In our previous article, we talked about the gig economy in general. Now, we’ll share some gig economy examples and practices with you.
The “gig” concept was originally used in the music industry when bands would put money in their pockets after a concert and take a tourist bus to the next concert. Now the term “gig economy” is spreading to the labor market. It refers to the transition from traditional full-time employment contracts to an independent system (with temporary workers or contractors) in which employers pay for each job or project. Lots of HR professionals call the gig economy the future of work is that?
According to a Gallup survey, in 2018, gig workers were 36% of the total labor market in the United States, and this number is rising. Gigs Done Right expects that by 2023, more than half (52%) of the U.S. workforce will move to the gig economy or work independently.
With that in mind, it’s probably worth knowing some examples of gig economy jobs, companies, and practices.
Source: Mastercard Gig Economy Industry Outlook and Needs Assessment
Gig economy best practices
There are three general ways to start a gig economy-oriented workplace culture:
- Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). Intelligent management lays the foundation for implementing gig work in enterprise-level organizations. Use technology to assess employees’ interests, abilities, and career goals. Machine learning can help recruit employees and open space up for training and leadership programs that meet career goals.
- Ease the inner work. Once you know your available projects, and your employees’ skills, intelligent software can assist in connecting the workforce to the projects, people, and virtual communities that interest them.
- Make communication a part of your culture. Encourage employees to join (or run) projects that interest them. Inspired employees can choose leadership opportunities that meet their career goals. Think about technological solutions that can enable gig economy workers to reach their full potential.
Whether you are looking to take advantage of the gig economy or an outsourcing company, take a look at pros and cons of the gig economy to better understand how you could use those examples of gig economy in your own organization.
Gig economy practices for business
Identify skills, needs, and gaps
Evaluate your future projects and workload for next year. Remember what has changed because of the pandemic. Ask yourself: “Do we have these skills and strengths in our team, or do we need to look outside?” and “What do we need in terms of market knowledge, technical capabilities, or strategic experience?”
If you can’t handle these challenges with your current team, it might be high time to turn to an internal gig platform to fix your organization’s skills gaps and staffing projects, without hiring extra staff on a full-time basis.
By using the smartPeople platform, for example, workers can incorporate skills, interests, experiences, and even personal data into their profiles. These profiles are searchable by anyone in the organization.
Build a business case
Create a strong argument to confirm why you need to attract external talent. According to the Accenture survey, 79% of executives agree that work is shifting from traditional roles to project-based work. 84% believe that outstanding talent, new ideas, and expanded opportunities are outside the company’s walls. In short, talent on demand is how the workforce is moving.
Move on to a long-term vision of a hybrid workforce
When planning your hiring strategy for a year or more, consider the involvement of on-demand experts into the equation. By planning your needs and having experienced independent professionals you want to use for each project, your team of leaders can be more strategic about full-time hiring and more efficient in project-based hiring.
Gig economy practices for employees
In 2018, Johnson College of Business at Cornell University conducted an in-depth study of 65 gig employees and discovered remarkably similar sentiments across generations and professions. Regardless of the type of gig, they experienced many personal, social, and economic anxieties without the cover and support of a traditional employer. However, they also argued that their independence was a choice, and they wouldn’t give up the benefits they received:
Planning and building a stable routine increase productivity and concentration. Of course, there are some common procedures that can be set up – adherence to a schedule, compliance with a to-do list, and plans on how to start the day with the most challenging work, or a customer call. Others are more personal, for example, remembering to set up self-care habits (sleep, nutrition, exercise). Both common work routines and more personal options improve the sense of order and control in uncertain circumstances.
Workers often expect specific features when adopting gig work. They expect flexibility, the opportunity to adapt, and to be able to conduct their business on their own terms. As the gig economy grows to take a greater share of the labor market, the boundaries between internal and external employees will blur.
JLL found that most high performers have a place to work that protects them from distractions and pressure. Gig work is often portable, so creating space for productive work helps prevent feelings of dislocation. This has become a driving force behind the growth of coworking worldwide. Let’s look at some examples of gig economy workers who can do their jobs remotely.
Gig economy job examples
Gig jobs are thriving, mainly thanks to technologies that are making it easier for people to earn more money and find new interesting, paid jobs. According to Fortunly, by 2023, 52% of the American workforce will be involved in the gig economy, at least from time to time.
Some examples of gig economy jobs we’ll review here show that professionals can earn as much as their full-time colleagues (potentially turning it into a full-time job as a freelancer) and have a flexible schedule. They have more control over the location, and how much they want to work.
If the employees have access to the internet, and the skills to meet requirements, they can work in companies based on the gig economy concept. So, here are job examples in the gig economy that are staying in demand:
- Graphic design and branding
- Digital marketing
- Content management, copywriting, and proofreading
- Customer support
- Driver and delivery services
- Software development
- Video editing
- Tech-related services.
Some highest-paid jobs in the gig economy are tech-related. The skills and knowledge to pull these off aren’t just in demand – having them makes it easier for those professionals to work on their own terms. Thanks to the development of the tech industry, as well as smartphones, AI robotics, blockchain, virtual reality, and data science, people all over the world have access to a whole host of gig economy opportunities.
Companies that have adapted to the gig economy
According to a new PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey, almost 60% of companies expect to implement a gig economy strategy. Industry leaders are looking to assess what roles permanent employees should play and what independent workers, contractors, or even crowdsourcing can contribute to on a case-by-case basis. They are adopting the platform economy as a business model. So let’s look at examples of companies that have adopted gig economy policies, and we’ll start with PwC.
John Garvey, PwC’s head of global financial services in the United States, said that COVID-19 and remote work “opened the door to access talent outside the firm’s physical location,” including outside the country. He claimed that a talent market for financial services workers brought many advantages to their company’s skill pool and increased productivity in their business.
As a result, PwC expects to increase gig employees to 15-20% of their total workforce share by 2026; and they are also working on providing digital upskilling to their internal teams.
In July 2021, the Small and Medium Practices Advisory Group (SMPAG) tried the gig economy and used a gig workforce for specific projects. Some SMPs hired contractors, usually for particular roles and responsibilities, where it would be unprofitable to hire a full-time employee. They worked with gig workers in IT, finance, HR, entry-level, routine or administrative, and research functions. Some firms even contracted with other firms, agencies, or networks of firms to perform certain types of work.
Catalant has developed an algorithm that evaluates projects for companies that need staffing, and then reviewed the resumes of previous vacancies to find the best match among the 55,000 people on its platform. They found that the gig economy brought many benefits to companies and improved the search for workers with the help of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cybersecurity. As Mr. Biedermann, a founder of the Catalant, said, “it’s like a gig economy for white-collar workers.” The company’s involvement in the gig economy has allowed Catalant to raise $73 million from investors, including entrepreneurs Mark Cuban, General Catalyst, Greylock Partners, and Highland Capital Partners.
Food for thoughts
We’ve reviewed some examples of gig economy jobs and best practices on implementing this culture in your work. Of course, some examples don’t necessarily apply to all businesses and domains. However, with detailed research and planning, you have a good chance of developing your business to meet the future of work – the gig economy. For more information, feel free to contact us.