The business and office environment is increasingly changing in recent time with new technologies making way for organizations’ functions across all sectors in all industry domains. In this dynamic business environment where customers’ expectations are constantly changing, it’s time for every organization to bring a change in its work model to survive. The regular 9 to 5 job cycle is not appealing to many employees in today’s time and they are more keen to adopt flexible work models, where they get some extra time for themselves to learn new things and to have a perfect work-life balance. Thus, in today’s time, employees are leaving their full-time jobs and are opting for freelancing, part-time or remote jobs, and thus joining the Gig workforce.
What is Gig Economy?
Gig economy is basically a labour/employee market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent/full-time jobs. They comprise the professionals, right from designers to digital marketing professionals, from content writers to editors, from Uber drivers to YouTubers, coders, programmers, data entry specialists of the world.
The competition is there in Gig economy too as employees are required to build the skills needed to survive in the new world fast enough and they are not able to do so.
Organizations are thus looking to work with gig workers, or say, freelancers, who are aware of the new technologies and ways of working from home and delivering work at greater efficiencies for the company.
According to a report by Truelancer, the global freelancer market is worth $2-3 billion. It is growing at 14% per annum. India currently accounts for $1 billion of the global market. In the US, there are more than 50 million independent workers, and is taking the lead in adopting the Gig economy concept. In India, at present, there are 15 million freelancers and they are getting independent short-term contracts in industries like finance, HR, IT and programming, design, sales and marketing, animation, content, and academic writing and so on.
Trends to look out for in Gig Economy in India
Indian employers/businesses/organizations are seeking to leverage the gig economy in a significant way, and here are the trends to watch out for in present time:
- More and more participation: Both employers as well as employees are expected to hop on to the bandwagon of the gig economy. Start-ups, mid-sized companies, and other big and small companies in order to focus on their core products and services and to reduce costs will prefer to hire freelancers to work on the non-core tasks. Thus, remote workers will equally play important roles in the growth and development of the company and the business.
- Gen Z workers focussing on technology: In the gig economy world, its the Gen Z workers who are occupying the majority of the workforce. The new Gen employees are not too keen on a 9-to-5 job and are willing to experiment with new jobs in a flexible way. Plus, they are more into adopting a perfect work-life balance where recreation, enjoyment, learnings, and works go hand-in-hand. Plus, these group of professionals have the additional advantage of being entrepreneurial in spirit with a technical bent of mind. So, employers are taking advantage of this group of young professionals who have grown up with social connectivity and evolving technology.
- Emerging job roles: In today’s time, every business is adopting automation. Today, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, machines are invariably at the forefront of altering job roles. Hence, employers will definitely seek more and more freelancers for various new roles. Emerging job roles include analytics, blockchain architecture, deep learning, SEO strategies and social media marketing. And of course, content writing/blogging, app development, virtual assistance, web development, graphic designing, finance, auditing are going to widen the gig economy more.
- Outsourcing specialized jobs: More and more specialized jobs will come to the forefront. There has been continuous growth of outsourcing of hyper-specialized jobs and important projects of various companies. Big and small organizations will seek hyper-specialization and niche skill sets, which are important to building a core team and potential leadership talent. With time, freelancers and gig workers will focus on very niche skills.
- Co-working in shared workspaces: With the growth of the gig economy, employees are willing to work in collaborative workspaces. The gig economy has led to the establishment of such collaborations with start-ups and freelancers especially, and this has led to more expansion of the gig economy concept. Independent workers can work in an environment where they have flexibility and liberty, and at the same time, they can develop and market their personal skills as well. Hence, the gig economy demands adaptability on the part of both players, the employers and the employees.
To sum up
It is necessary for employers to constantly stay up-dated with the upcoming trends in each and every aspect of their business. Employers will have to ensure they find the right employees with the right skills to help them solve all the problems they are facing. This is where the gig economy comes into the picture, and there is no denying the fact that the gig workers will be tapped more than ever in the coming years.