Is the Gig Economy Drowning the Job Culture?

Our perception on how we want to work keeps changing every day. Whether the change is personal or organizational, the evolution of workforce has stayed constant. Extending days to years, a new trend has come up, known as the Gig Economy. This concept has become much more than just a trend due to multiple factors, including flexibility, freedom, and comfort in an individual’s work life.

Thanks to the financial crisis in the last decade, which led to slower economic growth, and shorter increments, people have switched to taking up more work outside work. The hang of this extra income has been so rewarding that many shifted to taking up full time gigs. 

As a result, today, 24% of the world’s gig workers belong to India. But, the spectrum of gig workers is quite broad to classify it as the next best career option. Gig workers range from highly skilled professionals who tend to get paid more, to low-income bulk workers who tend to earn less for the sake of work freedom. It is the responsibility of organizations to ensure that the workforce realizes this gap.

The 3 types of gig workers

Full-time free agents

This category includes people who choose a project-based career as their primary occupational method. The principal amount of workers in this category involves highly skilled professionals with good background and portfolio, resulting in high paying projects on a sustainable basis.

Casual freelancers

These types of people are quite abundant on the new freelance sites, but also belong to the full-time employee community. Freelancing is a casual business for them apart from a serious job career. So, unless they find a project either exciting enough or highly paying to take up the free time at home, they stay afloat.

Freelancer out of necessity

The central aspect that builds this category is extra money. While the easiest way to get cash when needed is a loan, freelance work takes up the interest of your time, which is more feasible for them. These types of workers have a full-time job in place, but keep seeking opportunities for earning more money, without taking payment market value into much consideration. Desperate times call for desperate measures, right?

How will the gig culture impact employers?

While the gig economy is still in its infancy, the rate at which it is rising can be alarming for both small and large businesses. Imagine, if everyone stopped working as employees and started taking projects. What would be the impact?

  • The relationship would merely be task-based.
  • The safety of an individual’s long-term dedication will seize to exist.
  • Many job roles based on hierarchy will likely vanish.
  • Payments may turn out to be individual and higher than usual.
  • No need to pay for employee benefits like insurance, PFs, and other allowances. (Well, good for you!)

Don’t worry; the gig economy is neither coming at the speed or the intentions of an apocalypse. But, you see it coming, don’t you?

To Cope-up with the rising gig workers, businesses will need to adapt to new work cultures, task management processes and rethink their payouts, or else they unintentionally will end up contributing to the rise of the gig economy itself.

So, how do you cope-up with this workforce evolution?

Businesses need to step up their game of inspiring, engaging, and retaining employees. If you cannot stop it, it’s best to blend in. What could be the best ways to blend in with this new crowd?

Offer healthier work environment

Most of the people who shift from full-time employment to the gig lifestyle have issues with their former work-life balance, work culture, and other things that affected their individual lives.

The best way to tackle this situation is to ensure that you offer an excellent work-life balance to your employees, inspire them to take days off, interact with them regularly to understand the issues they are facing and address them as fast as possible. If an employee feels healthy in his/her workplace, they are likely to think less about doing extra work outside in their free time.

Ensure competitive salaries

Let it be the in-hand salary or the yearly increment; an employee gets the first thought of freelancing when he/she thinks that the pay they get is not enough. People who ponder over the top for their salaries are always an exception, though, and you do not have to worry about them either. If your employees are earning enough, even the best freelancing websites will end up without their presence, unless direly needed.

Restrict freelance restrictions

Many conservative organizations include freelance limits in their policies. This factor touches upon the needs of those who need more based on their situation. If your employees who need more money than they earn for the sake of emergencies or essential lifestyle requirements are not able to take freelance projects may not be healthy for you. Give them the freedom to do what they want in their own time, and they will choose to be with you for a longer duration.

Hire freelancers on long-term retainers

The cream class of the gig economy includes highly skilled professionals who love doing what they do. Organizations can benefit from their skills through long-term retainer contracts without giving them the privilege of a full-time employee. The cost may appear on the higher end, but in terms of quality and dedication, you will enjoy a better ROI. If you think about it, a full-time employee is somewhat a long-term freelancer, exclusive to you.

What did we learn today?

The gig economy in India rose primarily due to a lack of work-life satisfaction in employees. If organizations address these issues, they can both retain more employees along with getting enough time to understand how to make the best use of the gig economy itself. If you think finding the right talent looking for full-time employment is becoming more stringent, you can always come to Vasitum, with the latest candidate pool ready to be deployed.