As the world continues to change, so does the way we work. Noncontractual, short-term, and task-based work is not new, but it has increased in the past few years. For example, many workplaces transformed their operations into a virtual collaboration space during the pandemic. This was a completely new practice and not an easy transition for many. But, at the same time, others with experience in digital gigs found it easy and a great way to keep the economy moving.
The digital gig economy is a clear example of globalization, and its main perk is how it connects companies with qualified talent worldwide. It is growing bigger by the day, and many Americans are turning to it as an alternative to full-time work. In addition, after the COVID-19 pandemic, many job seekers will likely turn to it to get by.
In no way is the gig economy a new practice; its first growth spurt was after the Great Recession. So while many believe it will soon fade away, it has proved to be here to stay and has even evolved into a more digital pathway.
The emergence of the digital gig or platform economy is one of the essential new transformations in the world of work. According to the International Labor Organization, there are two main types of platforms for the digital gig economy: web-based platforms and location-based applications. “An important component of the platform economy is digital labor platforms which include both web-based platforms … and location-based applications (apps).”
The main difference between these two is the kinds of jobs they require. For outsourcing or web-based platforms, the desired results are most likely to be digital products, for example, briefs, creative goods, audiovisual resources, etc., making it easy for people from all over the world to be connected and work together on these digital platforms.
On the other hand, for location-based gigs, digital platforms are the channel of communication between consumer and provider, for example, deliveries, running errands, etc. In this case, the digital platform allows uncontracted service providers to earn a living while making their own schedule and only working as much as they need.
A more digital gig economy is an asset that benefits employees and employers equally. For example, job satisfaction, flexibility, remote work, and professional work are a few positive results of this form of work. However, if we look at these benefits, we can find many reasons for the digital gig not going anywhere.
According to a case study by Brodmin, most gig economy workers are satisfied with their work. “Based on numerous research and publications, there is a general consensus that people who decide to freelance full-time are quite satisfied with the change as well as with their new careers and lifestyle.”
In the last few years, we have seen growth in the freelance worker population, and the flexibility of working remotely is one of the leading causes of this increase. In addition, being able to provide work to someone in a different part of the world, and on the other side, being able to work for a company in a separate geographical area is enticing.
Flexibility has been mentioned multiple times already in this article, and it seems to be with great reason. For example, in their book “Work in the Age of Data,” BBVA’s OpenMind, mentions that flexibility is one of the primary desires of workers because they can obtain professional work from talented collaborators from all over the world while offering a flexible work schedules, pay, or even a flexible workflow. For the Now generation, this is an opportunity to connect with companies and collaborators from around the globe, which encompasses globalization.
The digital gig economy is on the rise. We believe it will continue to grow and benefit many different markets because of the needs of The NOW Generation. Digital gigs are the perfect way to allow younger generations to work using their talent and skills from anywhere they might be, plus giving them the freedom to grow and explore different ways of experiencing life while working.