According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 53 million Americans earn income outside of the traditional 9 to 5. Whether you call them freelance workers or independent contractors, they are all part of what is known as the gig economy. If you are interested in having more freedom and control in your professional life, freelance jobs are an attractive option.
The gig economy describes the rising number of individuals who are paid per job, or per gig, instead of receiving a regular full-time salary from an employer. Although the term gig economy is new in the United States, the concept has been around for ages. Gig workers are paid on their ability to deliver on certain projects before moving on to the next one.
Full-time employment is not for everyone. Younger generations like Millennials and Generation Z do not appreciate the lack of freedom or flexibility that comes with salaried work. The gig economy makes it easier for people to take their lives into their own hands. This is particularly attractive for skilled professionals who can provide their services entirely online.
The rise of the internet and wi-fi technology makes it easier for people to find long or short-term jobs in the gig economy. Employers can request services through specific websites or an online platform and get matched with a worker based on their needs. There are a variety of jobs that utilize gig workers, from graphic design professionals to customer support teams.
Benefits for workers
Freedom to choose clients
One of the biggest advantages of working as a contractor is having the freedom of choice. When full-time employers dictate the projects you get to work on, freelancing makes it easy to select the jobs you want to do based on your interests and skills. Freelancers also have the ability to choose the clients they work with.
Better work-life balance
Because independent workers can perform tasks at home or in a coworking space, they often have a better work-life balance over other professionals. Contractors spend less time commuting and more time with their children or families in between gigs. They can also focus on the work they enjoy without the distractions of long conference meetings or office politics.
More control over earnings
While clients can sometimes dictate how much you get paid, most contractors have complete control over their earnings. Gig workers have the unique ability to turn down work during busy times or take on additional projects to make more money if needed. Essentially, the harder a person works, the greater the reward. Paychecks cannot be capped or reduced by employers.
Freelancers often have flexible schedules, which makes time management a little easier. As long as you adhere to certain deadlines, tasks can be completed at any time – including on weekends or after hours. Applications such as G Suite for business also help gig workers by allowing them to take more control of their tasks for the week.
Benefits for companies
There are a number of reasons why an organization would choose remote workers over salaried employees. First, gig workers are inherently less expensive. They do not require sick pay, health insurance, dental, or other costly benefits that a traditional employer should offer. They also handle common workplace expenses on their own, such as internet service and equipment, which means you won’t be on the hook for these costs.
Business owners know that office space is not cheap. If your workforce is growing fast, you may not be able to afford a new lease or construction costs. Fully remote jobs save on real estate costs since they can be performed from anywhere in the world. Of course, Google makes it easy for teams to stay connected, even if your freelance workers live in different time zones. Their app-based tools make working from home a breeze.
Organizations spend a lot of time and resources to fill the roles of full-time jobs. When the costs of training and onboarding add up over time, hiring a freelancer negates this process since they have the ability to hit the ground running. While a salaried employee could take weeks or months to onboard and learn about company processes, you can hire freelancers to quickly and efficiently get the job done.
Access to top talents
Lastly, gig working can provide businesses with specialized skills designed to meet a specific need. For example, you may hire a freelance software development or web development professional to create a new website platform. Since this is the main focus of their freelancing career, you know you are hiring someone with the talent you need to get top-notch results. Plus, your full-time employees won’t need to be pulled away from their other tasks to get this done.
Tools that help with work alignment
Large organizations and small businesses alike can improve employee experience and workplace efficiency by offering the right tools. An intranet is a cloud-based platform that can act as a communications hub for the staff. Workers can store information such as corporate memos or project information in a central location that may be accessed at any time. An intranet is a virtual workspace that also facilitates collaboration between full-time and part-time workers.
Using G Suite for business in combination with an intranet solution allows remote workers to have easy access to what they need in one location. Freelancers and gig workers can keep all necessary files in one location on Google Drive, for example. Since everything is all stored in the cloud, you can collaborate with other workers in real-time, as long as you have an internet connection. Other long-term applications include Google Slides for presentations and Google Calendar to help manage schedules with potential clients.
Happeo - Internal Communications solution
Happeo is proud to offer all the tools gig workers use on a daily basis. With our integrated software and technology, businesses can move beyond a traditional office platform to a comprehensive digital workspace. We help bring people and resources together to solve common business challenges and cultivate a more effective corporate culture.
Whether you need a space for teams to collaborate or a better system for onboarding new employees, Happeo has the right solution to meet your needs. See for yourself how we can drive engagement and productivity across your organization. Contact us to learn more today.