20th May

Gig Economy: Does the term “side-hustle”
pay homage to the bigger picture?

Freelancers, consultants, Independent contractors and Temps (temporary contract workers). These work arrangements are not new. They have been around for a while and on a daily basis, we see that they are becoming more and more popular amongst the modern workforce.

You think of a “gig”, your mind might probably take you to a 30 year old office worker, working a nine-to-five holding a passion for drumming who plays in a band for some extra cash over the weekend with his buddies. In all honesty – that is exactly what a contributor to a gig economy actually is.

However how does a humble side-hustle in the form of a hobby explode into a trillion dollar industry?

The gig economy is a free market system where organizations and independent workers engage in short-term work arrangements rather than in structured payroll jobs. As mentioned before, this is hardly a new phenomenon, yet it has never really been well documented in official statistics – and the resulting data gaps prevent a clear view of a large share of labor-market activity – which we will get to later.

The beauty of a gig economy is its vastness. Uber/Bolt drivers, Airbnb Landlords, volunteers, musicians, artists and on-call workers all fall under the same category as let’s say, high level consultants who strive into aiding big companies.

Undeniably, the worldwide phenomenon that is the spreading of the gig economy is exercised in almost any country in the world. Approximately 150 million workers in North America and Western Europe have left the relatively stable confines of organizational life — sometimes by choice, sometimes not — to become gig workers.

From a humble “side-hustle” to a whole new definition of a free market.

A recent report by McKinsey found that “knowledge-intensive industries and creative occupations are the largest and fastest-growing segments of the freelance economy.”

Many people start off with a part time job on the side to generate some extra cash for that new car they want to buy or for the second unplanned child that they brought into this world. It starts off as some extra money however the returns on investment could be huge.

Firstly, you are your own boss – unshackled from higher managers and corporate norms, you are free to do whatever you want and whatever gives you job satisfaction. In your normal nine-to-five, you might be the highest of managers in an audit firm, however partake in personal cheffing as a gig job. Not only will you be pocketing some extra money, but you would also be using your passion to generate this extra money – something that would have perhaps always been unorthodox to you.

It would be extremely relevant to use the current Covid-19 situation to showcase the benefits of another instance in which gig working provides extreme usefulness – so here you go: A large number of redundancies have been reported across the globe and if you’re lucky, your company has only reduced your hours – including a salary cut. In such a situation, one might beg the question: “How can I compensate for my loss here ?”

A graphic designer working reduced hours in a big marketing company would have the opportunity to sell his design skills to whoever asks for them. Needless to say, it must be accepted by his or her employers to avoid any conflict of interest. The same graphic designer might have a nag for fixing washing machines. In this scenario, in order to avoid the aforementioned conflict-of-interest, the graphic designer might sell his washing-machine-fixing skills as a gig for extra money.

According to the Harvard Business Review, based on a study they carried out among gig workers, “all our interviewees acknowledged that they felt a host of personal, social, and economic anxieties without the cover and support of a traditional employer — but they also claimed that their independence was a choice and that they would not give up the benefits that came with it.”

Gig workers are mainly employed by businesses (53%.) (PYMNTS)

Having said all this, promoting corporate culture, supporting worker mobility and worker availability and also enabling collaboration are all seen as challenges for the corporation. To be crudely honest, the challenges are indeed big as the whole concept of a gig economy directly challenges the notion of the traditional work environment – with the latter being a concept still perceived as the normal.

Conclusion

It is common knowledge that the aforementioned conceptual economy is not something new. On the contrary, it is ancient and has been around since biblical times.

A wise man once said that trends are always revisited and this becomes most relevant after any spectacular crisis that has hit. It is going to be very interesting to observe how a gig economy will position its place after this crisis. We are extremely fortunate to be living in a time where we can use technology to aid us into taking these traditional trends/concepts and completely manipulate them into new, out-of-the-box, creative ones.

Will it take off ? Will Malta still be moving forward like horses with blinkers ? Will companies and entrepreneurs finally see the light? So many more questions …

ANCHOVY. fully understands the importance of forward thinking. If you follow the same understanding and want to shift to digital, improve your customer experience, track your customers and expand your reach to clients, contact us and hop on the metaphorical boat, let’s sail straight into success together.

Author
Michael Psaila Debono
Business Unit Leader
Fact: I’m a huge Man Untd Fan

Share

DOWNLOAD EBOOK

To get in touch, kindly contact:

alessandro.morreale@anchovyinc.com or michael.psaila@anchovyinc.com

To get in touch, kindly contact:

alessandro.morreale@anchovyinc.com or michael.psaila@anchovyinc.com

Intrigued?

Take a look at some of our work.

How can we make it work
for you?

Get in touch and find out.