Although there are numerous variations on the definition of the term ‘gig economy’, it can be used to describe the growing sector of the world workforce that makes the majority of their income by stringing together multiple freelance or contract work positions.
Gig economy brings a different lifestyle compared to the common 9-to-5 daily corporate grind. It brings freedom, work-life balance and an opportunity to choose projects to be tackled.
To learn what it takes to be successful in independent work, Harvard Business Review recently completed an in-depth study of 65 gig workers. Some of the findings were:
➔ Independent workers can choose projects that make the most of their skills and represent their true interests which of the result has a feeling of ownership over what they produce.
➔ Both financially and existentially, the stakes of independent work are enormously high having in mind that the surveyed freelancers often still worry about money and reputation being at stake.
➔ Productivity is an intense preoccupation, a constant struggle and of the main concerns for everyone interviewed.
➔ Interviewed gig workers all shared the common concerns about the dangers of social isolation – striving to avoid it, they tend to join formal peer groups, become members of co working spaces etc.
There are dozens of studies suggesting that half of the working U.S. population will move into the gig economy within the next five years but the gig economy is thriving globally too. Having in mind the impact this makes on the overall world economy, we have gathered a couple of facts about today’s gig economy and the motivation behind workers decision to join it.
➔ One in three Americans is a freelancer, making the sector a critical part of the labor market. ➔ 63% of executives would choose freelancing if given the opportunity.
➔ 44% of business leaders believe the changing nature of work and flexible work are the greatest drivers of industry change.
➔ The freelance economy of the UK has grown by 25 per cent since 2009 to turnover an estimated £109 billion a year.
➔ The European Union saw a 45 percent increase in the number of independent workers from 2012 to 2013 only.
➔ Nearly 20% of U.S. full-time independent contractors earn more than $100,000.
While the need for new employee hires grows, today’s economy allows organisations from all over the world to expand faster with experienced talent focused on strategic growth opportunities – gig workers.
How much do you know about a gig economy? Any stories or experience you would like to share? Comment below.