Growing your business in a gig economy
Heard the term ‘gig economy’ and not sure what to make of it? Here’s our post to help. We’ll explain what it means, things to look out for & give you expert advice on how to reap the real benefits for your business!
First up... What is a gig economy?
A gig economy simply means different types of work that can be done in bits & pieces / gig by gig. Where there isn’t a business need for full time employment or perhaps the worker wants to operate in this way, the gig economy presents major benefits for both businesses and workers.
“A gig economy present major benefits for both businesses and workers.”
What are the challenges?
The main challenges are split into 3 - pay, hours and benefits. These are solely challenges for the workers and not so much employers:
Pay has been less than fair or even less than minimum wage in some cases. An age old principle to remember for gig employers - you get what you pay for
Hours can be unstable or unreliable if workers are solely dependant on one or two gig type companies. This is more relevant to Uber / Deliveroo style zero hour contracts
Benefits - because workers are contractors, in the main they have no access to holiday pay / maternity pay / sick pay plus other benefits that full time employees have. Some people are ok with this… others aren’t
“Unfair pay, volatile hours and lack of benefits are the 3 main challenges gig workers face.”
How to make your business benefit?
Cost savings - the best and most obvious one! Half of the companies using gig workers are saving 30% in labour costs and that’s just the start! For most tasks really ask yourself, do I actually need a full time employee for this job? Operating in gig mode allows you to control operating costs that before seemed set in stone.
Access to talent - working in gig mode means you can be way more flexible in selecting the top talent you want, for the time you actually need. 92% of millennials want to work remotely, imagine the emerging talent in this pot! You benefit by making your company more agile, in turn this will attract diverse & highly skilled people. If you love them that much… you can always offer a permanent position!
Time savings - we admire any company that can search, find, on-board & train a full time employee in 2-3 weeks… is that even possible!? With gig workers it’s completely possible, saving unprecedented time and allowing you to move your business so much faster than before.
Quicker adoption - resistance to change and slow employee adoption is something many companies face. Being in gig mode helps to overcome those challenges as a new percentage of your workforce are ready to move fast. It also means you can run at the pace of technology, without having to wait for permanent headcount first.
“Operating in gig mode has saved businesses 30% in labour costs alone. It also opens a diverse, new pot of talent and allows you to move much faster.”
What should I be aware of?
It’s hard to see the downsides right? There are 4 game rules we recommend, the good news is they’re all simple and you’re in control of them:
Firstly, don’t exploit gig workers. This may sound obvious though it’s different in practise, pay fairly and you’ll get great quality in return
Make them feel part of the team, gig workers usually feel that permanent employees are treated better and you may agree. It’s time to change this mindset. Remember they work for you/ represent your brand.
Give them access to what they need, useful contacts & resources to get the job done
Take responsibility for on-boarding standards & working practises. If large scale gig teams is your plan, make sure the correct management is in place
“Pay fairly & make your gig workers feel part of the team. Give them access to the resources & people they need to get an incredible job done.”
The gig economy is here to stay for the long term and you can seriously benefit.
Our team can help you understand which parts of your business could benefit from gig mode, our contact details are below and we’re all ears.
Remember to ask yourself… Do I actually need a full time employee for this job?
We also found this Forbes review a useful quick read. It gives personal leadership tips on how to thrive in a gig economy: Forbes coaches council - thriving in the gig economy
Shay Doran - Founder at SJ Global