You may have seen the term ‘gig economy’ creeping into modern vocabulary in recent months. Articles, news stories and online features have been delving into the concept with great popularity.
But what does it actually mean?
Put simply, it’s a style of work where everyone is freelance. Doing a number of jobs or “gigs” to create a full-time income. The term has generally been used to describe lower earners. Increasingly though, it refers to any freelancer taking control of the gigs they undertake to build up their earnings. Doing so on their own terms within in the field, or fields, of their choosing. There can however, be some negativity surrounding the term, particularly with reference to zero hour contracts. Any negativity associated is mostly down to zero hour employers putting a positive spin on an undesirable prospect.
Who does the gig economy include?
Normally these individuals are already closely involved or passionate about the type of work they are in. Many opportunities present themselves naturally. This economy can often lead to the foundations of many entrepreneurs who take their foresight to the next level such as many who have completed the business accelerator programme with our friends over at Acorn Enterprise.
Here’s an example…
There are plenty of events to be enjoyed across nations, whether an annual occurrence, religious holiday or entertainment. Events take a lot of work with many moving pieces. Those pieces are people, gig economy people!
Locally, as many of you will know, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival has now descended upon Scotland’s capital city. The likes of comedians, entertainers, and food & beverage vendors all gigging in the area themselves, there is a great need for those moving parts. Taking a look behind the curtain, we will notice promoters ensuring a full house and fun atmosphere. Technology also contributes massively to this economy. The likes of Uber and Deliveroo create platforms for people make some extra cash around their other gigs. Many working within events are doing so for the feeling that they are playing a part in something bigger. We are social creatures and those within the gig economy value the enjoyment and connections they can make as well as the financial rewards.
Freelancers of this unique economy often find themselves travelling from place to place but still value rooted connections that can be turned to for support. This is where co-working can be the perfect solution, offering flexibility and opportunities to collaborate and share skills.