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The Gig Economy

Updated on May 25, 2020
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Makonere Wesutsa is an avid reader and a committed professional writer.

What is the Gig Economy?

In a gig economy, independent contractors and freelancers are the preferred hires instead of the conventional full-time employees, who can stay in the same position for long periods and prefer to focus on a lifelong career. The defining factor of the gig economy is the flexible nature that part-time and temporary possess in comparison to their permanent counterparts. The gig economy also relies on the extensive use of technological services such as the Internet, this being one of its defining characteristics.

For a more concrete definition; the gig economy can be described as a free market system that opts for the use of independent workers for short term engagements. This lives up to the meaning of gig in slang which is a job that lasts for a specified period.


What factors have contributed to the coming up of the gig economy?

The gig economy is not a completely new concept; however it has in recent years become more prevalent. Some of the factors that have been instrumental in the development of the gig workforce are the emergence of new technologies. These technologies are enabling service providers and consumers to easily engage and complete tasks based on real-time demand.

Another is the difficulty in finding traditional stable jobs hence the need for the newer members of the workforce to look for opportunities elsewhere. Much of the gig workforce is either engaging in 'gigs' to supplement their current income or have just been unable to find full-time salaried jobs.


Why would an employer opt to make use of the gig economy?

The gig economy has numerous advantages for employers. First, they would not need to hire full-time employees to handle all the work and may engage the gig workforce to handle specific projects or increase their workforce when things are busier. Another advantage for employers is that they now have a wider pool of applicants to choose from and not worry about proximity because of the option of remote working. The option of freelancers to be engaged in jobs that they are interested in may in turn positively affect morale and output, in comparison to individuals made to take up a task because of the position they hold.


What does this mean for the business consulting world?

There is a need for the traditional consulting model to change as clients' needs for fast-revolving and more specialized skills and expertise continues to grow. There already is the emergence of freelancing corporate advisers who are former employees of the already established larger professional service firms or management consultancies. More and more qualified individuals who would have originally taken up more traditional roles are opting to freelance as it offers a flexible but dependable source of income.


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2020 Godfrey Makonere Wesutsa

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