Will Gig Economy Continue To Prosper After The Pandemic?

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Written By Rebecca Barnatt-Smith

The gig economy, also known as a labour market driven by an increase in short term contracts and flexible working, has become highly desirable post-pandemic. 

As Covid-19 transforms the way we work and encourages a future of digital-based remote working schemes, it is no surprise that gig work has become so popular since the onset of the pandemic in 2020.

As we head into 2022, the question in many business leaders’ minds is whether the gig economy will prosper post-pandemic and whether its potential growth will help or hinder business success.

Read on to find out why the gig economy become so popular during the pandemic and what its growth could mean for both employees and employers.

Why Was the Gig Economy So Important During The Pandemic?

The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic sent employment into a global crisis. As businesses continued to close and the UK employment rate rose to a new high of 4.8 per cent, the gig economy became a flexible saviour for those of us in lockdown.

Why Was the Gig Economy So Important During The Pandemic?(Image Source: BBC)

As both business giants and small business start-ups continued to facilitate short term contracts and flexible working scenarios as the globe entered uncertain times, a global workforce was able to create a working schedule that suited them, while company leaders built commissions with no strings attached.

Has The Gig Economy Become The Desirable Choice For Post-Pandemic Workers?

As we head into a post-pandemic working world, 42 per cent of workers are still working from home full time according to a Global Data Survey. As WFH environments continue to thrive so does the introduction of a more flexible working future.

As we still head into uncertain times even in 2022, job flexibility has become more appealing to a global workforce. Engaging with gig opportunities has allowed working parents to have more freedom surrounding their childcare arrangements and has given employees a chance to experiment within numerous job sectors.

In fact, before the pandemic even began, 70 per cent of gig-based workers reported that they were participating within the gig economy out of choice as it made them feel as if they had more control over their working schedule.

Will Gig Economy Continue To Prosper In 2022?

Currently, gig workers are estimated to represent around 35 per cent of the average workforce, making their contribution to the global working system rather vital post-pandemic. 

In fact, experts suggest that the pandemic has only increased the amount of gig work across both the US and the UK. Suggesting that freelance working contracts will make up more than half of the US working system by 2023, we can safely say that the gig economy will continue to prosper post-pandemic.

Creating numerous benefits for both the employee and the employer, flexible working contracts have become the new normal as the corporate world continues to turn digital, allowing staff to work anywhere within the world.

The Benefits Of the Gig Economy For Business Success

The Benefits Of the Gig Economy For Business Success

While there are many benefits of flexible working for the employee, let’s not forget just how much of a benefit it could be to business leaders as the WFH trend continues to prevail. 

1. A High ROI Strategy 

It is becoming increasingly harder for businesses to continue to earn profits as the online platforms bring more competitors than ever before.

Hiring gig economy workers is a great return on investment strategy as not only can business leaders hire and fire quickly during certain times, but it is much cheaper to hire freelancers while still receiving workforce benefits.

For example, when hiring a short term contract employee, business leaders will not have to pay benefits, health coverage and bonuses, all extra payouts that come with hiring full-time workers.

This allows businesses to hire workforces as and when they need, so they can control their workload throughout quiet and busy periods.

2. Global Scale Employment

The digitalisation of the corporate sector has brought many benefits for employers including more productivity during WFH and access to a global scale workforce.

Encouraging gig-based opportunities within the business allows for a wider scope of global applicants from around the world. This gives leaders more choice and room to choose from specialists across the globe.

Creating a more multi-cultural workforce, not only encourages an array of business practices but can aid a diverse consumer demographic.

Are There Challenges To Come?

As gig work becomes more popular and increases across the globe, so does the competition for new flexible working positions. As well as this, many workers are quickly realising that although it may be flexible, gig work does not come with the benefits of a full-time job, such as financial security, commission and bonuses.

Amrit Dhami, the workforce analyst as Global Data, predicts that although the gig economy continues to grow, 2022 will see increasing instability.

“The growth of the gig economy that we saw in 2021 will continue into 2022. However, this growth comes with increasing instability.” Armit explains. “The gig economy model is precarious and unsustainable due to landmark regulatory changes across Europe, classifying more and more gig workers as employees rather than independent contractors.

Governments will continue to legislate in favour of gig workers, and this will heavily increase costs for companies that now need to afford sick days, holidays, and pensions.”

This has left many pandemic based gig workers feeling unsafe as the job market continues to change in 2022.

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