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The gig economy has been building up since the past decade supported largely by the easy access of internet worldwide. The growth of mobile applications and easy communication channels continue to facilitate the growth of the gig economy. Currently, there are over 58 million freelancers around the world, and it is poised be one of the largest workforces worldwide by 2027. The Gen Z especially are choosing the freelance work model as it enables them to jump into the workforce. Although SMBs are benefiting greatly from the gig economy, tech giant Google has more freelancers than permanent employees.

Why the sudden upsurge in Gig workers?

The pandemic has contributed greatly to the surge in gig work since 2020 as worldwide people were compelled to work from home. Even prior to this, MNCs especially had begun giving their employees the option to work from home. Many roles today do not require full time presence in the office and can be performed remotely. Professionals with specific skill such as architects, interior designers, graphic designers, photographers and even marketing consultants among others have taken up skort term gigs on the side while pursuing their full-time jobs to earn extra income or explore new avenues. For companies, even those who were hesitant about opening to the gig hiring, especially MNCs, they have realised that they can get subject matter experts with no extra expense such as PF, compliances, or office space. 

2020 also witnessed many job losses and fewer openings for freshly graduated skill workers. This workforce deviated towards openings in the freelance markets. Whereas prior to the pandemic a large part of the demand for freelance workers was in blue collar jobs, now a lot of white-collar openings have come for teachers, content developers, caterers etc. 

Skill focus and job flexibility 

If there is one lesson, we have learnt in the past decade it is that job seekers must focus on skill development and flexibility for moving into new roles. One cannot rely on being adept in a single skill or be confident of job security in the dynamic market. Employers are focusing greatly on employee skillsets to see the roles they can fit into. For many employers, rather than deal with an agency or organisation to outsource the tasks, they prefer to hire a group of disparate individuals who have unique skills and meld the outcome of the disparate collaboration to match their expectations.

What freelancers must look forward to in the current environment for sustaining their careers as freelance professionals is to create a unique brand identity that is fuelled by their niche skills. They can expand upon their skills laterally and vertically by exploring diverse engagement options in various industries. 

Consistent upskilling through honing one’s talents and expanding the knowledge base is also essential as the technology driven markets will rapidly outdate the current skill sets. So, if you are an accountant by profession, it is pertinent to stay updated on the latest byelaws and account technologies to stay relevant. 

Companies must prepare a set-up where full-time employees and freelancers will work alongside one another through remote communication channels. Policies must be formed and engagement models must be adopted to get the best ROI from freelancers.

About The Author

Create : Oct 04,2021

I have 5 Years Experience in Design Industry.