The gig economy evolution

November 20, 2018 Emilio Cuellas

Person using an app to earn money

It’s is estimated that around 30% of the UK’s workforce are employed within the, so-called, “gig economy”, and thanks to developments in technology, we are seeing more and more workers turning to the gig economy to find opportunities on a full-time basis.

The gig economy is defined as a job market involving people who are hired for a specific task or project on a contract basis. These workers will often have no formal commitment to the company, and some gig economy workers will have the freedom to choose what hours they work. Uber drivers, freelance journalists, and Airbnb hosts are just a few examples of the types of jobs within the gig economy. 

This new way of working has transformed the labour market, in particular, the way in which people manage their work-life balance, because of the task-orientated type of work. Gig workers are able to select the tasks that are of most interest and convenient for them, allowing them to fit around their own schedule. So, for example, if you’re a working parent who needs to stay at home, then the gig economy may be able to provide you with the required flexibility.   

Employing gig workers also give companies more flexibility as they are often hired on a case-by-case basis, meaning that once the specific project is completed, they have no obligation keep the employee within their organisation. Employing these types of workers also means that employee contract costs such as healthcare benefits and travel bursaries may also be reduced, potentially saving hundreds of business costs. 

One of the reasons for the rising gig economy is because of the availability of modern recruitment tools. Recruiting apps, for example, can provide jobseekers with opportunities in real time, and quick job applications, such as the LinkedIn’s easy apply option, means that jobseekers can apply fast. And these types of apps are getting smarter. Just recently, the app “Job Today” raised £12m in funding and promises to find candidates a job within 24 hours.

Gig economy mediating companies are also important in facilitating work for the employees. Companies such as Uber will contact an Uber Driver once an opportunity arises nearby, the driver will complete the job, and then, once the customer pays for the service through the app, a percentage is charged to Uber. These types of companies will have low, fixed-costs, meaning that they have been able to grow very fast in a short amount of time.

Gig economy workers have always been in demand. But recently, companies have been able to use the power of technology, to transform the labour market and create new opportunities for workers.

About the Author

Emilio Cuellas

Emilio has more than 20 years experience helping companies improve their HR processes through digital transformation. At Cornerstone he supports our happy clients throughout their journey.

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