Work as we know it is going through a fundamental shift.
There are currently more than 60 million workers within the global gig economy and that number is set to increase exponentially over the coming years. A staggering 50% of the worldwide workforce is expected to be freelance by 2027, and those who remain employed are pushing for remote positions to allow them a healthier work-life balance.
With the above in mind, it’s become abundantly clear that work as we know it is going through a fundamental shift. The way people approach their jobs has changed, the importance they place on a healthy work-life balance has increased, and an emphasis on personal fulfilment has taken precedence.
As more and more people take advantage of this growing expert economy, let’s take a look at the top 5 gig economy trends.
- Large organisations are using more freelancers
No longer used to bridge work gaps, freelancers are turning to short-term roles to build highly rewarding, profitable and long-term careers. More and more workers are waving goodbye to the traditional 9 to 5 office job in favour of flexible freelance roles. Not only are they proving rather lucrative but also allow for a healthy work-life balance.
Large organisations are realizing the benefits a new perspective can bring to a project, which could make or break a business in a competitive marketplace. Freelancers are now viewed as an important part of making a company a success, are treated with respect and are paid extremely well for the privilege. Fortune 500 companies are also jumping on the bandwagon and are helping to propel the gig economy into one of the most successful areas of the global job market. The gig economy itself is a top trend.
- Blockchain and cryptocurrencies
According to CNBC, blockchain may have gained notoriety as the technology that provides the infrastructure for bitcoin, but blockchain is poised to play a bigger and more important role for gig workers in the years to come. Blockchain systems — the decentralized technology that underpins bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by enabling secure peer-to-peer transfer of value — offer the possibility for people to become free agents.
Bill Carmody, CEO of Trepoint, a New York-based digital marketing firm, explains that this is happening on two fronts. Firstly, blockchain enables all parties involved to see what work was done and by whom. So, for instance, if a freelancer contributes to a project for a client, his or her specific contribution to that project is noted on the blockchain. This not only helps independent workers verify the skills and talents they’re promoting but also gives companies an easier way to assemble the best teams of contract workers. “When you connect transparency to the gig economy, you can really see where the value is coming from,” Carmody told CNBC.
Blockchain is also perfect for faster and more reliable payments. Today freelancers run the risk of being paid late, or not at all, for work they’ve completed but with blockchain and cryptocurrencies that’s all changed. “With blockchain that’s not possible. As the intellectual property shifts from the freelancer to the client, he or she is going to automatically receive payment as per the terms of the agreement. There’s no way to shortcut that, which makes blockchain contracts much more valuable for gig workers,” he added.
- Remote workers
According to McKinsey, superior talent is up to eight times more productive than the standard workforce. A study of more than 600,000 researchers, entertainers, politicians, and athletes found that high performers are 400 percent more productive than the average. In highly complex occupations, high performers are astonishingly 800 percent more productive.
With numbers like that, it’s no wonder more and more businesses are taking advantage of a growing expert economy to supplement their workforce with highly-skilled and talented freelance experts. What’s more, retaining the workforce they already have that is proving invaluable and highly successful are ones to hold onto. That’s why more and more organisations are allowing their workers to work remotely. Not only are businesses finding they’re more productive but the retention rates are higher.
CNBC adds that along with major companies utilizing gig workers for an increasing number of noncore tasks, there will be growing networks and platforms forming that will tie these independent workers together. This will enable them to share contacts, leads and share their work with potential clients and other freelancers.
Not only will workers and employers communicate through online platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook Workplace, but they will also network in person and in other ways to build contacts, form networks and develop better reputations. The most effective way of bringing businesses and people together are online talent platforms.
- Online talent platforms
Online freelancing websites – like Alifery – are helping organisations around the world tap into a pool of talented and highly-skilled workers.
In the same way Airbnb connects travellers with the best places to stay and Uber links riders up with drivers, online freelancing platforms connect businesses with talent – either with office-based or remote workers.
One of the leading online platforms to find experts in the legal, finance and consultancy sectors is Australian-based freelancing website Alifery Freelance Experts. The Alifery ecosystem provides access to skilled and vetted talent, tailors work to meet business needs and reduces overheads for businesses.
Alifery uses technology to bring people together to find the answers to problems of almost any size. They connect businesses to Australia’s largest pool of intelligence who come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but share a dedication to excellence. Their online platform manages all stages of the client/freelancer relationship so insight can be shared quickly and effortlessly.