The Gig Economy is Changing the Workforce & How We Think About Work
Published: Jul 02 | 2019
Modified: Jul 04 | 2019
The workforce is constantly changing as demographics shift, new trends emerge, and old trends disappear. Agile employers who want to be on top of the latest trends in the Canadian workplace have no doubt heard the latest buzzword: the gig economy.
But what is this “gig economy” and how will it affect Canadian workplaces? Let’s find out!
What is the Gig Economy?
A gig is no longer just for musicians – it’s for everyone from graphic designers, programmers, and website developers to writers, robotics engineers, and drivers (consider services like Uber and Lyft).
The gig economy is a growing trend in workplaces whereby more and more people are finding work in a contract or freelance capacity, or utilizing flexible work schedules to work remotely, either from home or from trendy new co-working spaces. As more employees begin taking their work outside of the typical workplace or taking on contract and temporary positions, employers will need to balance the needs of the in-office employees and those working elsewhere.
What Impact Will the Gig Economy Have?
Though still a relatively new workplace trend, the gig economy is expected to grow, and with that growth comes changes to how people work. Here’s where we see some of the biggest impacts for employers and employees alike:
What Employers Should Know About Today’s Gig Economy
In addition to the pros and cons for employers and employees above, employers should consider other impacts and trends within the gig economy.
#1. Technology is supporting the change. As technology improves, more opportunity for work to be completed outside of the office arises.
#2. The potential employee pool has increased exponentially. When hiring, you are no longer limited to your geographical area. Employees can perform their work from other cities or even other countries!
#3. Office structure will change. With more employees working elsewhere, offices will become smaller and employees will come and go with more autonomy.
#4. Staff training may suffer. With more freelance employees who know their craft well, employers will be in a position to hire or contract employees already skilled in their positions, with a limited need for onboarding or training. Over time, training procedures might become a little rusty.
#5. Not all work can be conducted this way. Though the gig economy is growing, there will always be some positions that require an employee to be on-hand.
The gig economy isn’t going anywhere soon, and employers who want to ready themselves for the impending changes to the way people work should keep the above in mind.