If you thought gig economy was just a fad and it will soon fade away, you might have to take a raincheck on that. It's the start of a new decade, and as per statistics, the gig economy is going to spread its wings and fly as high as it can. More than eight in ten Millennial and Gen Z workers are interested in the gig economy either by doing a side-hustle or becoming a full-time freelancer says research conducted by SelectHub.
Companies are surely latching on to the Gig Economy and the ones that aren't are losing out on quite a few good resources. As studies show, 30 percent of Fortune 500 companies are hiring through . With both the workforce and management accepting gig economy, what are some changes that we will see in the future of work?
Let's find out!
Reporting structures and hierarchy will change because of off-site employees
The top-down reporting structure that we follow in every organization today was first crafted by the civil engineer George Holt Henshaw in 1855. It was used as a medium by the New York and Erie Railway to ensure communication with their 5,000 employees. This went on to be adopted by the military and major corporations who thought this culture was applicable to organize groups of people into transparent reporting relationships.
As decades have passed by, organizations must align with today's work culture, and thus aim to be changeable, adaptive, and collaborative in their approach. With gig workers being paid for their time, decisions need to be quick and to adhere to this system; the top-down model will become futile. Active social networks are replacing old ways of working and this new collaboration and reciprocity among peers will surely defy the old hierarchical structures.
Technology will be a critical enabler
The whole and soul of the gig economy highly depends on technology and advances in technology will keep fueling further growth. According to the PYMNTS.com research, 38.4 percent of US-based non-seasonal gig workers secure their projects through digital marketplaces. Though these platforms have been rapidly growing, it is also leading to crowding of virtual job platforms. This leaves both the employer and gig worker in the conflict of finding the right match. Now we can rely on big data to come to the rescue in such situations.
Machine learning (ML)-powered algorithms can now enable assistance to employers with talent search abilities by understanding an employer's demand and matching it to the right set of gig workers. This, of course, comes at the cost of gig workers providing in-depth information about their professional projects and educational credentials. Simultaneously, research conducted in AI-driven recruiting shows that these systems are less discriminatory in nature and algorithms can successfully predict the candidate's personality attributes. These features, when put together, can make the gig economy process selection more fitting, streamlined and efficient for all participants.
Flexible job roles will have to be designed
Today's generation values their work-life balance more than ever, and thus time becomes an essential factor. They no longer want to spend eight hours in the office just because they need to clock in and out in time. Instead, they are looking at companies that offer them more flexibility to become contract workers or gig workers, so they spend their time wisely. To align with this thought process it becomes crucial for companies to start designing job profiles that are flexible in nature. Job roles need to depend highly on the tasks that can be done remotely vs. the ones in the office.
Jason Phillips, VP of Digital HR & Global Chief of Staff at Cisco, says, "Work flexibility is becoming the norm. The challenge is how fast can organizations provide it." This will also serve as a huge advantage to companies as it will help them cut down costs, especially in the project that are aimed towards testing.
Online culture will replace offline workplace culture
It's a no-brainer that cultures are incredibly crucial for the smooth functioning of an organization. But with everything going virtual, how does one ensure the culture is maintained? The HR leaders of the future will have to look at building an online culture, considering most of the organization’s workforce will soon be a part of the gig economy. Managers taking care of a virtual team must have an open and positive attitude towards the team. Managers need to master the ability of effective delegation and map out result-oriented management styles.
There are various ways in which companies can build an online culture. For example, having virtual collaborative tools for exchange of ideas, creating a balance with video meetings and not just relying on emails, explain the company culture to gig workers, so they feel like a part of the project etc. Since gig workers function without any authority and social context, it leads to a greater feeling of insecurity and disconnectedness. Thus to ensure smooth functioning, team members coordinating with gig workers should focus on building a good online culture. And, the role of HR is going to be a crucial one in building this culture.
Everything from sharing rides to ordering food to freelance consultants has transformed the way blue-collar, and white-collar workers are approaching work. With an increasing number of the global workforce joining the grey workforce, companies need to start restructuring their policies and hierarchical structures if they want to survive in this economy.