The economy of gigs is a thriving labor market that has grown to benefit workers, consumers, and organizations for several reasons. For starters, the flexibility that this concept brings to the table has made it possible for individuals to enjoy multiple streams of income while maximizing the time spent pursuing all the tasks they set out to accomplish.
The term ‘gig’ has been used since the early 1900s when jazz musicians would be booked to perform in different venues. But then, since the advent of the Internet, smartphones, and mobile apps, among other technological advancements, the term ‘gig’ took a different spin. No doubt, the Internet has changed the way we do plenty of things and not just how we work alone. For instance, licensed iGaming sites like spin city casino offer players opportunities to blow off steam remotely by enjoying their favorite casino games.
Overall, being independent seems to be a major selling point for later generations when it comes to the modern economy. Thus, as a result, freelancing and project-based assignments are becoming the go-to for most workers. Studies have shown that about 70% of workers who freelance by choice are happier than those in traditional jobs. Well, one thing to note is that just like in any other emerging field that shows some promise, both pros and cons come with it. Here’s a closer look:
Besides what we’ve already covered, there are many pros that this free market system presents to workers, which is why it is becoming more prominent by the minute. They include:
Due to the short-term nature of gigs, a worker can take a whole spectrum of assignments and earn more than their counterparts in traditional employment. As an independent contractor, a freelancer does not have the burden of a conflict of interest associated with a binding contract.
Companies that hire contractors or consultants on an as-needed basis tend to save more on wage bills and employee benefits, reducing their budgets and overall liabilities.
The job market is hard to navigate, especially for workers in remote and less affluent regions. With this new economic pattern, those with access to technology and the required skills can get online and make an income regardless of location. The gig economy does not have a predefined time to work, and workers can carry out tasks at any time of day or night.
Traditional jobs come with a cut-out salary, and whether or not a raise may be on the horizon lies in the ability of the employee to negotiate for better pay. In the economy centred around separate gigs, freelancers dictate their rates, and since the quality of the work can be substantiated by clients and companies, they can increase the rates with little consequence.
In case you thought we had already mentioned all the perks, we are here to disappoint you because this list also includes the following:
- The reduced tax burden for both freelancers and employers;
- Companies have access to a more diverse pool of workers;
- More manageable for companies to find talent for specialized jobs;
- No pressure for continued commitment in case the freelancer doesn’t see the working relationship as suitable anymore.
On the other end of the spectrum, some of the most notable downsides include:
Permanent employees can enjoy benefits, e.g., health insurance, access to financial boosts like education costs, and company-financed pensions. In cases where the worker does not think beyond the now, making ends meet in old age could be difficult due to a lack of proper planning.
Since temporary and part-time workers are usually the first to be let go in a recession, this modern market pattern can be considered unreliable. Additionally, some employers may exploit consultants, labeling them as ‘self-employed’ to avoid giving them full-time benefits even though they may be working regular hours, leaving no time to pursue other ventures.
As mentioned, the project-by-project or gig-by-gig concept means there are seasons when a freelance is idle, especially if only pursuing one line of work. This means that some days are going to be uncertain.
As the work landscape evolves, society has to adapt quickly to the latest trends in the space. As observed, the gig economy can present both upsides and downsides, but the bottom line is that the benefits outweigh the challenges, making it a viable option for those with a heart for it. Those who opt to delve into the world of gigs must be prepared to take precautions to safeguard their interests.
From the attempts made to regulate this labor market, there may be some positive developments on the horizon regarding the well-being of freelancers. Such a move will definitely put freelancers on the same level as full-time workers, if not above traditional employees. For sure, the economy of gigs will continue to enjoy rapid growth as more individuals access technology, and the future seems bright from the outset.