The Gig Economy: Expectations

Continuing to the part 1 of the article of introduction to ‘The Gig Economy’, this article focuses on pros and cons of gig economy.

By Shweta Bapat

As against the real jobs that pay fixed salaries, give paid holidays and a stable career, Gigs are the jobs for very short time that doesn’t give all these. The jobs for musicians used to be the only gig jobs till few years ago, but now with changing market trends various new gig jobs have come in picture. Courier delivery and food delivery like jobs are available in ample number in the market are demanding for short term commitments.

Gig Economy is providing ease of working to the companies those are looking for short term commitments for specific jobs. When job comes to an end the relationship between employer and employee automatically comes to an end. Sometimes it is just like a small transaction. Companies are can keep themselves away from various Human Resource Management formalities like training, leaves, performance appraisals, salary revisions, compensations etc.

Also Read: The Gig Economy

This in turn helps in minimising HR expenses and responsibilities towards these employees. Many companies prefer on demand hiring for less important jobs. Though on demand hiring lowers the cost, it is also a challenge for them to get required human resource at a required time. As gig economy members are not attached to only one organisation, sometimes their availability at a given point of time also becomes a challenge. In addition to this the companies preferring short term employee commitments cannot expect any loyalty and employee engagement, it remains as an economic relation only.

Gig economy allows the members to enjoy the freedom while working. It is totally their wish to accept the job or not. This feature of gig economy allow the members to enjoy the benefits of self-employment. This feature also help the members to have work-life balance and to manage stress. At one end where low human resource management formalities become advantage of gig economy to the organisation, it may be seen as disadvantage to the workers as they don’t have any assurance of the next job when they finish earlier. They come in to the category as independent contractors who do not have any rights of redundancy pay, sickness benefits and protection against unfair dismissal.

Considering these advantages and disadvantages of gig economy, researchers have developed the concept of Internal Gig economy. It means organisations internally can make the gig economy platform available to the workers. Workers do have many skills that are unexplored due to the non-availability of opportunities. Organisations can give this opportunity to them and get the work done from their own employees rather than searching for the talent outside.

This can create additional earning opportunities to the workers and therefore their willingness to accept these jobs can be increased. The research shows that this concept can give noticeable impact on the issues like absenteeism, retention, commitment, employee engagement etc.  This can create win-win situation for both, therefore companies should seriously think about creating gig economy platform with in the organisation.

(About the Author: Shweta Bapat, HoD Human Resource Management, Kaveri College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Pune)

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