What Everybody Ought to Know About Gig Workers

are you a gigger freelance

a workforce revolution

The gig economy is here and it’s growing fast.  Accenture recently reported research suggesting 61 percent of employers plan to replace up to 30 percent of their permanent positions with freelancers, gig workers and independent contractors to become more agile and flexible in the changing economy.¹

Do you think “gig economy jobs” and picture taxi drivers and delivery services? If so, stop, there’s a growing army of workers out there you haven’t even met yet. We call them ‘giggers’.

While companies like Uber and Deliveroo are the giants of the gig platform economy, the gig model is becoming increasingly attractive to large corporations and giggers are entering almost every industry.

Forty-three percent of the US workforce is expected to be freelance by 2020.²

Freelancing, of course, has always been a way of life for people in the entertainment industry.  over the last ten years platforms such as Upwork have opened the gigger way of life to everyone from customer service agents to blockchain experts advising on the latest ICO (Initial Currency Offering). Upwork has 12 million registered freelancers and five million registered clients. Three million jobs are posted annually, worth a total of $1 billion USD, making it one of the largest freelance marketplace.

A liquid workforce increases competitive advantage

The gig model is growing and it’s not simply because contingent workers love being their own boss. The truth is the gig model is cost efficient for employers because it converts many fixed costs to variable, reduces benefits costs, and allows for resource flexibility.

Giggers are the new workforce. Flexible, intuitive and opportunistic, you might know them as the self-employed, independent consultants, contractors, or freelancers. They all fit under the umbrella term ‘gigger’.

Here is GIGLY’s definition of a gigger:

gigːgerː

noun: gigger
plural noun: giggers

  • a worker who sells short-term services to many ‘hirers’ rather than holding down one full-time job.
  • a worker who is not employed by their hirer and will not have employee status or an employment contract.
  • self-employed and hired to work for different companies on particular assignments.
  • e.g. “We have a gigger in my IT department for the next six months”

Meet The Giggers

Your initial image of a gigger might be of your Uber driver giving you a lift home, or the Deliveroo cyclist handing you a pizza at your door. These hard workers are indeed part of the gig economy, but there are so many other types of gigger out there, including;

  • IT consultants lending their expertise to the highest bidder
  • Freelance designer working for various clients
  • An NHS contractor doing shifts all over the country
  • A new business owner working from their bed at home
  • An oil & gas contractor moving from rig to rig all over the world
gig economy workforce

These people are all giggers, and they are just the tip of the iceberg. We recently heard of scientists going freelance, so they can work on the most groundbreaking research projects available. And Upwork, a freelancer platform has listed Bitcoin, Robotics and Augmented Reality in it’s top ten of the fastest growing freelance skills on its platform.

It’s not just workers that are turning to gigger lifestyle, many employers are actively seeking giggers out to fill roles in their companies. The big question is: what is the benefit for both parties?

Changing the employer-employee relationship

Working in the gig economy gives giggers one thing more than anything else – flexibility and the chance to be your own boss. Giggers have to some degree the freedom to choose which gigs they take on, their location, hours and pay.

However, many people coming from full-time employment struggle with the inherent downsides of being a gigger; an unpredictable workstream, a lack of access to benefits, increased administration and back office, late-paying clients, barriers to loans such as mortgages, isolation and personal development.

It’s clear that the future of work is changing, the question is how are you going to maximize your worth as a worker and how are you building resilience.

How corporations see the future of the workforce

People within large companies, let’s call them the ‘hirers’ recognise that this benefits them too. Bringing a specialist with experience on different projects outwith their organisation to complete a project often means better business results for them. In the past contractors or contingent workers were viewed very differently compared to full time positions with a salary and benefits. Now many hirers are opening the lower cost model and benefits a more agile workforce brings.

A recent article in Forbes, notes that for leading companies, like Google and ASOS, a full 50% of their UK-based workforce is made up of freelancers. In fact, Accenture predict, ‘within 10 years, we will see a new Global 2000 company with no full-time employees outside of the C-suite.’

Am I A Gigger?

The chances are you are – or at least you could be. If you have the skills and expertise to succeed in your industry, then why not work to your own rules? No matter what your circumstances, we understand it can be a little daunting to take the leap and go it alone as a contractor or freelancer.

That’s why GIGLY exists – to guide you through the gig economy. Our  data platform matches – workers to hirers, finance, training. Our platform helps ‘you’ find the next gig, get your mortgage, and keep your skills market worthy. Corporations now require less ‘people’ on payroll. Now is the time for the worker to maximise their value. Join GIGLY.

Sources:

¹ Top predictions for the future of work, rise of the freelance workforce, Accenture Talent & Organization for Financial Services, December 14, 2017

² Intuit Forecast: 7.6 Million People in On-Demand Economy by 2020,” Intuit press release, August 13, 2015.