Today, the gig economy has become a bit of a buzzword in the field of work. Made popular by companies like Uber, the gig economy has made flexible and self-led working more possible than ever before, providing people with options to work temporary and flexible jobs that they are paid for on a per-job basis. The gig economy has become a popular option with people who want to make a side income on top of their regular full-time work but is also often used as a way to make a full-time income for people who prefer to be their own boss and have more control over the type of work and the hours that they do. The gig economy refers to temporary, freelance, and flexible jobs that allow businesses to work with independent contractors for short-term work, referred to as ‘gigs’. It is ideal for anybody who wants a more flexible schedule or the ability to earn additional income.
The gig economy is characterized by flexible and short-term work that businesses offer to independent contractors or self-employed freelancers rather than traditional full-time employees. The gig economy has benefits for both employers and workers. Businesses can save money on the cost of recruiting, payroll expenses, and employee benefits, while employees benefit from having the flexibility to work on a schedule that is more suited for them along with the ability to earn income from multiple different sources. Some alternative names for the gig economy include the freelance economy, sharing economy, and access economy.
Typically, independent contractors and freelancers will get individual gigs through a mobile app or another online platform that connects them with customers and businesses. Some of the main examples of this include Uber, TaskRabbit, Lyft, Airbnb, Deliveroo, Just Eat, and Amazon.
While there are many different industries covered by the gig economy, the main concept remains the same. Gig workers complete on-demand assignments that they are paid for, which could include several different tasks such as delivering food or creating online content. Once the project is completed, the gig worker will move on to their next assignment. While it’s not unusual for gig workers to continue working for the same company for long periods of time, there is no commitment necessary from either the company or the gig worker.
Gig Meaning – Jobs You Can Do:
There are many different types of jobs within the gig economy that are provided by companies that want to provide a convenient service to their customer base. Some examples of the main types of gig work that you can find today include:
- Virtual Assistants:
If you want gig work that you can easily do from home, have a computer and an internet connection, and have good admin skills, gig work as a virtual assistant might be ideal for you. You can find roles as an administrative assistant, project manager, receptionist, and more through a range of different online work platforms for several different companies that are taking advantage of working with online freelancers to cut costs within their company.
- Creative Freelancing:
Today, more and more businesses are working with creative freelancers for projects such as content creation, graphic design, web design, and more. There are various online platforms where you can sign up and find jobs that are available that fit your skills including Fiverr, Upwork, and Creative market.
Ridesharing and taxi services are one of the most popular types of jobs to be found in the gig economy today. As long as you have a suitable car and the appropriate license and insurance to operate as a taxi driver, you can sign up as a gig worker to companies like Uber or Lyft, which provide a convenient way for customers to order transportation from one place to another using their phone. This type of work is popular with previously employed taxi drivers who want the option to work on a more flexible schedule and be more in control of the money they earn.
- Delivery Services:
There are several companies including Amazon, Deliveroo, Uber, DoorDash, and Just Eat that provide delivery services to meet their customer needs using gig workers. Delivery services could range from delivering parcels that have been ordered from online shopping or delivering hot food takeaways to customers. To do this kind of work, you will need a suitable vehicle and the right insurance. While you can use a bicycle for food delivery, you will usually be required to have a large car or van to successfully work as a parcel delivery courier. Bear in mind that general business insurance does not cover doing this kind of work in your car and you will need to get a specialist insurance policy.
- Labour Support:
If you are good at odd jobs like putting up flat-pack furniture, decorating, and making small repairs around the home, you can find gig work through online platforms such as Task Rabbit, where clients are provided with people on-demand who are willing to help them out with a variety of different household tasks and more.
Pros and Cons of the Gig Economy:
When it comes to deciding whether or not you want to work in the gig economy, there are several different pros and cons that are worth considering, to ensure this type of work is the right choice for you. Advantages include flexible and independent work, a variety of work to choose from, and lots of jobs on offer due to the fact that it is not expensive for businesses. On the other hand, it’s worth considering the disadvantages of this type of work, which include the fact that it’s got a higher risk of burnout and stress, the income is not consistent or guaranteed, there are no employee benefits on offer, and you are in charge of your own expenses and taxes.
Flexibility: When you take on gig work, you become your own boss. This makes it possible for you to make the decisions when it comes to where you work, when you work, how long you work for, and more. Some gigs will even allow you to set your own rates and choose the client base that you want to work with.
Variety of Work: Rather than working one job full-time for one employer, the gig economy has made it possible for workers to enjoy a wider variety of work with a range of projects and tasks that you can complete. This makes it ideal for people who tend to get bored in the same place for a long time and would prefer to be creative when earning money with a range of different options throughout the week to choose from.
Independence: Since gig workers are their own boss, they tend to have complete independence. While there will be certain rules to adhere to when doing gig work for certain companies, such as getting deliveries out in a certain amount of time, there is no need to be in the office and no direct supervision, giving gig workers the option to work on their own, complete tasks in a way that is best for them, and choose tasks based on what’s best for their schedule.
Cost-Effective for Businesses: Gig workers can be an inexpensive alternative to companies compared to full-time employees. It gives business owners the chance to work with the best talent and allows them to offer a variety of rates based on factors such as skills and experience.
Burnout and Stress: Having a wide variety of work can be exciting and financially beneficial for gig workers, but if you are not careful, it can carry a high risk of stress and burnout since there are often no set times for starting and finishing work.
Lack of Employee Benefits: Gig workers are not usually eligible for general employee benefits such as sick pay or holiday pay.
Inconsistent Income: One of the main drawbacks of having a flexible work schedule is that it usually means your income is inconsistent. Gig work income will depend on the amount of work that is available and whether or not you are able to do the gigs.
Expenses and Taxes: As a gig worker, you are self-employed and therefore responsible for your own expenses and taxes. You will need to file a tax return at the end of each tax year and make sure that you save enough of your income to cover your tax bill. In addition, any expenses that you need such as specialised car insurance will need to come out of your own pocket.
What’s a Gig and How to Get One:
Gigs are short-term, flexible tasks that workers can do for money. If you’re interested, you will need to complete an application to sign up to your choice of platform. Once you have been accepted, you will then be able to access the gig work that is available and decide which jobs you want to take.
The gig economy has provided a flexible option for earning additional money or creating a full-time income that you can earn on your own schedule.