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How the Gig Economy Can Fit Your Business

Connect your business directly to a gig workforce via LinkedIn, job boards, social media platforms or gig worker sites such as WeGoLook.

"Only recently have businesses begun understanding and adapting to the way generation Y wants and expects to work, which is 'mobile' – not tied down to any desk – let alone preparing for the entry of generation Z into the workforce in another five to ten years' time." - TechRadar, 2015

The buzz words are out there. The 'gig economy,' the 'sharing economy,' a 'gig,' and 'gig workers.'

It's not as important what you call it…rather how to use it to your advantage. 

According to Fast Company, the gig economy is a growing (exploding, actually) trend which will re-define "the future of work."

The gig economy changes not only the way work is defined, but also how a business engaging in hiring and staffing.

Change is coming quickly. A change in the very way business is done.

This change is known as the gig economy, and here's how it can fit into your business.

How Business Gets Done in the Gig Economy

Let's give a face to the buzz words. 

A 'gig' is a one-off or short-term project. A 'gig worker' is someone you as a business owner can hire to complete particular tasks or projects. 

Some use freelancer and gig worker interchangeable.

When recruiting a gig worker, business owners get to select from professionals who are experts in their field.

So Why is the Gig Economy Booming?

Apps Freedom conducted a survey revealing that up to 84% of businesses who consider themselves on the "cutting-edge of mobile technology" reported higher numbers in productivity. 

Why you ask? Because when a company merges mobile technology into business processes, it gives them more power and reach

Mobility gives businesses the power to take advantage of online platforms (short-term accommodations, transportation, labor, etc.) which can cut business costs dramatically.

Also, mobility gives businesses the reach to a supply of high-quality gig workers (WeGoLook, Upwork, etc.) when they need them. 

Digital technology and mobility give businesses direct and immediate access to gig economy services and workers.  This not only increases productivity, but saves the company time and money to boot.

A recent survey by Jobshop indicates that over the next five years, nearly one-third of businesses plan to take advantage of gig workers.

Clearly, savvy business owners see the benefits!

Because of the advances in digital and mobile technology, gig workers can work from anywhere. 

A Talented and Growing Pool

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an increase of 1 million people listing themselves as an "independent worker." 

Unbelievably, this was in the course of just one year, from May 2014 to May 2015!

The talented pool of potential gig workers can benefit you, no matter what type of business you're in. 

From experts in communications and design to construction and transportation, there's a gig worker out there for you.

Along with the growth in workers, we've seen a similar growth in worker platform - such as Upwork and WeGoLook - who supply pre-screened and trained gig workers to businesses. 

While more than 1/3 of independent workers fall into the millennial demographic, gig workers range in age from Gen Xers to retirees. 

Is there anything better than a retirement job you can work from home, making your own hours?

It should come as no surprise that the numbers will continue to grow in all demographic categories.

The Gig Economy Benefits

According to SmallBizTrends.com, almost 54 million American workers reported taking on freelance work in 2015. 

That's 33% of the entire U.S. workforce, folks.

And the numbers keep getting even more impressive…

A report by Intuit 2020 with research being conducted by Emergent Research estimates that by the year 2020, 40% of the U.S. workforce will be participants in the gig economy.

As a business owner taking advantage of the gig economy, you can expect:

  • To choose from a large global pool of expert gig workers
  • Reduction in recruiting/hiring time and expense
  • Reduction in training costs
  • Staffing flexibility to cover high-demand ebbs in work volume
  • Increased efficiency and productivity
  • Reduction in overhead costs (office space, insurance/benefits)
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Company loyalty
  • Peace of mind (on-demand, cost-effective staffing solution)

The bottom line? Your bottom line will love you for embracing the gig economy!

How to Use the Gig Economy for your Business

Back in the day, businesses hired temporary workers (temps) to cover vacations or short-term projects. 

Consider the gig economy your new temp workforce. 

What makes more sense in hiring a gig worker is specialization, in addition to saving time and money during the recruitment process.

By eliminating a temp agency as the middle man, you get to connect directly online with gig workers who fit your specific criteria.

You get exactly the worker you are looking for…on demand.

Where do you find these gig workers, you ask?

Connect directly via LinkedIn, job boards, social media platforms or gig worker sites such as WeGoLook.

In 2014, gig workers created revenues for gig-based platforms (Fiverr, Upwork, etc.) to the tune of $1.1 trillion. This was in the U.S. alone!

Gigs posted on these types of platforms directly connect businesses with gig workers.

As a business owner, don't just think the gig economy is for hiring independent workers. 

The gig economy is helping trim the fat from corporate travel budgets, as well, thanks to Uber and Airbnb.

Gig Workers: Final Thoughts

Slowly but surely, smart business owners realize how much they can save by authorizing the use of gig economy services.

If you don't think so, consider that by 2016, 25% of business travelers used ride sharing services like Uber.

As for business lodging, 10% used the sharing economy service Airbnb.

With the benefits and efficiencies being high, and costs low, when will your business model include the gig economy?