Employment has always been a vital part of everyday life for people, they need to earn to live and to feed their families. Throughout history, people have exchanged goods or services for food, water, or other services. Currency then came along and people would exchange goods and services for currency that they would then use for buying the essential items they need.
Having the privilege of a nice job is something one should be thankful for, and if you enjoy that job and it pays well, you are all the better for it. There are too many people who struggle to make a living, or can not get the job that they want. Getting the job is one thing, keeping the job is another entirely, there are so many scenarios that can affect the employment sector these days, that even the jobs that have always been considered “A job for life” are now risky places to work.
That is when the Gig Economy comes in, or also coined as the ‘side hustle.’ In this field of work, individuals are left with the opportunity to choose which job they feel like doing, work is also up to the employers to make the decision of whether or not a certain job needs tobe done by a full time worker, or it can be completed by a new “temp”, or a Gigger.
The rapid progress of companies providing employment opportunities to gig workers is increasing each year, not to mention the ‘new normal’ COVID-19 imposes in our society, one study stated that the popularity of freelancing has increased in the past few years and today more than 36% of the workforce are part of the free-market system. Essentially, being a gig worker is not just a trend but also a significant change in the labour market. The question is why?
In 2014, Americans spent 1.8 trillion minutes (29.6 billion hours) commuting to work. Remote work can cut commuting times to zero. If you value your time, or your family needs your time more, this has obvious advantages. Moreover, the task given to a gig worker can be done on the time scale of the worker, rather than in the time of a working day, it is a more efficient way of working for the individual and the business. Imagine how much time you waste in your 8hr working day. Could you get jobs done in less time, get paid an hourly rate for them, and then just leave when the job is done?
Aside from side hustling, time also contributes to other things you want to do in life. A freelancer’s goal is to complete the project quickly, professionally and efficiently, so that they can enjoy their other time in the day. As a freelancer you’re working in a field you’re passionate about. You’re setting your own schedule to fit when you’re most productive.
Some people think that being a gig worker would mean lower incomes well, this can be true but it is not exactly true. Compared to traditional dependent jobs, being a freelancer gives you the power to control your talent/skill fee. Freelancing is not without challenges. There are plenty of ways to strive for success in the gig economy as a freelancer and one of those is your ability to increase your online presence where there is possibility for potential clients to know your services. You set your hourly rate, your skills and your network, become your net worth. The more valuable you make yourself, the more valuable you become.
These are only a few reasons why more people are turning to the gig economy, there are loads more to consider. Some people simply want to be their own boss, and stand on their own 2 feet, feeding their families from the sweat of their brow and from the muscles in their back. This has been the case back to Medieval times, and will not be going away any time soon.