30 Sep 2022

What’s the gig economy all about?

It has been said we are entering the fourth industrial revolution in relation to the global workforce. That relates to technology advancement, robotisation, changing production and distribution chains, and changing employment types. This has resulted in a new buzzword: the gig economy.

The Future of Jobs Report 2018 from the World Economic Forum, forecasts that businesses are set to expand their use of contractors doing task-specialised work, creating more roles for self-employment, freelance, contract and casual work – hence the use of the word “gigs”.

Workers have more flexibility and freedom in choosing who they work for and how long they want to be there, and employers are able to tap into cost-effective staffing requirements beyond physical offices and borders while accessing skilled staff. People can also work from home and take multiple roles or contract offers. Statistics New Zealand has found that a third of working New Zealanders are self-employed, or in temporary or part-time work, which is reflected in the increase in a mobile workforce and linked to technological advancement like high-speed mobile internet, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

For people working in a gig economy it is important to remain upskilled and agile to meet the changing employer and job market requirements. Some of the core skills in demand from 2018 and expected to grow through to 2022 are: analytical thinking, problem solving, critical thinking and analysis, creativity, active learning and learning strategies, emotional intelligence, leadership and social influence, coordination and time management. As a business leader or owner, what does the gig economy mean for you? As this trend continues to grow, businesses may need to ask questions and make decisions around staffing, research, training, branding, marketing, technology and many more areas. Can a gig economy meet your business needs?