It is estimated that by 2027, 60% of the US workforce would be working as independent professionals. With a massive youth population, countries such as India are poised to benefit the most by embracing the gig economy where the industry is set to grow to $455 billion by 2024. It doesn’t come as a surprise to see people participating increasingly in this arena where there’s no distinction made based on age, gender, or location. All that matters is ‘skill’. All the above discussion illustrates that the gig economy has gained a stronghold in our lives.
This is why, ahead, we’ve discussed how the gig economy would change the landscape of the employment market. We’ll also touch upon the challenges that we need to overcome for the proper adoption of the gig economy. So let’s bring it on!
What is Gig economy?
In case you aren’t familiar, it refers to an arrangement where companies tend to hire people for short-term assignments or flexible works. This is different from traditional jobs where a long-term contract exists between the service provider and service seeker. While we’d discuss its benefits in the latter part of this piece, just to illustrate, both worker and company benefit from this unique relationship by getting work done on lower amounts, flexible arrangements in so on.
Benefits of the gig economy
Freelancing entices everyone and especially the millennials who are brought up around an increased discourse of work-life balance, work flexibility, and so on. Below are some of the known benefits of gig economy/freelancing.
- Dealing with multiple clients
With an increased set of skills, an independent worker could directly deal with the clients which is not possible in traditional jobs. It wouldn’t be far fetched to compare a freelancer with an entrepreneur owing to the similarities in both roles.
- Flexible work hours
Several freelancers aren’t able to take even a weekend off, while others may be spending their Monday chilling at a beach with a glass of drink. Nonetheless, freelancing provides unmatched flexibility and a sense of ownership people crave for.
- The sky is the limit
While a traditional job may see only yearly increments, for a freelancer sky is the limit when it comes to earning. All one needs is an ambitious mindset, good marketing abilities, and a zeal to provide the best services to the clients.
Why freelancing isn’t known to many people: Challenges to overcome
While countries such as the USA are making strides in freelancing, the same isn’t quite true for India and its likes. This is due to less know-how of freelancing platforms, lack of skill sets, and so on. Even so, the gig sector in India is seeing an annual growth rate of 17%, and the industry is expected to grow to $455 billion by 2024.
The following challenges are needed to be countered to make India a hub of the gig economy
- Provide rights and protection
The Indian government recently introduced the Social Security Code which seeks to provide some safeguards to gig workers. Even then there’s a need to ensure minimum wages, health benefits, sick leaves, and other provisions for boosting the gig economy in India. As many freelancers work for foreign clients and bring foreign currency to the nation, the government would benefit by bringing safeguards for gig workers and in turn boost its own income.
- Increasing skill sets
People generally don’t have an investment mindset all over the world. There is a need of investing in marketable skills that can enhance their income. Countries such as India with a huge youth population could serve as a market for basic jobs such as application development, web designing, contract drafting and even management consulting, if youth is trained properly.
Freelancing contributes $1.2 trillion to the US economy, yearly and the figure is set to rise in the years to come. The pandemic has forced people to work from home, and the time saved on commuting acted as a catalyst for many to enter into the gig economy. Let’s hope this disruption brings light to the lives of our workforce!