With workplaces now embracing a hybrid approach to work, along with the ever-expanding Gig Economy, it is no secret that the future of work is experiencing major shifts.
After the pandemic, workers and employers have accrued a liking towards working from home. In our recent survey, 77% of employees and 64% of managers are interested in a hybrid work arrangement after the pandemic (65% and 48% in the US). In the long term, we might even see the supply of remote workers begin to outweigh the demand with 49% of employees considering applying for remote positions and only 21% of managers looking to hire far from where they are located (43% and 44% in the US).
In addition to a growing hybrid workforce, the gig economy is rapidly growing because decision makers appreciate the unique skill sets, opportunities, and possibilities presented by gig economy workers. This is driving the trend by Fortune 500 companies to source parts of their workforce through the gig economy. Another notable benefit is the ability to hire highly valued experts for specific projects. Not only does this fulfill the need for hard-to-reach talent but companies can also expect a significant reduction in training costs and onboarding time.
Until recently the gig economy has been largely unregulated, with parties working on the basis that freelance workers in the gig economy are independent contractors. The gig economy could enter the less-conventional areas of the labor market; if there is an increased acceptance of freelance or gig models across the labor market. There are two distinct demographics of workers in the Gig Economy, the Freelancer and the Gig Worker. Each group has major differences in their age, education, income, etc. which brings unique needs and wants. Some key findings from our recent study show that:.
- The perceptions of gig work depend on the worker’s perceived level of financial stability.
- Schedule control and flexibility are commonly cited benefits of gig work. However, those who feel financially stable are more likely to enjoy gig work, and to cite personal fulfillment as an upside of this arrangement.
- Those feeling financially unstable are more likely to bring up drawbacks, such as uncertain pay, lack of security, stress, and burnout.
- Financial instability is an ongoing concern of those working gigs, who struggle to get business loans.
- Freelancers and Gig Workers alike are concerned about their financial stability and have difficulty meeting business loan terms. As a consequence, they tend to use personal credit to address their business needs.
- Those feeling financially unstable are significantly more likely to be worried about money and to struggle to obtain a business loan.
- Gig economy workers miss employer-sponsored health benefits to manage their stress and well being,
- Even though many currently have a health plan, Freelancers and Gig Workers miss employer sponsorship. This is particularly the case among those concerned about financial security.
- Interest is high in public and private products that would bring stability and wellbeing to gig workers.
- Health insurance and a consistent income are the most missed employment related benefits. To achieve some of that stability and well-being, gig workers have a high interest in the Universal Basic Income, and in a Portable Benefits package.
You can view our Gig Economy Canada Infographic for the quick highlights, and/or contact Anu Bhalla to request access to the report. Results of the US version of this study can also be requested or the quick highlights can be viewed here.