The gig economy has become a key player in the world of work today. With more and more people shying away from the idea of working full-time for a company and many people wanting to take more control over their working lives, it’s no surprise that temporary, pay-per-job gigs have become one of the top choices for people who want to make a full-time income from self-employment or are hoping to get a side hustle to boost the amount of money that they earn overall. Led by gig-first companies like Uber, the gig economy has made it possible for people to take more control over the work that they do and the amount of money that they make. It’s an ideal choice for people who are interested in becoming their own boss without the work of setting up a business and want to work on a more flexible basis where they are in control of how often they work, when they work, where they work, and in many cases, how much they are able to earn.
Gig Economy Definition:
The gig economy is defined by flexible, temporary, or short-term work that businesses will offer to freelancers or independent contractors known as gig workers, rather than hiring traditional full-time employees. It has many benefits for both the organisations and the people that participate in it. For businesses, the gig economy means lower costs as there is no need to pay an hourly wage or salary to employees, rather, the gig workers are paid upon the completion of each successful job. For the gig workers themselves, the benefits include the option to be in control of their own work schedule, maximise their earnings by taking on more work and being their own boss – including doing tasks for a range of different companies.
Gig Worker Meaning:
A gig worker is a self-employed, independent freelancer or contractor who takes on jobs that are provided by a company that participates in the gig economy. For example, many taxi drivers, food delivery drivers, and parcel couriers today are gig workers. When you order food online to be delivered to your home, for example, the person who delivers that food may be completing a gig for a company like UberEATS or Deliveroo. They will have used an app or online platform to find the jobs that are available in their area and will have selected yours from the list, which indicates their commitment to complete that job. Once your food has been delivered to you, the driver will earn money for their work, and they will be able to look for another job from the list to complete next.
What Does Gig Economy Mean?
The gig economy refers to this new way of working that involves short-term, freelance tasks rather than full-time employees. While there is always going to be room for full- and part-time employees in the world of work and gig workers are probably never going to be able to replace employees completely, there are many jobs today that make more sense when they are completed by gig workers. For example, delivery services, taxi services, or courier services where the worker is completing several different jobs per day are often more beneficial in the gig economy for both the business and the workers.
Gig Economy Meaning & Gig Workers Meaning – Pros and Cons of this Industry:
The gig economy has undoubtedly had many benefits for both organisations and individual workers. For many businesses, it is much more cost-effective to hire independent contractors or freelancers compared to full-time employees, which ultimately allows them to invest more in the business or pass the savings on to their consumers. For workers, the gig economy has made it easier for people to get side hustles and improve their financial situation. For example, if you are working full-time in a 9-5 position and have your own vehicle, you can make money on the side delivering food orders in the evenings or working as a self-employed taxi driver. Online gig work has made it even easier to start a side hustle or even a full-time job where you get to work from home all the time and are in full control of your own work schedule and even the rates that you charge. However, there are some disadvantages to be aware of. The main pros and cons of the gig economy include:
- Be In Control:
For workers, the ability to be in control of their work schedule and to some extent, their finances, is an attractive part of this type of work. It works especially well for people who need a side hustle since it is easier to work around a full-time job compared to working in a second place of employment.
- Work Available:
With the gig economy growing in popularity, the amount of work available is massive. It’s easier than ever to find gigs that match your skillset and work on the kind of schedule that you can do. Gigs can be found both online and within your local community.
The flexibility that comes with working in the gig economy is often much more beneficial for people compared to working full-time. As a gig worker, you can take time off whenever you like and make all the decisions regarding when, where, and for how long you are going to work.
- Expenses and Taxes:
As a gig worker, many of the expenses that would be covered for you as a full-time employee will need to come out of your own pocket. In addition, you will also be responsible for paying your own taxes and submitting your tax return to HMRC each year.
- No Benefits:
Unlike working full-time, self-employed workers in the gig economy are not entitled to the same benefits as employees. This includes essentials like sick pay and holiday pay, and it is down to you to ensure that you have the finances or insurance in place to cover you during these times.
- Income Inconsistency:
While the flexibility and independence that comes with working in the gig economy can be great, one of the major drawbacks of this is that the income can be very inconsistent. There are always going to be weeks or months where you don’t get a lot of work and this could mean that you’re earning a lot less, making it difficult to budget.
What’s the Gig Economy – Gig Company Meaning:
A gig company refers to any company that offers short-term, flexible work to freelancers and independent contractors. One example of a gig company that most people are aware of is Uber. This company started as a taxi and rideshare service providing work to self-employed drivers and has since branched out to UberEATS, providing taxi drivers with more gigs that they can use to earn an income, along with giving people without a taxi license the opportunity to find gig work that they can do.
Define Gig Economy – Gig Work Meaning and Jobs Available:
Gig work is any work that you are paid for per job and complete as an independent contractor or freelancer rather than a full-time employee. There are several different types of gig work available that can be completed either online or offline. You can find gig work through gig companies like Uber, Deliveroo, and TaskRabbit using their online platforms or find your own gig work by going to potential clients directly and pitching your services. Some of the most common examples of the gig work that is available today include:
Taxi driving is becoming an industry that is more heavily reliant on gig work. Uber has become one of the most popular taxi services worldwide due to the convenient app that customers can use to order a ride with just a few clicks. All of Uber’s drivers are self-employed contractors who take gig work that’s available each time a customer orders a ride.
- Delivery Services:
Delivery services are becoming more and more in demand in a modern world where same-day and next-day delivery has become a priority for many people. Since the COVID19 pandemic, online shopping and ordering food to be delivered to the home has increased even more. This type of work is very popular in the gig economy, and you can do it as long as you have a suitable vehicle such as a bike, motorcycle, or car. Courier parcel delivery services include working for companies like Hermes or Amazon, and you will usually require a large car or van, while food delivery services can be completed on a bicycle. Typically, couriers and delivery drivers can choose which jobs and routes they prefer.
- Online Gigs:
There is a wide variety of online gig options available for people who prefer to work from home to choose from. Creative freelancing services such as content creation, web design, and graphic design are growing in demand along with virtual assistant roles such as virtual receptionist or admin staff.
In today’s modern world of work, the gig economy is showing huge promise and is quickly becoming the top way to find work in certain industries.