economy is low compared to a traditional employment economy, and this is good news for persons who love to explore different career options.