Over the last few years, the gig economy impact started disrupting the workforce industry as we know it. Instead of working conventional jobs, many people now show interest in more alternative ways to make money.
Compared to the traditional business model, the gig economy refers to flexible, freelance, or on-demand work. Instead of working for a specific company for a defined number of hours, gig workers usually work project or time-based jobs. While most gig jobs take place online, they can also be in-person or labor-related as well.
And as this trend increases in popularity, it also shapes the traditional employment model. In this article, we’ll share exactly how the workforce has changed with the rise of the gig economy.
The Gig Economy Impact
Decreased Full-Time Positions
Gone are the days of working full-time for one company. As people take on more project-based roles, businesses also need to adapt to this shift in priority. Therefore, they start offering more freelance or seasonal work over full-time employment.
This has many benefits and can ultimately save a company money in the long run. However, some cons to consider exist as well. For example, businesses need to deal with onboarding, quality control, and the lack of consistent employment.
Additionally, gig workers will no longer have a set salary or benefits like health insurance or paid leave. This can make their work life quite unstable, especially if they expect or need a steady paycheck.
More Skill and Passion-Based Opportunities
Now more than ever, workers seek out jobs where they can showcase their talents. Instead of working a traditional 9-to-5 in an office, they find work doing things they love.
This is largely because they have the flexibility to choose projects they are interested in. Whether it’s coding a website with WP Engine or selling goods with Shopify, they aren’t limited to one task or one job as they would in a conventional work model.
Different Routes Toward Qualifications
Taking on different projects also gives gig workers the chance to develop new skills and hone them. Plus, with the internet, they no longer have to spend money on expensive college educations unless their field requires it. They can teach themselves through sites like Udemy or learn on the job. Either way, the gig economy impact gives them the chance to grow professionally and utilize their skills in more unique ways.
Increased Flexibility at Work
One of the main reasons why people are choosing gig-based work is the flexibility. Work-life balance has always been an issue with traditional employment. But now, people can choose when they work, where they work, and how much they work. Not to mention, they can also pick projects that appeal to them or align with their interests.
This has been a major issue with more conventional employment. With employees demanding more freedom, some companies have started to offer flexible working hours, remote work opportunities, or unlimited PTO. However, some people may still find this too rigid and, therefore, look for work in the gig economy instead.
Changes in Regulations
When the employment landscape shifts from traditional to gig-based, regulations also need to adapt to these changes. How are these employees classified (independent contractors, freelancers, part-time, etc.)? How are they taxed? What legal benefits are they entitled to? Are there any labor protection laws that apply?
As you can see, companies need to ask themselves these questions while considering the gig economy impact. While some businesses are set up to hire gig workers, others need more time and legal understanding to do so.
And what does this mean for existing legal rights? Some laws, like minimum wage and the right to sick leave, have taken decades to be put in place. Not to mention, they are constantly evolving as well. Therefore, we need new regulations for gig workers while also making sure those who still work full-time are also protected.
There’s no denying that businesses need to prepare themselves for the gig economy impact. Not only conventional companies but also retail shops (for example, if you’re using Square) and labor markets as well. With so many people switching to freelance and project-based work, companies need to keep up if they want to stay competitive.
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