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How Long will the Gig Economy Last? Should Freelancers worry?

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Is the Gig Economy Going to Devour Itself?

The gig economy. How long can it last? The covid-19 pandemic has cleared the path for a new type of economy that started with lockdowns, working from home, vaccine mandates and then the great resignation. 

The upside for employers has been that it has become an employers market where they could have their pick of the litter as people that were out of the job market were suddenly back in play.  However, not quite the way they hoped. This has given rise to freelancers and independent contractors and while large companies weren’t necessarily comfortable with this, they had to adjust to the freelance economy in order to fill those open positions left by the great resignation. Many have caved to the vaccine mandate in order to keep their livelihood and maintain their standard of living. 

For most freelancers this was ideal, finally breaking away from the tedious 9-5, office politics, setting their own hours and working from practically anywhere in the world. But the question is, how long can they sustain this? With so many freelancers now in play, employers can set the bar for how much they’re willing to offer for a service. And what’s more, when there are skilled and experienced contractors who are willing to do the job for less money, how long can others sustain themselves?

A multitude of gig-work platforms have popped up over the years but have only been able to take real advantage during the pandemic and from what we’ve learned it’s nothing but cheap labor and it will end up devouring itself. What it means for companies, is that they get what they pay for. Simple as that. And for gig workers and contractors it could mean lowering their standard of living. 

Opportunities that are available to freelancers now may not be there in the future. Companies are heavily invested in technology which is replacing the need for human presence faster than we might think and in some countries this is happening faster than others. So it is hard to say how long this gig economy will last but the advice to freelancers is to use these opportunities to create businesses and cultivate partnerships that can set themselves up for longer-term success.

WHP Consulting