The world of “alternative work” has slowly slithered and combined with the mainstream work culture today. Quoting a report of the latest study by Upwork, “42% of people under the age of 35 are now freelancers.” The shift in the ratio of permanent employees vs gig workers is gradually changing. A known source reveals that a decline of 4% has been observed in the number of full-time paychecks and an upsurge of 34% in the part-time work checks. Amid the outbreak of COVID-19, as we walk abreast with the transforming needs, HROne recognizes the rising need and demand of the gig workforce.
After the massive success of the first webinar of the ‘Future of work’ series, on 25th June, 2020, the next one was rolled out. This time, the topic for discussion was ‘The Emerging Gig Workforce’. Renowned industry experts – Kamal Karanth – Co-Founder: Xpheno, Atul Kunwar – Former CXO: Tech-Mahindra, Sutherland, Thomas Abraham – Founder: HR2Tech.com (Webinar Moderator), and Karan Jain – Co-Founder: HROne came forward as speaker panelists to address the subject matter.
In this blog, we will walk through the key highlights/takeaways of the virtual conference and discuss the learnings in detail. Let’s go!
What is meant by the ‘Gig’ workforce/economy?
Earlier, the layman used to refer to it as a freelance, contractual, or part-time job, now it is known as gig economy. The nomenclature may have changed, the essence is still the same. Gig workforce is normally recognized as the ‘single project’, ‘one-time task’ or ‘work on demand’ employees. It’s a free market system where independent workers are hired on a temporary basis to fulfil a short-term commitment. These short-lived professional engagements are free from most of the employment norms, company policies, and terms & conditions. However, there is official paperwork involved to ensure allegiance.
How has the ‘Gig’ scenario been evolving in India?
From one job in a lifetime to many jobs across the life to multiple jobs at the same time, the scenario has certainly evolved. Also, something that has changed is the outlook and reception of an old school employer to migrate from these infrastructural islands to swift clouds! Bollywood is such an inspirational example of the skies that the gig workforce is touching, financially, and preferentially amongst the youngsters. Questo, one of the renowned gaming apps, has emerged as an exemplary business with approximately 3.8 lakhs gig workers. Today, the gig market in India is worth about 72 thousand crores! Thus, from the times when people here believed that government jobs were supreme, to the current upsurge in the scope of freelancing, the country has come a long way!
Did You Know?
- Deloitte’s 2019 Global Millennial Survey, which had approximately 13,500 respondents, found that 49% of respondents plan to leave their jobs within two years and 61% do gig work on the side today. Also, quite surprisingly, 84% of millennials and 81% of Gen-Z workers would take a gig job today if it paid more than they make with their current employment.
- A recent study by the gig platform freelancer found that gig work is quite enviable. The actual job satisfaction among gig workers is almost 8% higher than that of the average full-time worker, and while permanent employees worry about income stability, contractual workers are less worried about income stability than the former!
How has COVID-19 affected the ‘Gig’ market?
There are two ways to look at the scenario now. On one hand, we know that businesses are paying a huge price to stay afloat in these times of crisis. On the contrary, we have seen companies coming out stronger than before. Since COVID-19 hit the market, a shocking decline in the economy has been predicted ranging in negative between -10 to -8%. The gig workforce was the first and worst one to get impacted by this pandemic.
However, in specific sectors, the organizations are running smoothly only because they have employed a good number of part-time/contractual workers. For instance, the tech (IT) companies’ employees with WFH, government employees working incessantly among others. So, for them, it is the best time to shine.
What will be the next normal: Full-time employment vs ‘Gig’?
The scenario has changed from early 20s where contractors were hired for 6 months, then given a break and brought back again, but there was no proper tracking. In the past few years, this has progressed faster. Going forward, the scenario could be 50-50, i.e., 50% permanent & 50% gig workforce. Thus, a hybrid work model would be the new normal where it would be a mix of both worlds, thoughtfully devised basis the company requirements.
In a Nutshell…
By 2030, the gig market is forecasted to be a 20 billion USD, twice as compared to the currently standing 10 billion USD market. So, the present times call for a more welcoming and accepting attitude towards the gig economy and other unconventional modes/areas of work.
If you missed being a part of the webinar and wish to have a close view of the in-depth conversation, watch here