Everyone makes out a winner in the gig economy, right? Maybe. Maybe not. The popularity of the gig economy stems from the economic crash in 2007. The Great Recession, which officially ended 7 years ago, left millions of people out of work. According to The State of Working America, “27 million workers – roughly one out of every six U.S. workers are either unemployed or underemployed.” The State of Working America believes that the number of underemployed people is much larger than they currently have statistics on. But what does this mean for the gig economy? In order to make up the income gap, many people have turned to the freelance world. Is the gig economy the answer to the problems at hand? You decide.
The Cons of the Gig Economy:
Lack of stability
Lack of stability is a huge problem with the gig economy. While the gig economy is booming, that means competition is fierce. Finding consistent work in an economy that is focusing on freelancers becomes more and more difficult as more people ditch their 9-5 for flexibility and unlimited income potential.
Who holds the power in this economic structure? Is it the freelancer? Is it the corporation that hires them? Who oversees that the work is done? When it comes to things like setting prices, who is in control? There are a lot of factors in the gig economy that are in flux. For decades people have fought for legislation that creates some semblance of equality in the workforce. With the gig economy, many of those issues are less relevant. . It stands to reason that the corporations hold the power in the gig economy, almost shifting the structure back to a pre-gig economy system.
We’ll get to the lifestyle benefits in a moment, but the traditional benefits package fails to exist in the gig structure. As a freelancer, you are not given health care, workers’ compensation benefits, time limitations to working hours, sick days, vacation time, 401K, etc.
The Pros of the Gig Economy:
One of the biggest appeals to the gig economy is the ability to work on your own schedule. The gig economy may not offer sick days or traditional vacation time, but a freelancer can decide whether to work that day or not, depending upon deadlines pre-set with a client. It is quite possible to work only 20 hours per week and make full time money. Want to attend your child’s play at school? No need to ask for the morning off as a freelancer.
Variety is a key benefit that many freelancers list. Instead of their typical 9-5, where they do the same thing, day in and day out, the freelance world allows them to take on a variety of clients and do a variety of work. “Work” never feels tedious to the freelancer.
As stated previously, it is entirely possible to work 20 hours per week and make full-time money. As you have the ability to grow and scale, it is possible to exceed your previous salary. This unlimited income potential is alluring at a minimum.
Being a freelancer means having more options available in terms of pursuing your passions. Freelancers can choose to take on projects they feel passionate about, and they have the time and freedom to pursue those passions.
Working with freelancers can be cost effective for all involved. Does your company work with independent contractors?