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  • Writer's pictureShreyan Shrimali

Gig Economy and the Changing Face of Work-Life Balance

We all know the impact of COVID-19 on the job sector all over the world; even in 2024, there are still mass layoffs in full-time jobs and 2023, 1,816 companies laid off full-time employees, as per Nerdwallet. These very skilled white-collar workers did not have any work to do despite their great skill, which gave rise to the gig economy.

 

The gig economy is a segment of the service economy based on flexible, temporary, or freelance jobs, which often involve tasks like Uber Eats drivers and doing part-time work. There have been many changes in this economy in recent years. Let's explore them further in this blog.

 

In recent years, especially with the help of digitalization & massive layoffs, there has been a huge spike in workers in the gig economy. Even though it is hard to define a gig worker because of fewer rules and regulations, still we can see that Gig workers contributed around $1 trillion in the economy of the USA, I believe in any country, half of the population will be part of the gig economy. I have not just stats; I have personal examples as well. In my college days in Sydney, 80% of students chose to do Uber Eats as compared to traditional part-time jobs like working in restaurants as they had freedom of their time and higher earnings were possible.

There are benefits for both parties as businesses don’t have to pay high salaries and employee benefits, whereas gig workers have the flexibility and the option to diversify their income stream.

A recent study shows that Gen-Z prefers being gig workers rather than working in boring office environments despite the fact that many employers are trying their best to adopt a Gen-Z workforce. Gen-Z are still very young, and they want to get different job exposure; therefore, they prefer to be Gig worker and their own boss.

 

But are all these reasons enough to justify switching from traditional employment?

One of the major drawbacks of the gig economy is that there is no Stability in the job, which can be pretty stressful sometimes. Apart from this, access to employee benefits like health insurance and retirement plans is few. Despite the benefits of conventional jobs, there has still been a decline in many full-time positions even after the pandemic recovery. Companies are increasing the prevalence of labour hires, where companies are hiring temporary workers to fill staffing needs. But this is different from full-time workers as Gig workers have many limitations.


Employees need to be trained and know company culture. Because of this, they are not able to give customers a personalised experience, which decreases customer loyalty to the company. Companies need other options as they can't spend vast amounts of money on gig workers' training as these workers continuously shift from one company to another.

It is a challenging transition phase for companies as they are still determining how many people they should hire with the AI revolution taking place, and even if they are, it is tough to know which type of worker they should take in their company. While these companies learn more, we should understand what the future of the gig economy will be.


The future of the gig economy will be chaotic but exciting. With Uberisation there will be many new technological advancement and changes in the way of working. As the market continues to expand, the backbone of this market, the gig worker force, will continue to grow. Especially in developing countries like India, with new startups implementing new technology like Blinkit, the demand for gig workers will be on the rise. Apart from that, thanks to the pandemic, companies were forced to make people work from home, which resulted in many technological advancements which made it very easy to be a gig worker, for example, working as a freelancer online.

 

In conclusion, the gig economy offers flexibility and growth but also presents challenges in job security and benefits, signalling a dynamic yet uncertain future for the workforce.

 

Should the gig economy workforce expand, and should more workforce be there in the name of flexibility? Comment down your thoughts.

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