Gig workers value time over money, flexibility over boredom

Gig workers value time over money, flexibility over boredom

Misconceptions about the nature of gig work abound. A recent blog sheds light on this, while also noting an interesting evolution in workplace priorities. Most people think that gig jobs involving grocery delivery or ridesharing, but actually 69% of them are related to IT and software, as well as accounting and finance. That’s followed by art and design, administration, education, construction, freelance writing and animal care. Transportation is at the bottom of a rather long list with deliveries just a few notches ahead of it. Our gig-work staffing agency, Gravy Work, serves the corporate-hospitality space, which is just now starting to embrace this concept. For decades, the term “gig” was mainly used by musicians, comedians or artists to describe a performing engagement.

But there has been a massive change over the past 10 years when it has taken on a whole different meaning with the burgeoning growth of mobile app platforms. As many as 5.6 million people are projected to be doing freelance work by 2027, which is a huge number, while the gig economy could reach nearly $500 billion next year. Slightly more than half of the respondents in a recent survey say they landed gig work out of necessity while the rest did so by choice. The findings suggest that what’s important to U.S. workers is rapidly changing. For example, they very much value their time. The national average workweek is about 40.5 hours for full-time employees, whereas only 3% of gig workers spent 40 hours or more working each week.

The top motivators in the gig economy were independence, flexibility, variety of jobs and better opportunities to change jobs, followed by easy to get any job, no boss or manager and no boredom. Competitive wages were listed as No. 8 on a list of 11 considerations. That’s astonishing! Another fun fact is that 88% of respondents said they would consider gig jobs up through retirement age. Given how the gig economy is expected to keep growing, these stats raise interesting questions about the direction U.S. public policy must take for making health insurance and retirement savings plans more accessible for this mountain segment of the workforce. No doubt, the federal government will need to partner with industry to provide what’s best for gig workers and serve their evolving needs.

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