A gig economy is an environment in which temporary positions are common, and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. The workplace and many jobs are moving into the gig economy. In this digital age, the workforce is increasingly mobile and work can be done from anywhere, giving workers the flexibility and lifestyle they desire.
Working in the Gig Economy
In a recent Harvard Business Review article entitled, Thriving in the Gig Economy, the authors point out that gig workers “cultivate four types of connections — to place, routines, purpose, and people — that help them endure the emotional ups and downs of their work and gain energy and inspiration from their freedom.”
Younger workers are demanding more work flexibility to fit their lifestyle choices and older workers are working longer or seek to supplement their retirement incomes. Employers who adapt to the changing dynamics among workers will be more able to fill jobs with needed workers.
Retiring in the Gig Economy
According to NPR, “within a decade, contractors and freelancers could make up half of the American workforce. Workers across all industries and at all professional levels will be touched by the movement toward independent work — one without the constraints, or benefits, of full-time employment.”
Many gig economy jobs are available to retirees who want to work longer or supplement their retirement income. According to Kiplinger, “older adults are driving for Uber, renting out their spare rooms or vacation homes to travelers through Airbnb, or pet-sitting. More than 400,000 seniors are now doing gig work through such online platforms.”
Statistics That Explain the Gig Economy
- 86% of independent contractors choose freelancing. – The 2016 Field Nation Freelancer Study
- 35% of the U.S. workforce – 55 million people – are “gig workers”. That number is projected to jump to 43% by 2020. – Forbes, July 29, 2018
- 20.9% of full-time independents earn more than $100,000. – MBO Partners State of Independence In America 2018
- Independent work is or has been a part of nearly 47% of American’s careers, a number that is poised to swell to 52% in the next five years. – MBO Partners State of Independence in America 2018
- 79% of executives state they are looking to hire contractors to fill management and senior executive roles, Including C-suite – Mavenlink.com – White collar gig economy
- 20% of organizations globally with more than 1,000 employees have a workforce that is made up of 30% or more contingent workers. – Global Contingent Workforce Study, EY
- Only 30% of U.S. employees describe themselves as engaged at work. – State of the American Workforce Report, Gallup
- One-third of professionals globally say that work-life balance is becoming more difficult. Excessive overtime and a lack of flexibility are among the top reasons people leave jobs. 24% say they would take a 10 percent pay cut to be able to telecommute. – Work-life Challenges Across the Generations, EY
- 81% of working parents say work-life balance is more important than pay when looking for a new job. 70% have thought about leaving a job because it doesn’t offer flexibility. – Working Parents in 2017: What They Want at Work, Flexjobs
- 50% of U.S. jobs are compatible with remote work arrangements, and 80% of the workforce says they would like to work remotely at least part time. Yet only 7% of employers make flexible work available to most employees. – GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com
- 74% of North American office workers say they would quit their jobs for another that allow them to work remotely more often. – Collaboration Unleashed, Softchoice
- 94% of workers are open to non-traditional forms of work. – Gig Responsibly: The Rise of NextGen Work, Manpower Group
- The average freelancer reaches their financial goal in 23 months. – State of the Freelance Nation 2018 Survey, WiseBrand
- There is a 12 percentage point gap between men and women in traditional full-time jobs but a five-point difference between men and women working in the gig economy. – 2018 Financial Attitudes & Behaviors Toward the Gig Economy, T. Rowe Price
Resources for the Gig Economy
- Remote flexible jobs – Automattic, AnswerConnect, InVision, Toptal, Flexjobs
- Ride sharing – Uber, Lyft
- Rent out spare rooms or homes – Airbnb
- Technical/artistic – Upwork, Fiverr
- Car sharing – Getaround
- Delivery service – Postmates, Waiter, Doordash
- Baby/Pet sitting – Sittercity, Care, DogVacay, Rover
- Tutor/instructor – VarsityTutors
- Photographer – Shutterstock
- Crafts – Etsy
- Handyman – Taskrabbit
Retirement is different for many people today than in previous generations. Many are finding gigs that fit their lifestyle and use their experience and talents.
Ben Reppond is CEO and Investment Manager of Reppond Investments. Reppond Investments, Inc. is a registered investment adviser. We may not transact business in any state where we are not appropriately registered, excluded or exempted from registration. Individual responses to persons that involve either the effecting of transactions in securities or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation will not be made without registration or exemption.
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