What’s the best way to make quick cash while working at a decent job that you can add to your portfolio as a graphic designer or a digital marketer? Taking up a gig, of course! Through the gig economy, you can broaden your experience and horizons while getting the opportunity to work with many different organisations, thus developing entrepreneurial skills before you even start a business.
What’s the gig economy?
The gig economy is a job market system that generates revenue through short-term, verbal, or on-paper contracts between an on-demand employer and a freelancer or an independent professional. Characterised by quick jobs and tasks that include an exchange of the job well done for cash, the gig economy creates self-employment for thousands of independent workers. Unlike full-time employment, gigs are much more effective in creating a variable source of income for workers and a faster completion of jobs for companies or employers. Also, it’s much more freeing for both employees and employers since they don’t get bound by stringent employment contracts.
How GenZ and Millennials are supporting the gig economy
The GenZ and Millennial generations are a technologically savvy lot who can easily adapt to the evolving gig economy. Unlike their predecessors, they are looking for fulfilling jobs that capitalise on their talents and that don’t entail troublesome work timings or commutes. GenZ and Millennials are willing to use the most advanced technologies for the smallest tasks like connecting virtually across borders, using productivity tools, or AI (artificial intelligence) based automation tools to get their work done more efficiently. Thus, they are supporting and raising the gig economy.
Consumer Tech trends in the remote working economy
The work-from-home or the remote working economy rests on the foundation of consumer technology. Consumer tech trends are encouraging more workers to take up gigs instead of a 9 to 5 job.
Gig marketplaces like UpWork, PeoplePerHour and Fiverr have been around for a while but now they are seeing a huge influx of gig revenue. Since they have become the go-to source for relevant jobs, these consumer tech platforms are being sought after by organisations who are now creating a verified presence on them to hire qualified gig workers. Now even social media platforms like LinkedIn are turning into gig marketplaces as gig workers are actively looking to connect with employers.
Conference and meeting apps
We are all too familiar with Google Meet, Zoom, Microsoft Teams. But now with the rise in popularity of Clubhouse, social audio apps are quickly becoming platforms that are facilitating collaborations between gig employers and workers.
Digital gig wallets
For gig and remote workers, the biggest concern is to receive timely payments and not get defrauded by employers who are looking to get free work. Digital wallets like Escrows and PayPal bind gig employers into a financial contract where they are obliged to pay half of the project cost in advance and secure the remaining half so that the workers receive the payment automatically post completion of the project. A lot of gig marketplaces are already using this technology.
Virtual events platforms
Whether you are a gig worker or a remote worker, attending conferences, events, and expos, is a part of professional networking. Virtual event platforms are AI based tools to set up real-time conferences, and events that look like they are happening in real life. A lot of prominent national and international events and conferences like the Startup India International Summit and Viva Tech have taken place through virtual event platforms.
Team collaboration tools
Team collaboration tools like Slack and Trello are consumer tech trends that allow gig and remote workers to organise their work effectively especially when there are multiple projects in the pipeline. Using these technology tools, anyone can have a professional workspace experience irrespective of who you are working for, even if you work on small gigs.
How the consumer market was transformed
Open to all price points
The demand for consumer technology like Tablets, laptops, and wearables has become very high. Industries like ed-tech rely on these devices and manufacturers are drastically reducing price points for tablets and laptops of different specifications to cater to the rising demand. For example, a remote learning tablet or contactless digital kiosks at public places come with lower specifications and variable price points. Before the remote working and gig economy were prevalent, purchasing a tablet was expensive, but now it’s much more affordable for students and workers.
Equal distribution of wealth and opportunity across the world
Imagine the teachers of yesterday who had decent paying jobs even though they lived in villages, Tier II or III cities. They were respected and received all the employment benefits. But suddenly, they couldn’t even go to school every day and their income source was cut off. But now, teachers can easily get onboarded on ed-tech platforms from remote villages and teach globally through consumer technology thus enabling equal distribution of wealth and opportunity to every corner of the world. Same goes with handicraft workers like village and tribal women. They can easily sell their goods on social commerce platforms like Meesho.
Characterised by quick jobs and tasks that include an exchange of the job well done for cash, the gig economy creates self-employment for thousands of independent workers.
What’s in it for me?
Consumers are using technology to make a living while staying at home. This has become the new normal since the gig economy has worked well in the recent months. The remote working economy and work from home have been tested and proven due to emerging technology trends that have helped shape it.
Amidst the job market and economic crashes, the gig economy has emerged as a saving grace for GenZ and Millennials. It’s also become the go-to income source for start-ups and small businesses. Start-ups in sectors like health tech start off quite small by enabling a simple remote consultation between doctors and patients. Also new digital media agencies first go on gig marketplaces or social media to source clients for freelance jobs. Gig economy is thus a stepping stone and a ladder for start-ups and small businesses to scale up in entrepreneurship.