The rise of the gig economy amid the pandemic and its future for tech enterprises
With the pandemic pushing several companies to adopt a flexible work culture, gig workers are finding newer opportunities in almost all sectors. Reports show that the gig economy has the potential to provide up to 90 million jobs over the next decade.
Until recently, the mention of the word ‘gig’ often conjured images of performing artists such as musicians, dancers, etc., in our minds, right? However, today, gig working doesn’t just comprise of performing artists.
The job insecurity caused by the pandemic has led many to look for freelance jobs that allowed them to gain independence and variety and introduced us to the other side of the gig economy. Thus, transitioning from being a side hustle to a primary source of income, gig working, although not an entirely new concept, is an alternative to a full-time job and has evolved as a lifestyle choice for millions of people worldwide.
Workers in the new gig economy, like traditional musicians, move around from one job to another, project to project, showing their talents to a diverse audience rather than simply under one roof.
If we go by the statistics, currently, India has over 15 million freelance employees working on tech projects. According to ASSOCHAM, India's gig economy is projected to grow at a 17 percent CAGR to $455 billion by 2024. Nearly 60 percent of organisations in the tech industry now invest in gig workers, and 97 percent of these companies aim to keep hiring gig workers at current levels or boost their gig hiring.
As per an analysis by BCG, the gig economy has the potential to provide up to 90 million jobs in the next 8-10 years, contributing 1.25 percent to India's GDP and creating new employment opportunities across the economy.
In short, the gig economy is booming, and if we had to sum it up in a single word, I would say "freedom."
How are companies evolving to adapt to remote and gig workers?
We all know that remote working was relatively uncommon just a few years ago, and very few jobs offered this option, especially for a prolonged period. Asking for work from home demanded you provide a compelling explanation, much like when you apply for sick leave at school and must provide a medical report.
However, thanks to technology, gig work has mushroomed and transformed the work environment, and it offered us a unique opportunity in times of crisis.
The gig economy has transcended geographical barriers, allowing businesses to recruit workers from all over the world. They can serve customers all over the country and give their partners the ability to provide tech support to all of their customers, no matter where they are.
It allows for a much more flexible approach to corporate growth, allowing organisations to increase productivity, save expenses, and scale at a phenomenal rate.
Many enterprises are attempting to enhance their remote work policies with the support of cutting-edge technologies like Cloud, AI/ML, Blockchain, and Cybersecurity, which will transform the way businesses operate in the future.
The benefits of a gig economy
The tech industry is largely benefiting from the expansion of the gig economy. Sometimes, it can be challenging for in-house personnel to manage the complete workload associated with a project. So now businesses can easily hire freelancers directly, who supply them with safe, cost-effective, and highly flexible alternative work alternatives.
Besides that, the requirement for spacious offices, the price involved in rent, electricity, computers, servers, and other items are all reduced as connecting virtually with co-workers and managers is the new normal.
The intensifying battle for skills and talent will shape business and talent models in the future. To keep up with shifting industry standards, businesses all around the world are embracing digital. The pandemic has further pushed them to adopt digital tools and technologies. However, the only roadblock to their expansion is a scarcity of qualified tech expertise.
The gig marketplace acts as a personal assistant for both businesses and freelancers, recommending top gig workers and projects. As gig workers are likely to have a significant impact on the workforce, freelancing work has immense potential to lead to full-time employment.
The more varied an organisation's workforce is, the more productive and successful it will be. In India, the potential for the gig economy to flourish is enormous. Businesses can tap into a varied staff's skill, innovation, and inventiveness by hiring freelancers as diversity and inclusivity increase. It's a fantastic way to make money, gain experience, and develop your skills.
While it used to be customary to settle down into permanent full-time employment, the gig economy has revolutionised the way people work. Today, the gig economy is part of a significant shift in India's employment market that could help the country create more jobs and expand economically. Given the rapid technological advancements and global scenario, this trend is likely to prevail for the foreseeable future.
Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)