The demand for gig workers has been on the rise for years.
In 2019 it was reported 30 million Americans received full-time work from gig job opportunities. In 2020 millions lost their full-time job and with limited stimulus funding and unemployment benefits in an already unsteady economy people struggled. However, during the pandemic we saw a massive growth in certain sectors such as online grocery and food delivery platforms.
As the pandemic fades, the gig economy is here to stay because of the mutually beneficial labor ecosystem it gives businesses, workers, customers and organizations alike. At Shiftsmart, we see several key trends developing for the year:
Multiple Gig Jobs Per Person
The pandemic’s economic implications pushed many people to work different gig jobs to build a full income. With Shiftsmart, we are modernizing the way people do work through our digital platform that connects today’s dynamic workforce with companies facing increasingly complex staffing requirements. We saw the challenges companies faced in 2020 as multiple industries suffered shutdowns, including restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues; many workers used gig jobs as a lifeline.
With Shiftsmart, we pair our users with local or remote work through our innovative technology. Shiftsmart workers earn income, build skills and experience to become true micro-entrepreneurs. They’re paid by shift, and work when it makes sense for their schedule. By empowering workers with more hours, better pay, and greater opportunity, Shiftsmart creates a mutually beneficial and flexible economy.
Increased Scrutiny of Gig Worker Rules
For example, Prop 22 in California functions as a “middle ground” between gig providers and workers. Over 55% of California residents voted “yes” saying that app-based transportation and delivery drivers should be independent contractors and companies can adopt labor and wage policies specific to this. Prop 22 also means it does not consider all gig workers to be full employees but provides some with guaranteed earnings and health insurance costs are subsidized based on hours.
This year already the federal and some state governments have already begun to scrutinize Prop 22 and the gig worker and provider relationship. Many think all gig workers should be protected through legislative and regulatory action to ensure proper income, paid sick leave, and workers compensation. If companies can misclassify gig workers as independent contractors this also means they can avoid giving these types of benefits.
“Work” Becomes More Flexible
The move towards remote work situations due to the pandemic will also further promote gig economy tasks. Remote workers that no longer commute to an office will have more time to pursue side jobs that leverage their talents. They’ll also be tempted to enter the gig economy to have more flexibility and the security of multiple income streams, instead of relying on a single employer.
For a growing segment of the workforce, conventional jobs are a thing of the past. Modern workers are stacking shifts and moving fluidly across locations, employers, and types of work. Many professional services will also shift to gig work, such as tax preparation, consultants, and advisors. These on-demand professionals can give clients their expertise and guidance without requiring a long-term commitment or the capital costs of a full-time employee.
Gig work provides people with freedom as well as variety. They can set up available shifts in under 2 minutes and spend a week doing outbound survey calls, then transition to helping at a local food bank, and then grab a few shifts helping set up an event. It’s a new way to define “work” that suits peoples’ individual needs. Shiftsmart is increasing every worker’s quality of life by transforming the modern labor market.
This article was originally posted in Business Matters.