The key drivers behind the growth of the gig economy

There’s no doubt that the arrival of smartphone technology has dramatically changed how we live, play, work and spend our money – take a moment and look around at the people near you, where is their focus currently! In particular, being super-connected to each other via the many social networks available today has exponentially boosted communication and, in the process, contributed immensely to the sprouting of new ways of making a living.

Presently, thanks to the inception of platforms like Alifery, now landing a gig, also known as a short term project, is as easy as making dinner plans, ordering an online cab or getting a date on Tinder. The newly-found ‘expert economy’ is increasingly altering the way most people perceive and perform work.

However, it is only natural to wonder what is precisely fuelling this ‘free agent economy.’ Currently, there are an estimated 50 million gig workers in the American labour market alone which is a significant thirty-three percent of the entire country’s workforce.  On a global scale, gig workers account for close to thirty-one percent of the entire human capital in the universe.

Here are some factors that have contributed immensely to this unprecedented phenomenon.

Better Organisational Arrangement  

One of the key drivers of the overall gig economy stems from the fact the ideas and fundamentals of remote work appeal to both workers and employers alike. Seven out of every ten talent managers and HR specialists globally say that they presently prefer hiring online rather than through the usual traditional channels. Interestingly, the preference of freelance experts over full-time employees has been fuelled by the following reasons:

  • Reduced labour costs – It is estimated that a company stands to slash back more than twenty percent of their labour and human capital expenditure if they adopt a freelancing/remote working employment model.


  • Skill gaps that need to be filled – McKinsey estimates that over forty percent of existing companies today are experiencing serious skill gaps that they cannot easily outsource locally. Gig workers, free agents and freelance experts can prove to be very useful especially for hard-to-hire employment sectors or when the company does not require a permanent position.


  • Timing – There’s no denying that talent managers find it more comfortable and less stressful to onboard a freelance expert than it is to onboard full-time or inadequately trained employees.


  • The infusion of rare talent – Compared to conventional workers, freelance experts, tend to have a broader and richer range of work experiences to working with and draw from. An ordinary employee is often just confined to one or two companies for their entire career. However, on the other side of the spectrum, a freelance expert enjoys the freedom and rare opportunity to hone their skill set by working with dozens of different projects for different companies, industries, and clients. Extending a Company’s Reach – Marketing specialists are slowly realising that one of the best ways of boosting their brand awareness is by hiring a diversified workforce from different parts of the world. And what a better way of doing this than onboarding freelance experts around the globe?


  • Accelerated Solutions Offerings – It is no secret that freelance experts tend to naturally accelerate a product’s development process or hasten the pace of finding solutions to tentative issues.


Talent Workers Preference

As it turns out, it is not just companies that favour the enticing benefits of the expert economy. Freelance experts are also driving this growth and here is why:

  • More and more experienced workers prefer being free agents – These are not your run-of-the-mill employees but are highly trained, well-educated and a disciplined workforce that prefer the working model of free agencies compared to being confined to a single employer. Close to eighty percent of gig workers worldwide are in it purely by choice. Exciting career opportunities, personal development, and empowerment are just a few reasons why they chose to freelance.


  • Improved Flexibility – More than sixty-five percent of global freelance experts are more inclined to the operational logistics of free agency only because it awards them an incomparable degree of freedom. This way, it becomes increasingly easy to integrate one’s personal life around work in addition to the ability to work at any time of the day and in any place they choose. Therefore, it is not exactly hard to see why the best talent in the market is seeking for greater self-management and control by joining the expert economy.

The expert economy will continue to bloom thanks to the new ways of communicating with each other across the world and is designed to keep hiring costs in check, provide greater freedom and flexibility to businesses and experts and address the critical skills gaps in the workplace. This new era – as you may have already guessed it – will be built on the premise of the expert economy.

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