Gig workers now represent more than 36% of the United States workforce, which is equivalent to 59 million Americans, according to the results of Upwork’s latest “Freelance Forward: 2020”, the most comprehensive study involving the U.S. independent workforce.
The number of freelancers, self-employed professionals, independent contractors, and gig workers is continuously increasing, and by 2028, this number is expected to exceed 90 million. With these stats, there’s no denying that the gig economy is shaping the future of work.
But how exactly does the gig economy benefit employees and businesses?
1. Save Money
Availing the services of gig workers allows businesses to save money. Employee benefits such as insurance paid vacation leaves, and retirement plans can amount to thousands of dollars each year. In fact, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employee benefits make up 32% of an employee’s compensation. By hiring gig workers, you could cut these costs by more than a half and reinvest the money saved in your business.
Companies that work with freelancers can also save money on infrastructure expenses. You don’t have to maintain office space, computers, and other office supplies. Companies that fully embrace remote work can eliminate the need for offices.
2. Find the Right Person for the Job
Aside from keeping the costs down, the gig economy gives you the freedom to hire the right person for the job. Employers will be able to apply individualized skills to different areas of your business. You can hire a gig worker to develop your website, one to work on your SEO, or one to manage your social media accounts.
In this way, you’re not trying to make one or two of your employees adapt to tasks that aren’t their strengths. The gig economy allows you to use different people who can play to their expertise. This allows businesses to operate like a large company without the overhead costs.
3. Your Employees Can Do More High-Value Work
By outsourcing other tasks to self-employed professionals, your employees can focus on doing more high-value work. Employees can offload low-value tasks – like expense accounting, booking travel arrangements, and basic tasks, making time for the work that matters. Your employees can focus on what they do best, while the appointment-setting, background research, and other tasks that can be delegated are done by freelancers.
You can hire a virtual assistant from Upwork or set up a virtual assistant subscription. As a result, your employees can concentrate on more pressing tasks, improving your company’s level of efficiency and effectiveness.
4. Easily Hire Seasonal Workers
Seasonal businesses often need seasonal workers to fill in and help around during busy seasons. Business owners often turn to temp agencies, but these agencies charge fees that can quickly add up. On average, temp agencies charge a fee equal to 12% to 50% of the temp worker’s hourly rate.
The gig economy allows businesses to eliminate the middlemen and work with freelancers and independent contractors directly. Freelancers know what they’re getting into, and there’s little to no expectation that the job will end up full-time. Gig workers and freelancers prefer the flexibility of moving from one gig to the next.
5. Greater Expectations
Consumers nowadays have greater expectations. They know what they want and when they want it. This trend is what fuels the gig economy. Business owners find a way to leverage consumer expectations by hiring gig workers. This strategy is more common during peak seasons when consumer demands drastically increase.
Businesses anticipate high-quality work from freelancers as they’re more current on industry knowledge, skills, and other tools. They need to keep up with the trends to consistently draw new clients. Consumers expect more from brands, brands strive to exceed customer expectations by hiring freelancers, and freelancers constantly improve to get more business. All parties – freelancer, business, and consumers – consistently meet greater expectations.
Where to Find Gig Workers
Now that you know how the gig economy benefits employees and businesses, the next step is to find gig workers. You can begin your search in the following places:
-Freelancing websites: Upwork, CloudPeeps, 99Designs, and Fiverr, to mention a few.
-Freelance communities on social media
The Future is Heading Towards Gig Economy
Technology continues to revolutionize the way people do business, and judging by the drastic increase of gig workers over the past years, the gig economy is the future of business. Employees now want flexibility, a proper work-life balance, and the freedom to choose the project they want to work on.
By acknowledging what gig workers bring to the table, you’ll be able to take advantage of the opportunities the gig economy offers. Gig workers can now choose from high-paying and full-filling projects, while businesses and employers can select the best candidate for specific tasks.