Why nobody wants to work in the gig economy

·3-min read
Working in the gig economy
Working in the gig economy

Only 13% of workers would consider taking a job in the gig economy, while 76% would feel more secure sticking to permanent employment. Apparently we can see the benefits, but it's not enough to convince us to give up traditional work.

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The survey, by Glassdoor, found that we appreciate the upsides of gigs. Some 35% of people say the biggest advantage of gig working is the flexibility, while 11% say you can have a better work/life balance, and 10% say they'd like to be their own boss. Among women, the biggest benefit is the flexibility to fit around their family - at 39%.

However, we are well aware of the price we are paying for this flexibility. When asked about the most important aspects of working, 56% of men and 63% of women mentioned the stable income and benefits. It means that most people are happiest with an old fashioned contract. Meanwhile, one in five people think that gig economy jobs actually exploit workers and harm employee rights.

Will we have a choice?

The researchers discovered that most people don't feel they are ever going to be forced into the gig economy, because only 10% of people thought it would become the future of work. Almost a third of women and a quarter of men say the gig economy will only ever be for a limited number of roles.

Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor's Chief Economist said: "The gig economy may be associated with prodigious growth of app-based taxi rides and food delivery, however, as we've already witnessed in the US, the impact on the UK workforce could remain minimal in the longer term."

"The main reason is size. Although many ride-sharing and travel platforms have popped up in recent years, they're still confined to a small corner of the workforce. Further, gig roles only really work for relatively simple jobs that are easy to measure, don't require deep institutional knowledge, and don't rely on long-term relationships. The majority of the fastest growing jobs in the labour market today require human creativity, flexibility, judgment, and soft skills."

"For some jobs, the UK gig economy is here to stay. But don't expect the majority of the workforce to be part-time contractors any time soon."

However, not every expert feels this way. As we reported back in February, John Marshall, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at Lippincott, spends his days working with experts to predict how the economy will function in future, and says that the world of work will change beyond recognition far faster than anyone expects.

He says that rather than making up a small number of jobs in one corner of the economy, it will become the norm. He says big employers will disintegrate so that gig work becomes the norm: "So they don't need employees, they can just have people log onto platforms and do tasks for them. People won't work for one employer, they will work in six different places, and just do the things that add the most value."

But what do you think? Will the gig economy take over? And should we be worried about it? Let us know in the comments.

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