The world of work is changing. Increasingly, more young professionals are looking to engage with employment that suits their busy lives, choosing flexible opportunities and contract work over traditional full-time models.
But what does this mean for the economy? In our white paper on the Professional gig economy, findings show this kind of work is likely to become more common; even, perhaps, to a time where the “Gig Economy” will simply become part of the wider working sphere. In other words, it’s likely that as the workforce tends towards hiring on an independent basis, the attitude that this is somehow different from the norm (and thus an uncertain career path) will become rarer.
New workers, new attitudes
Our report found that more than 1 in 5 full-time workers would be happier working on a freelance basis. But it’s still considered an uncertain choice: perceived barriers include a lack of stability or contacts for regular work, something that’s crucial when building a long term career out of the gig economy.
Speaking to over 1,000 full-time workers as well as freelancers from our network of experts, it became clear that for many people, flexibility and stability of earnings were key. When the gig economy can provide that, it’ll stimulate an uptake in professionals moving away from traditional working models. In turn, attitudes will shift away from thinking that the gig economy and other connected work markets are solely for people without significant financial responsibility.
A valuable segment of the workforce
Freelancers and contract professionals stimulate the economy, so it’s important that businesses encourage their growth globally. Statistics say that the gig economy has more than doubled since 2016 alone, thanks to the rise of mobile apps, remote working and platforms like our own Croudie Network making it easier for experts to find new work. And that might not even be the full story; much of the research about the gig economy focuses on lower-skilled jobs, like Uber drivers or fast food delivery services.
In reality, as we mentioned many of those who contribute to this economy are highly trained professionals that simply want a way of working that better fits with their after-work responsibilities. And it’s not just for creative professionals: almost 1 in 3 of businesses said they were ‘building their future talent strategy around the rise of the portfolio career’, working with a mix of people to broaden their talent pool. That means legal, finance, education and other sectors considered to be “traditional” in their employment methods are embracing this shift in working habits.
Financially, it’s worth it: a PwC report on connected work markets estimates that the gig economy will be worth nearly £42 billion globally by 2020.
Looking to the future of work
At Croud, we believe this trend towards flexible, contracted work will continue to increase. It’s a tempting option for many professionals, and as the technology around gig working becomes more sophisticated, new opportunities and businesses will arise to help bring employers and freelancers together.
As noted by a Forbes analysis earlier this year, task-oriented work is gathering momentum in such a way that hundreds of millions of 9-5 jobs will become hundreds of millions of small businesses and contract employees. In just a few years, we might finally see the “Gig Economy” become simply “The Economy”.
Click here to view Croud’s report on The professional gig economy. To find out more about Croud and our Croudie Network model, get in touch.