Times are changing. Life-long careers with the same company, “9-5” predictable work routines and the long-term stability and the security of a job contract are diminishing.
The gig economy has risen significantly in the recent decades. Nearly five million UK workers are part of the gig economy, a 45% rise since 2000.
Organisations will need to have the knowledge on how to manage a mixed talent pool of assignees that will include an increasingly growing number of global mobile gig workers.
What is the gig economy?
It has very little to do with music concerts! 🙂 The gig economy model consists of workers who take on temporary work to complete specific projects. The word “gig” refers to a one-off job that an individual gets paid to do on a contractual basis.
Some argue that gig work is less secure and more exploitative, while others consider it a revolutionary way of flexible working that provides individuals with more freedom than traditional employment.
Why is it rising?
By 2027, the majority of the workforce is expected to consist of freelancers. Several reasons have resulted in the rise of the gig economy; the 2007-2008 economic recession, baby boomers looking to supplement their income, and the emergence of the millennials as they seek more freedom and improved work/life balance.
Advantages and downsides of the gig economy
For the organization, the gig economy model offers several benefits such as reduced costs, increased flexibility, the ability to react much faster to changes and the opportunity to explore new talent.
For the individual, it can offer more flexibility in terms of working hours resulting in an improved work/life balance and increased autonomy. On the downside, gig workers are not always guaranteed work. Tax obligations might be complex for gig workers as they have to record and pay their own taxes. Furthermore, they have fewer employment rights including no sick or holiday pay.
Managing “workforce on demand”
According to a study by Mercer, one of the key trends of the future of work is that HR will not only need to know how to effectively train and recruit talent but they also need to know how to effectively manage workforce on demand. Furthermore, skills need to be constantly upgraded to be in line with the technological innovations and the constantly changing job market. We are seeing more and more diverse ways in the ways individuals are working.
The need to attract and retain gig workers will force HR and mobility professionals to review policies, compensation, and overall processes.