To gig or not to gig? It’s about your values…

09 May To gig or not to gig? It’s about your values…

The Gig Economy has been considered by many as shaking up the world of work – from presenting an alternative to the 9 to 5, to the growth and development of countless apps and technology for finding work, and yes, even court cases and changes to legislation as the new way forward faces some teething problems. 

However, the Gig Economy is more than just app-based ‘gig’ work, but also for an upsurge in short-term casual and contract work. Advancing digital freelance markets, highspeed internet and smart phones ensure that gig and freelance work are more attainable than ever. 

With increasing pressures in the workplace leading to an epidemic of work-related stress and illness, the Gig Economy also presents an excellent opportunity to reassess your own work practices, think about your values, and consider if gig work may be a solution to feeling ground-down at work. 

In fact, 7,500 Australians are compensated for work-related mental disorders, equating to around 6% of workers’ compensation claims [1]. Work-related stress or illness also affects employers on a large scale, with an estimated to cost Australian businesses $10 billion a year in lost productivity and sick days [2]. 

So where does this leave you? Here are three key ways in which the Gig Economy can be utilised by you to combat work-related stress and promote heathy, balanced ways of working.

1. Flexibility 

Flexibility is the pinnacle of the Gig Economy for it’s workers, creating a dynamic playing field where you choose how, where, when, and what you work on. If you have a laptop or smart device and in Internet connection, you’re good to go. 

You don’t have to be in your 20s to be a gig worker either – which is shown through an increasing Baby Boomer workforce branching into casual or contract work to fit around other commitments such as family, or simply just wanting to work less. 

2. Job satisfaction 

Recent studies show that gig work, being your own employer and cherry-picking your work is highly satisfying, with workers enjoying the choice of their own employment status, and taking control of their work situation. This self-actualisation has many mental and emotional health benefits in the long-term by working to your strengths and capabilities. 

3. A foot in the door 

The paradox of gig work is that it may in fact lead to permanent work. Increasingly, businesses may hire a gig worker to be groomed into a permanent position, or if you show your worth as a passionate and committed worker, then you may well find yourself with permanent employment. 

In the end, gig work can certainly become difficult in seasonal periods where there is less work, or if you have been forced into the Gig Economy through external factors. In these instances, taking the work that is available to you, being an open and honest communicator, and learning to network, can all help you navigate gig work when difficulties arise. The Gig Economy is both an opportunity and a challenge to those in the workforce, and one that is worth learning about how it can benefit you. 

To learn more about what the Gig Economy means for workers, you can download the full Recruitment Trends Report here: http://futurepeople.com.au/recruitment-trends-report-20172018/ 

 

References 

[1] https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/topic/mental-health 

[2] https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/work-related-stress