In 1980, Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin starred in the hit movie “9 to 5”, an office satire about three secretaries who act against a tyrannical boss and implement new office programs including flexible schedules and job sharing. Over 35 years later, the labor market continues to evolve as individuals and companies strive to achieve passion and performance in the workplace. What is also becoming known as a side hustle, the gig economy is changing perspectives on how we work and how we hire. Employer or employee, is the gig economy right for you?
Is “The Gig” Right for Your Business?
The gig economy is more than hiring a full-time freelancer. It is the nurturing of a business environment that embraces part-time and second jobs, shared spaces or shared jobs, short-term contracts, freelance professionals and flexible hours. Companies both big and small can benefit from the gig economy by hiring on an as-needed or project-specific basis. Not everyone can be good at everything, thus companies may choose to hire several part-time subject-matter-experts to work on a project, rather than rely on one full-time person to accomplish all objectives. Nonetheless, the gig economy is not right for every business and the pros and cons should be considered.
- Ability to leverage specific expertise from a larger pool of resources.
- Realize cost savings eliminating full-time benefits, employment tax and reduction of office space by hiring freelance or part-time.
- Increase or decrease team size according to business performance.
- Resource pool expands to accommodate time zones and countries.
- No long-term commitment required.
- Project-specific training for each new contract, freelancer or part-time hire.
- Hard to assimilate into corporate culture.
- No guarantee that favorite freelancer or part-timer is available when needed.
- Challenge of managing multiple contracts, tracking team members, posting jobs.
- “Rotating door” of talent decreases ability to establish long-term team environment.
Employers who decide to incorporate a gig strategy into business operations, need to define how these roles will merge with the overall business landscape to create synergies, collaboration and a positive environment for all employees.
Is “The Gig” Right For You?
The gig economy is a good target for the fresh approach of the millennial. These young professionals bring specific talents to the table and want to contribute to the success of a business environment on their own terms. Working remotely, feeling inspired, working while traveling or playing, for a millennial it is about passion in life and career.
With an empty nest and time on their hands, baby boomers can find part-time and freelance work engaging. In a gig economy, the boomer can bring years of expertise to companies, feel intellectually challenged, socially involved and make a extra cash. What are the pros and cons for employees?
- Enjoying the freedom to do what you love, to pick and choose projects and companies.
- Creating a balance between work, family, health, and education with a flexible schedule.
- Expanding business knowledge by working in a range of industries and categories.
- Ability to work multiple jobs for extra cash or to take time off.
- Expanding your network; meeting new people.
- No guarantees contract will be extended, or employment offered.
- Always on the search for your next job or project to continue to earn a salary.
- Lack of critical full-time benefits including health, dental, vacation pay and 401k.
- Competing with a large pool of other freelancers and part-time candidates.
- Losing a connection with the company and employees as a “temporary” team member.
The gig economy is not for everyone. It requires discipline. Entrepreneurs will be the first to tell you they work more hours self-employed than employed by a company. As an independent, you must work with a focus on the future, finalizing new contracts and new clients before the old runs out. Part-time employees need to understand monthly expenses, costs to self-insure and to create a long-term retirement plan. Finally, year-end tax planning and preparation is a different ballgame for self-employed individuals versus those in permanent positions with one company.
If you are still interested in joining the gig movement, there are multiple resources available. LinkedIn Pro Finder is a valuable resource for employers wanting to post projects that are viewed by highly qualified professionals. Part-time and freelance employees have access to a range of top freelance websites for exploring new projects and establishing profiles. Other sites including Upwork (upwork.com), provide a community networking space for small businesses.
Contact us today to find out how Capture Digital Marketing can play a strategic role in achieving your business objectives. Let’s Gig!
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Capture Digital Marketing specializes in creative solutions to help businesses optimize their digital presence through website development, online marketing, and individualized SEO services. Our team of professionals works with small and mid-size companies, entrepreneurs, and independent business owners, to develop digital strategies that drive revenue. For more information, contact us today at (561) 630-3699.