A recent article by Fortune, states that the gig economy grew by 33% in 2020 and is the fastest growing industry worldwide. This is backed up by a 2019 study by Mastercard indicating that the global gig economy generates $204 billion in gross revenue, and the numbers are expected to grow by 17% by 2023.
However, today’s growing number of gig workers face unique financial challenges as they’re left to wait for weeks, if not months, to meet their expenses. This financial unpredictability concerns most of these workers who would happily switch to employers that address these issues.
From delivering food to answering phones, or managing domestic operations, gig workers are everywhere! Let’s take a look at what the gig economy is and how giggers can benefit from instant access to their earnings?
Gig Industry - A New and Booming Economy
The gig economy, which gained fame around 2008, has now become the most desirable career path for workers. Gig economy refers to the hiring of independent contractors for a short-term work commitment. In turn, they provide services to the clients who hire them. Freelancers, consultants, and assistants are just a few examples of the types of contractors who perform this work.
Instead of a fixed salary, gig workers are paid upon completion of their designated task or “gig.” These workers typically do not receive traditional benefits packages like that of a worker with “employee” status. There is no sick time, no vacation, no health insurance; further complicating the financial challenges of the freelance worker. This shift in perception and employment profile comes as no surprise, considering the flexibility and independence of time and location it provides along with the perks of being one’s own boss.
The article by Fortune further states that gig work is the fastest-growing economy compared to the U.S. economy. Also, 2 million new gig workers have emerged in the U.S. in 2020 alone. This skyrocketing rise was further fueled by the global pandemic, which led to downsizing and forced employees to seek contracts to survive the massive disruption to their lives and bank accounts.
Today, 35 percent of U.S. workers are involved in short or long-term contracts. The numbers are expected to continue growing, with some predicting that freelance workers will be more than half the U.S. workforce by 2023. Whether they supplement their primary income stream or intend to break free from the regimented office schedules, demanding bosses, and lengthy commutes, gig work now serves as a significant part of their lives.
With so many positive aspects to this fast-growing industry, what are the major struggles of freelancers and consultants and how can these be eased and resolved?
Make Every Workday a Payday!
As the gig culture emerges strong and attracts a majority of the U.S. workforce, it also draws attention to specific challenges faced by the existing giggers. Despite enjoying the perks of flexible working and having multiple streams of revenue, these workers are seen to cope with heightened emotional turbulence coupled with the highs and lows of working independently. Most of the giggers affected by the emotional aspect belong to the paycheck-dependent class, with little to no savings left after meeting expenses.
Adding more to this, most freelancers also claim to struggle navigating through an uncertain career path while remaining financially viable without a predictable salary or pay date. It’s stressful to manage the cost of living and sudden emergencies without the stability to know when you will be paid for your hard work. But now, employers are finding a way to offer their consultants some financial flexibility and independence, too.
Solutions like Wages On-Demand™ allow employees to access a portion of their earnings whenever they want to. As they complete their daily shift or workday, workers can access the amount they have earned instantly, instead of waiting for a paycheck to be issued. Benefits like these have an incredible contribution to creating a healthy, stable, and compassionate culture for all employees, including giggers. Even more amazing, it’s completely free for employers to offer this attractive perk, day after day, year after year.
With an estimated 96 million workers contributing towards the U.S. gig economy, it’s high time that the gig platform owners turn towards reducing the financial stresses of their contractors. Having a Wages On-Demand™ solution in place will help foster a loyal employer-worker relationship and immensely boost this exploding sector.
As more people shift to the gig economy, the need to protect and cater to giggers will become imperative. While they might not have a traditional employment status, they should have access to benefits available to traditional workers.
In a scenario like this, it’s wise for gig platforms and employers who often partner with consultants and freelancers to introduce early access to earnings for giggers. This, coupled with supplemental benefits and perks for freelance workers will provide nurture, respect, and help to sustain the workers of the fastest growing industry in the world.