The gig economy, also known as the freelance or on-demand economy, is a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts and freelance work as opposed to traditional, long-term employment. In real time, the gig economy plays a pivotal role in fostering innovative marketplaces and advancing economic growth.
The gig economy acts as a funnel into the creation of new industries, utilizing a large variety of differently skilled gig workers to enhance innovation, productivity, and economic growth. Simultaneously, technology drives growth in the gig economy, providing further flexibility and opportunities for persevering gig workers.
Here are some ways technology drives growth in the gig economy.
Digital Platforms and Mobile Apps:
Technology has enabled the creation of digital platforms and marketplaces, such as Uber, Airbnb, and UpWork, channeling access to universally necessary services into easily reachable and user-friendly mobile apps and websites. Funneling more consumer activity into the economy, these mobile apps provide a tremendous quantity of gig work for gig worker seeking employment opportunities.
Uber, a ride sharing service and food delivery app, has contributed upwards of $10.4 billion into the Australian economy, simultaneously creating a $6.6 billion in consumer surplus by services and work offered on their mobile application. Uber notes that gig workers purposely align with Uber’s organizational environment because of the flexibility in work hours Uber offers.
Remote Work and Telecommuting:
As flexibility is a driving force and motivation for gig workers, remote work and telecommuting has made gig work exponentially easier for gig workers unable to relocate for temporary work permanently or physically. High-speed internet, video conferencing, and project management tools allow jobs to be performed remotely from the comfort of one’s home or office.
As society makes significant advancements from the era of in-person cash payments, it is important to remember that technology has played a pivotal role in making payment processing more reliable, efficient, and feasible without face-to-face interaction. Platforms such as Zelle, PayPal, and Venmo enable quick transactions without traditional invoicing and traditional delays that can take days to process a single payment. On that note, it is significant to note that technology has aggregately made communication simpler through the usage of Zoom, phone calls, texts, and emails.
Statistics and data analytics are technological advancements essential in the era of evidence-driven decision making. Application of data analytics can discover hidden patterns in sales to reveal what gig work is needed for a business. Managers and human resource workers can thus use data analytics to match the right workers with the right jobs and to form pricing and compensation structures.
Content Writer and Researcher