Flexibility bridging the gap between gig and permanent workers

There is little incentive for gig workers to take up contract work because permanent employment now means more flexibility, in combination with a regular and fixed income source


With the pandemic resulting in greater flexibility being offered by employers, work has become rather convenient for employees. More and more people are able to work from home all the time or are required to go to office only few days a week. Some are even allowed to work from anywhere. When such flexibility is coupled with a fixed and regular source of income that comes with a permanent job, the attraction of gig work naturally lessens.

While gig workers did enjoy the freedom of working at their own pace and being able to take up a variety of assignments from different employers, life for them was also full of uncertainty and instability. With hybrid work being embraced by a significant number of employers, globally, even permanent jobs are now offering a great level of flexibility.

The ‘People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View’ report reveals that only one in 12 workers, that is, about eight per cent of the employees surveyed admitted to thinking of switching to gig work in the past one year. That means, the present situation is not as attractive for gig work. However, when it comes to remote workers, a good number have considered switching to gig work. Their number is more than the number of hybrid workers or those working from office all the time.

Clearly, this is because remote workers who have enjoyed a considerable level of flexibility wish to have even more flexibility to take charge of how much work they do, how they spend their time and where they wish to work from. Also, the hybrid workers, who see people working 100 per cent remotely, yearn for the kind of flexibility enjoyed by the latter. They are unaware of the fact that the 100 per cent remote workers experience more insecurity when it comes to their jobs. After all, their visibility is low. Also, their chances of getting pay hikes are also low.

As per the report, one in 10, that is, about 10 per cent of the part-time workers have considered joining the gig community. That means, the inclination to switch to gig is higher amongst part-timers than full-timers.

About 55 per cent of gig workers admit they would even take up unpaid hours of work simply for the security of having work. Only 37 per cent of permanent employees would think of doing such a thing. In fact, most permanent workers think they are putting in more effort. These 37 per cent feel they are putting in two extra hours of work on a weekly basis, for free. Does that mean gig workers are compromising on their profits simply to secure their positions/contracts? It does appear so. The gig workers are, in all likelihood, providing their employers ace quality work and great value for money at the cost of their own profits/satisfaction.

Meanwhile, about 48 per cent of the employees surveyed have actually either relocated or are thinking of doing so, taking advantage of the work-from-anywhere option offered by their employers. Flexible work policies are allowing people to work from anywhere. About 52 per cent of workers in Asia Pacific are confident that they can successfully work from anywhere. About 52 per cent men feel they can successfully work from anywhere, while only 42 per cent women feel so. Almost three in 10 workers, that is, 28 per cent, feel that within five years, workers will not be required to stay close to their workplaces at all, and that they will be able to work from anywhere in the world. More than 33 per cent workers believe that their sector will allow complete flexibility in five years’ time, as long as their productivity is not affected. A significant 28 per cent feel that a four-day workweek will be adopted by then.

Comment on the Article

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

three × one =