Age of Freelancing or Gig Economy has begun and in full swing. Gig Economy is about contract labor. Oxford meaning: “A labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs”. It is also called the “flex economy” or “mobile economy”. It reflects the cultural change brought by a new generation of workers, especially millennial’s. This practice is gaining momentum day by day in Indian job market. One can say that recent push to Digital Technologies has further fueled the need to practice Gig Economy.
Govt of India has proposed to include contractor in Gratuity list: Gratuity one of the most important component in a regular full time job, offered to any employee who completes 4.11 years in same organisation would get gratuity. Normally not a very big amount but considering the 25-30 years of work in same organisation it accures good amount. Given to regular employees so far is going to be given for contract employees as well.
Crowd sourcing Platforms becoming stronger and stronger: Major crowd sourcing platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, Topcoder have been gaining momentum, alone Upwork is more than $1 Billion in revenue and has shown growth more than 200% over 5 years.
Deep skill resources are difficult to employ and difficult to find: People with high skills like Data Science, Cloud Architects, Full Stack, RPA, Big Data, Security, iOT are difficult to find and that too very difficult to on-board simply because of huge demand and lessor supply of quality resources. Recently NASSCOM has started industry specific future skills series and enabling partner companies employees to pick them and grow.
More and more Open source tools in market: So many versions, so many variations of products and apps are coming up that learning and mastering one may not be that easy for everyone, also the project span for these apps and platforms are very small as compared to some 10 years ago and now a days people with integration or architecture skills are preferred since they know more than one tool and can lead a discussion with any client.so it make sense to hire contractors or freelancers.
The Coursera effect:
A real revolution in learning space is attributed to Coursera not only in India but throughout the world. This platform is so popular that when “Andrew NG” founder of Coursera visited India recently companies like Infosys, Wipro and Tech Mahindra seen unprecidented crowd wanted to interact with him. Rightly so through this platform people can pickup & learn anything and become what they want. More and more such platforms have now come up like Edcast FutureSkills, SkillShare, Udemy, PluralSight etc
Govt failed to provide jobs to mass: IT industry in India has never been dependent on govt of India’s plan but the job scenario is not great in India. I believe govt is still in experiment mode. Obviously people will look for their own and instead of permanent job (which is off course not available) they would try out something individualistic like YouTube Video Jocky, A trainer, Ola or Uber cab driver, swiggy or zomato food supplier and all in all a more contractual job based economy.
Companies like WeWork, Regus are on expansion: Another good development to notice here is that WeWork is on expansion mode in cities like Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad since the startup and individual workforce is on rise. WeWork recently valued at $20 bn.
Digital is changing the behavior, people want new things in no time: Not only Millennial even your grandpa would demand faster service. Everything on Mobile, new content every day, 24 hrs availability of content, companies and service providers are constantly on their toes to provide quality services and content which is possible through these flex workers.
Think of YouTube, it renders as well as hires millions.
The gig economy does not demand physical presence:
We all know going to the office is a pain, productivity loss, unhealthy atmosphere, pollution etc are major concerns. If people are smart & productive enough sitting at a remote location delivering should not be a concern. Jobs like Data Science, Web Development, User Experience, Cloud Apps, Writing, Marketing, Product design, etc does not need people to sit in the office.
I personally feel this space is taking shape along with other changes; certainly, we should keep an eye and to sail this new age workforce atmosphere the only way I see is through working on new-age skills and gain a variety of experience.
Reference: Forbes Article on Gig Economy