The restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic led to a 62% shift towards remote work, compelling a large majority of the working force to experience the lifestyle of a gig worker. 

An online survey by researchers from the University of Southern California found that since working from home during the pandemic, 74% of participants dealt with a new mental health issue while 55% experienced two or more new issues. 

While a portion of the work force has returned to traditional,  in-person work, gig workers still deal with the mental health issues that can accompany gig work.

Stress and Burnout

A 2023 article from BMC Psychology attributes gig worker burnout to algorithmic technology. In the current virtual era, algorithmic technology is rapidly taking organizational control of gig platforms, leaving gig workers increasingly dependent on the algorithm. 

The growing dependence on algorithmic technology may exacerbate burnout among workers, consequently diminishing their engagement with their tasks. However, this should not diminish the positive aspects of algorithmic technology. According to the article, strong algorithmic technology assistance can furnish gig workers with a variety of work resources and resultantly help gig workers fulfill their job requirements. 

This brings us to another aspect of the psychological impact of gig work: a lack of support and resources. 

Lack of Support and Resources

Gig workers often lack the traditional benefits that accompany full-time employment. Consequently, gig workers are not only isolated, but lack benefits such as healthcare, retirement plans, and opportunities for professional development. This leaves gig workers vulnerable, and if this is a primary concern for one, gig work might not align with their preferences. 

Mitigation Strategies

Co-working Spaces: Co-working spaces are shared work environments where individuals from various professions and companies come together to a central location to work independently. Co-working spaces typically offer amenities such as desks, chairs, internet access, meeting rooms, and sometimes refreshments. If you are located in Phoenix, check out Co+Hoots, “a welcoming place with an inclusive culture that increases productivity, facilitates collaborations, and is a safe place to get work done or launch new ideas”. Being in “cohoots” with co-working spaces can expose gig workers to various industries, foster community, and provide an office space to complete gig work. 

Online Communities: 

Online communities for gig workers, such as doordash, uber, or instacart on Reddit serve as valuable platforms for individuals engaged in non-office gig work. Members of these communities often share tips, tricks, and strategies for maximizing earnings, navigating challenges, and improving efficiency while working for gig platforms and decreasing isolation. 


Article by
Zoe Maung
Content Writer and Researcher

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