21 August

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Gig Economy

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Thanks to technological advances and open-mindedness, everything nowadays is possible. These are the reasons why a lot of workers ditched the usual nine to five jobs and cleared their physical office desk space for the rewarding opportunities that the gig economy offers. Websites like Upwork, Fiverr and Dolancing have provided flexible freelance remote jobs while still ensuring productivity and efficiency. They made it possible for the regular person to accumulate an income from various sources while allowing their workers to work when and where they want.

The gig economy proliferates temporary or short-term jobs usually involving communication with clients or customers through an online platform making work more adaptable and in-demand especially for people who are independent and brave enough to switch to the digital nomad lifestyle.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

The Gig Economy

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017), the gig economy employed 55 million workers in the United States, and just recently, based on Gallup (2020), it was revealed that approximately 57.3 million people were employed as independent contractors before the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. To this date, we can expect from new data that more and more people will certainly make the big shift from traditional work to working freelance full time especially now that many businesses are slowly reopening after the vaccines are being rolled out. For some, the gig economy became a band-aid fix due to the job losses in the labor market at the onset of the virus. For many, they have found a new way of life and living.

Gig workers love the fact that they can work with as many or as few clients as they want. Since they are not fully tied to just one company, they have the unique ability to choose whoever they want to work with and this is something you will not be able to experience in the regular office. They also have the liberty to choose their workload and the gravity of the work they want to do.

The gig economy boasts of many opportunities and this gives the worker the right to cherry-pick the projects he or she finds meaningful. Also, since they will be working remotely, gig workers are spared from distractions in doing their labor like office politics, quick-turned-long meetings, and other noise and nuisances. Daily, they celebrate freedom and independence for as long as they can serve all the deliverables their job requires. Gig workers can also spread their wings and broaden their horizons as they can work on various projects in different fields. This presents an opportunity to be exposed to diverse industries and gain experience and knowledge from each. It really pays to work remotely and if this is the work setup that applies to you, you will know by achieving a work-life balance and have a truly favorable employee experience.

Pitfalls of The Gig Economy

However, the gig economy also comes with a few pitfalls to which many just often turn a blind eye. While regular workers are entitled to company benefits, gig workers, on the other hand, are not. They are the ones who typically fund their own insurance. They are also responsible for paying their self-employment taxes quarterly and arrange them on their own. Not to mention, since they are contract-based, they are also not qualified for company financial assistance programs in case they seek payday loans and the like.

You might also find it difficult to isolate yourself and work independently if you are accustomed to the physical office noise and environment. Some gig workers also have experienced irregularities with client payments. Yes, there can be clients who do not pay right up so you will have to ensure that the company, where you are hired as a gig or remote worker, will take full responsibility for your payroll, despite distance working, so you can be assured you get paid for the hard work you have done. Certainly, from these challenges, you might find that when you are a gig worker, it is as if you are also running your own company. You work, get clients, manage them, bill them and pay your tax and insurance all on your own.

All in all, the gig economy is not for everyone. It is only meant for those independent individuals who love being in their solitude and can perform their roles with or without their leader’s eyes monitoring them. If you are soon starting a freelance job for the first time, you will realize that there are actually more pros than cons to it.

Read 852 times Last modified on Tuesday, 09 November 2021 07:46
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Regi Publico

Regi is a full-time writer based in Manila who is also an artist for fun. She takes pride in her towering collection of books and loves reading about anything under the sun. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge through every article that she writes.

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