what does the emergence of the gig economy mean for the future of work?

Today millions of workers worldwide are drawn to the boundaryless realm of independent work engagement with businesses, popularly known as the ‘gig economy.’ Thanks to the transformative gig economy platforms such as Airbnb, Uber, and Upwork, freelance workers now have access to larger, more transparent forums to ally with buyers of their services.  Gig engagements are also growing in popularity as they provide a steady source of income,  allowing employees to make more money as a result of multiple engagements. But the gig economy is a two-way exchange – while employees are seeking independent work, companies too are expanding their reach beyond traditional hires. Clearly, this growing trend will invariably affect workplaces and employer-employee relations. 

Here are a few ways the emerging gig economy is likely to shape the future of work:   

Millennial gig workforce will be attracted to employers providing education assistance:

According to a survey by Deloitte, a majority of the gig economy  workforce worldwide belonging to the millennial cohort, will join the labor market even before they complete their education.  This segment of the workforce typically chooses to complete education at its own pace and many – especially women - are likely to drop out of the job market to pursue further learning. This means employer-provided education assistance will be an important perk for the millennial gig workers looking to enhance their career continuity. Company sponsored college education is one way to ensure that gig workers remain in the labor market by virtue of being tied to a particular employer. 


Specialized skill development across arts, maintenance, and administrative roles will rise:

Workers in the gig economy will look for work in key fields such as arts, maintenance and construction, and administrative roles - especially in the professional services and manufacturing sectors. However, owing to the advent of deep technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), vacancies in administrative support roles such as receptionists and data entry, may decline. This will drive the gig workers to upskill and reskill themselves to become specialized in their respective fields across arts, manufacturing or professional services. To catch up with this trend, organizations too will offer specialized skill development opportunities to employees in these roles. 

Entrepreneurial jobs will highly resonate with gig workers:

As compared to other generations, millennial gig workers are emotionally agile and hardworking, and are unafraid to break the rules. Many view themselves as dependable, self-disciplined, enthusiastic, and being open to new experiences. This means employee skills such as the ability to self-start or navigate through difficult issues independently will be available in abundance, making jobs which are entrepreneurial in nature more attractive to this segment of workers. 

 

What does this mean for businesses?

As the current generation’s obsession with freedom intensifies, the alternative or gig economy will continue to grow with each passing year, disrupting businesses. To be able to tap into this set of specialized talent, organizations will have to look beyond traditional resumes as a means to reach out to potential hires. Talent acquisition leaders will need to evolve and reorient their strategies to accommodate new enterprise employment models. Limiting selection criteria to conventional college degrees will mean employers losing out on a huge pool of talent that comes with expertise in specific fields. 

Source: https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/focus/technology-and-the-future-of-work/millennials-in-the-gig-economy.html

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