GIG Economy had been a subject talked about for years now and has evolved over years in terms of customizing to consumer needs basis technological advances and evolving competitive edge.
The changing work environment is leading to newer challenges to which organisations are adapting by the means of pursuing the relevant portion of the value proposition from the associated GIG.
Through this note, I am addressing some of the practical ways of advancing GIG economy with the new normal future way of working while observing some practical hurdles that organisations observe.
Some of the Challenges Faced by Organisations in the “New Normal” with Respect to GIG Economy
Traditional Jobs are Challenging GIG: A full-time role with one employer has been considered the norm for decades, but increasingly, this fails to capture how a large share of the workforce makes a living.
A narrow focus only on traditional jobs ignores tens of millions who put together their own income streams and shape their own work lives.
Although independent work is not a new phenomenon, it does not fit neatly into official labour statistics. A few vulnerable aspects could be stemmed from a high degree of autonomy; payment by task, assignment, or sales; and a short-term relationship between worker and client.
Digital platforms are transforming independent work: With the building on the ubiquity of mobile devices, the enormous pools of workers and customers they can reach, and the ability to harness rich real-time information to make more efficient matches, there is a constant need for independent workers to continuously adapt and adopt to the required technological advancement.
Highlighting the key segments of independent workers who have individual needs which need to be fulfilled by the GIG environment.
- Free Agents – who actively choose independent work and derive their primary income from it.
- Casual Earners – who use independent work for supplemental income and do so by choice.
- Reluctant – who make their primary living from independent work but would prefer traditional jobs.
- Financially Strapped – who do supplemental independent work out of necessity.
Those who do independent work by choice (free agents and casual earners) report greater satisfaction with their work lives than those who do it out of necessity (reluctant and financially strapped), a finding that holds across countries, age, income, and education. In fact, free agents report even higher levels of satisfaction than those in traditional jobs by choice. Those working out of necessity, whether as independent workers or in traditional jobs, report similar levels of dissatisfaction with their work.
While we highlight some of the above challenges, we continue to observe some of the best benefits like independent work could have benefits for the economy. Consumers and organizations could benefit from the greater availability of services and improved matching that better fulfil their needs. Workers who choose to be independent value autonomy and flexibility. Looking at the benefits we need to have a mechanism for tackling some of the above challenges that could make independent work a more feasible option for individuals.
Using GIG Economy as a Lead Indicator
The gig economy could be used as a lead indicator which would easily boost businesses through some of the below factors
1-Using Technology in making many knowledge tasks to be performed remotely.
2-Reducing the Project time frames as more companies adopt “fail fast” innovation techniques with the help of GIG players. These require teams of people with specialized skills to be assembled quickly which could easily be facilitated in an independent scenario
3-Developing business models and scenarios in order to promote organizations to invest less in full-time employment. Companies are finding that many roles that were long assumed to require salaried workers can be permanently redefined or broken up to accommodate contractors. Gig workers can also supplement full-time staff for short-term assignments requiring specialized expertise or seasonal changes in inactivity. A new breed of agency is emerging that makes the employer’s job even easier. These service firms hire workers on a full-time basis and assign them to companies that want a reliable workforce without the overhead costs. That’s less expensive for employers, and temporary workers enjoy greater income predictability and benefits.
Organizations will need to reorient their thinking to being about skills rather than jobs. This can be challenging in large organizations, where the size of a manager’s staff may be a status symbol. Reward mechanisms should be adjusted to recognize excellence in managing costs. Also, few organizations will want to go to the well every time they need short-term help.
A better model is like the one people use with babysitters and landscapers: When they need help, there is a service or known entity they can call. Projects should be broken down by skills requirements and tasks assigned accordingly. This more granular definition can be challenging for managers who are accustomed to assigning “bodies” to tasks.