The term “gig economy” refers to a free market system where project work, term contracts, and temporary positions are prevalent.
The organizations will hire independent freelancers or professionals for short-term commitments. The term "gig" is a slang word for a job that lasts a specified period was first made popular by musicians or stage performers.
With digital transformation sweeping across various business functions and industries alike, everyone should be concerned about the work of the future instead of the future of their current job. Digital Transformation isn’t just about leveraging technology. It is embracing an integrated strategy for the future, encompassing people, process, and the product with technology as an enabler.
Digital Transformation isn’t just about leveraging technology.
The result is the work of the future is likely to see the formation of permanent virtual work teams, shortening of work weekdays to four instead of five, and shortening of work hours from 8-10 hours per day to 6 a day. Many professionals will find they have more time at hand and the only viable way to earn a higher salary is to utilize the extra time for other gigs.
Though it is believed that with the age of Artificial Intelligence, there will be more jobs created than those replaced, but there will also be many who prefer to carve a niche in the gig economy to achieve work-life integration. The future looks set to facilitate the true fruition of the gig economy.
The future looks set to facilitate the true fruition of the gig economy.
Gig contractors can be professionals in design, social media content, video post-production, market research, service recovery, translation, copywriting, voice-over, animations, chatbot development, consulting, etc.
1. Get more done with less leadership or supervision. With the new culture of working remotely, there will be fewer opportunities for executive coaching and mentoring within the workplace. Everyone is expected to be self-sufficient and independent. More ideas and concepts can be generated by external parties who are engaged on a short-term basis. As they are specialists in their area, more can be achieved within a shorter period. One manager can lead 5 key staff who in turn manages up to 2 external contractors each.
2. More creativity without losing identity. There is always a tendency to forget the obvious or overlook some blind spots when we are too familiar with what we are used to doing as a routine. The gig contractors will always be able to add some fresh perspective to existing projects. In turn, this creates new ideas or strategies for the core staff to execute. The short-term independent contractors will become ideas generators while the core staff becomes gatekeepers of the brand messaging and positioning.
3. Collaboration is a new Competition. Collaboration is challenging to achieve among different companies because every company is equal footing in terms of the alliance. Collaboration between brands and gig contractors is often easier to implement as the leadership is expected to come from the brands. The success of brands depends on whom they collaborate with among the gig contractors. Soon, competition among brands will hinge on how many collaborations they can forge with gig contractors.
4. The work of the future is outsourcing. The value of work in the future is always about leadership and autonomy. The core team can spend more time on strategic planning. The key is not to be tied down with repetitive and operational work. They will be able to spend more time integrating fresh ideas if the operational work is outsourced.
5. Speed is the currency of customer service. If customers today are not waiting to wait a day for customer service to get back to them, they will not wait for more than 4 hours in the future. The core team can spend more time with customers gathering more data for better decision-making and planning in the future. They can only achieve the speed of service excellence if certain work is outsourced to gig contractors who specialised in that area of work.
6. Staff can focus more on strategic thinking. The expected potential of any staff is the ability to see the macro picture of the business landscape. The critical success factor of human capital is the ability to see the future and chart a roadmap to get there. This scenario is only possible if the staff frees himself from the day-to-day work and focuses on his role. To be a strategist, the staff needs to delegate his operational functions to the gig contractors.
7. Raise new brand ambassadors in the marketplace. The high frequency of outsourcing can produce the secondary effect of raising more brand advocates in the marketplace. When more businesses experience your brand and style of work, they will share great testimony about you. There will be the power of the word of mouth at work by the professionals. We all know the best ambassadors are the most satisfied customers, but they can also be happy short-term partners or stakeholders.
There are three important steps to engaging the gig contractors and achieve the future of work.
1. Determine what to outsource. Make a list of repetitive work or mandate functions that your staff is currently spending considerable time on. Next, prioritize them in terms of the degree of difficulty and frequency of reporting.
2. Determine whom to outsource. Select from a portal full of gig contractors like Gigworks It is a one-stop solution to a variety of gigs and talents. It has different turnaround schedule and price points for the range of requirements you may have. Businesses can purchase any gig on demand accordingly to budget and urgency.
3. Determine how to measure the return of investment. Consider measuring the returns in terms of speed of planning and implementation. Do a before and after survey to measure service excellence. Create a scenario to compare hiring full-time staff versus employing gig contractors.
Gig Economy started ten years ago with small gigs. It is evolving into many short-term assignments now, and it will involve projects that will require months to complete in the future. To achieve breakthrough success, every company needs to work with the best people for the best job at the most reasonable rates.
To achieve breakthrough success, every company needs to work with the best people for the best job at the most reasonable rates.
Andrew Chow is a successful social media and public relations strategist, entrepreneur and speaker based in Singapore. He is also the best-selling author of a highly popular series of books: Social Media 247, Public Relations 247 and Personal Branding 247. Andrew has spoken in over 15 countries within 5 years and addressed more than 20,000 people on Digital Marketing, Personal Branding, Enneagram, Public Relations and Branding. Andrew’s career of 30 years; has seen him work with an array of clients including AXA Insurance, Abbot Medical Optics, Singtel and Sony Pictures, M1, Starhub, and Sennheiser. Andrew had more than 300 interviews and features about him or his business since 2005 from more than 40 local and regional media. He is listed as the Top 10 Most Influential Speaker in Singapore in 2013 by the Singapore Business Review. He won the Spirit of Enterprise in 2008 and the Successful Entrepreneur in 2010. Before he served as the President of the Asia Professional Speakers – Singapore (APSS), he also won the coveted Spirit of Service Award from the Industry. He loves travelling and held his solo Photo Art Exhibition for 3 days in Singapore to raise funds for a charity – Teen Challenge. Andrew is known by the moniker @ideasandrew in all his social media platforms.