The world has gone through several industrial revolutions in recent history. The first major change was steam power in the 1800s, the second was due to coal power, and the third was brought about by the internet. The rise of the gig economy could be considered the fourth industrial revolution.
The way people work has changed a lot in the last two decades. If you’ve ever done any freelance work, taken an Uber or rented an Airbnb apartment, you have been part of the gig economy. A great deal of job growth has occurred because of the rapid increase in this phenomenon. Here are five reasons why the gig economy is not showing any signs of slowing down.
1. New generations desire flexibility
Millennials and Generation Z value a good balance of their work and life, which requires more schedule flexibility. Most millennials believe that remote work has a positive effect on productivity and performance.
2. The mobile revolution
The rise of mobile computing devices has enabled many types of work to be done remotely, whether it’s sales consulting, freelance bloggers or YouTube entrepreneurs. This cheap and abundant technology makes entry into the gig economy and self-employment easy and appealing.
3. The internet brings opportunities worldwide
Before the age of the internet, it was difficult for people on one side of the world to interact with businesses on the other. Gig economy platforms have allowed workers in countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia to perform tasks and join teams with western companies. These workers in less-developed countries earn salaries that are up to five times greater than the average incomes in their home countries. Gig platforms also provide some ability to mobilize a work force much faster than through traditional staffing methods.
4. The gig economy is a better solution for short-term projects
Workers who are hired via gig platforms are basically like temp workers, except the process of staffing teams is even more streamlined and the scaling is unlimited when connecting to a worldwide worker pool. This method also saves money by avoiding the costs of benefits and other hiring expenses for in-house employees. Companies don’t need to worry about hiring and firing because the workers will always be available when the need arises.
5. Business scaling
The gig economy provides a very quick and cost-effective way of scaling up productivity when a business is ready to grow. If a company needs to downsize, there is no negative backlash from having to lay off employees.
The information age has brought many changes to the world, not the least of which is the way people work and the way companies hire. Companies are finding ways to take advantage of the low costs and speed of mobile workforces. It’s easy to see that the gig economy is here to stay and continue to grow.