WHAT IS THE GIG ECONOMY?
The term sounds familiar, doesn’t it? The gig economy is the new way of trading services in the digital era. It doesn’t exclusively refer to the online-based work, but it’s become a massive trend thanks to digital platforms and apps.
It started as a complimentary economy and it has become a category on its own, as there is a prevalence of short-term contracts and freelance positions in today’s labour market.
As for the origin of the term, although there are many different theories out there, the word is pervasively associated with temporary occupations.
Nevertheless, gig economy contribution shouldn’t be disregarded.
Sharing Economy vs Gig Economy
The sharing or collaborative economy relies on the partaking of underused assets for a fee or free, while the gig economy refers to on-demand services, often facilitated by technological means.
As this might sound confusing, here are some clues to get it right.
Gig Economy Apps And Platforms
Indeed, the digital platforms have facilitated the popularity of this form of work by connecting employers and independent contractors all around the world. In fact, the expansion of this type of economy would not have been possible without them.
Not all gigs are based on these platforms, though, as some employers prefer a more traditional approach,
The gig economy opens a new window of opportunities to people that can’t engage in traditional work, due to disabilities or chronic illness, allowing them to work remotely.
It’s also a good way for the new freelancers to create networks, test the waters and exercise their skills while looking for more stable projects.
Students can make some good income in their spare time, plus there are lees geographic restrictions.
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However, there are some serious issues to be tackled, as the exception is becoming the norm too often.
More transparency and regulations can help to dignify the working conditions because workers are not considered employees but independent contractors, hence the lack of rights and benefits.
As the gig economy is becoming prevalent in our daily lives it can bring variety and profits, but it may also establish injustice and distress if not regulated adequately. Moreover, it seems to have created a “second class” type of employee working under precarious conditions.
Finally, not everyone is fit to become an independent worker, as it requires focus, discipline, confidence, and a good network.
It’s not surprising the millennial generation seems to thrive well in this type of arrangements. They appreciate the flexibility and are less conditioned but traditional working environments.
The gig model offers some exciting opportunities for the younger generation and they appreciate these offerings.
However, not everything that glitters is gold and we must pay close attention to the evolution of this trend.
There are some bold bets about its future though, from the bubble bursting theory to the whole concept being overridden by artificial intelligence.
In my opinion, it will become integrated into the market after a gradual adjustment period.
The gig economy is here to stay. It’s time to think how we can improve and regulate this new economic model to achieve better standards for everyone.