As a business owner in today’s economy, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the fast-paced changes surrounding you.
The landscape has radically changed from the 9-5 work environment that existed only a few years ago, and safely navigating these changes is not for the faint of heart.
Why are the changes happening so quickly? Because of the dramatic rise in mobile technology which is altering the way businesses offer servicers and connect with clients.
New technologies have unlocked a world of opportunity for highly-skilled professionals to expand their influence in their prospective fields. Whether they are designers, metalworkers, software programmers, or marketing specialists, no longer do they need to depend on one employer to offer continuity or job security.
The gig economy is allowing them to choose the jobs they want, build their brands, and be their own bosses.
And WeGoLook is allowing those gig workers to be seamlessly plugged into established supply chains, bringing them into the 21st century.
But, unfortunately this important discussion is often equated only with ride-sharing. Uber is arguably one of the pioneers of the gig economy, but the story doesn't end there.
It's only the beginning.
Today, we are going to show you how the gig economy isn't only a discussion about Uber and ride-sharing, but an all-encompassing technological and employment transformation that you need to pay attention to.
What Exactly is the Gig Economy?
The gig economy (also referred to as the sharing economy) is the umbrella terms for the hundreds of digital platforms that allow individuals to leverage underutilized assets - such as time, skills, homes, cars - to create flexible work opportunities.
Statistics earlier this year indicate that approximately 25% of the workforce in the United States is employed in these non-traditional employment models. These include freelancers, temp agents, and other independent contractors who provide a broad range of services.
Estimates are that by 2020, 50% of the U.S. workforce will be categorized as 'contingent,' meaning they don't work the typical 9-5, nor do they have the same employer-employee relationship.
This shift is growing each year because mobile technology development has changed the way talented gig workers connect with potential clients, and vice versa.
WeGoLook is helping enterprise clients take full advantage of this employment trend.
The Gig Economy is Growing...Quickly
In a recent McKinsey Global Institute study, the found that 162 million workers in Europe and the United States, which is 30 percent of the working-age population, engage in independent work.
According to a survey by the National Freelancers Union, approximately 55 million Americans earned money by freelancing in 2016.
In the same survey, they found that of the freelancers surveyed,
- 87% said that this type of gig work gives them greater flexibility,
- 85% believe that they have more control over their destiny, personal growth, and earning potential, and
- 80% prefer the gig economy lifestyle to that of a traditional employee.
In 2014, the gig economy was already worth about $15 billion, but is expected to reach $335 billion by 2025.
That’s incredible growth!
The Gig Economy: More Than Uber and Lyft
Yes, these companies have been leaders in the movement toward non-traditional employment models, but there is so much more to the gig economy than just ride-sharing.
The gig economy also encompasses:
- Companies who hire additional temporary staff to help full-time employees on big projects or during busy seasons.
- Companies who hire consultants with specialized skills to assist on unique projects.
- Employees with excellent skills who choose to hire themselves out as consultants in their field, case by case, so that they can enjoy more flexibility in their schedule. (i.e. able to spend more time with family).
According to a recent article in Entrepreneur.com,
“The main competition for corporations won’t be the business down the street, it will be the workers themselves. Rather than full-time positions, more companies will offer jobs in discrete segments, recruiting a pool of talent that can be tapped when needed.”
And this is a good thing! It reduces overhead, creates efficiencies, and gives enterprises the flexibility they need to work in an on-demand world.
It is no wonder that so many skilled professionals are choosing to embrace the opportunities in front of them. It’s also no surprise that many established businesses are adapting how they hire staff, attract clients, and offer their services.
Capitalism isn’t dying; it’s evolving.
WeGoLook: The Gig Economy at Work
Let’s look at a practical example of a non-traditional employment model that is having a significant impact on the banking and insurance industries.
Typically, banks and insurance providers have been slow to embrace new technology, especially in the fast-paced digital environment we currently find ourselves.
That's where WeGoLook comes in with our army of on-demand gig workers and innovative digital tools.
For example, there has long been a need for a third-party service provider to assist in the application process between banks, insurers, and other providers, and their respective clients.
WeGoLook saw that need and stepped into the gap.
By utilizing the gig economy, when a bank receives an application, WeGoLook can seamlessly access a local agent to schedule an inspection, print and retrieve documents, meet with the client, conduct the inspection, and take any necessary photos, execute the documents, and deliver the reports in real time.
There is less of a need now for enterprises to employ thousands of full-time boots on the ground to gain nation-wide coverage. Now, they can simply plug into WeGoLook's network of over 30,000 gig workers to conduct a variety of professional tasks.
Here are some other examples of gig economy services available:
- Auto inspections (including motorcycles, RVs, marine vehicles, and fleet vehicles)
- Heavy equipment verifications
- Real estate inspections
- Asset verification
- Accident scene and salvage documentation
- Notarizing and signing documents
Given the growing need for our innovative services, WeGoLook grew revenues over 300% between 2014 and 2015, to now owning a network of tens of thousands of flexible workers across North America.
The Gig Economy: Making a Permanent Impact
It’s increasingly obvious that the gig economy has much to offer big businesses.
It's s so much more than just a trendy new way to catch a cab.
Innovative companies like WeGoLook have proven themselves incredibly adept at using digital platforms to connect companies, employees, and consumers.
Enterprises large and small are gradually entering the gig economy space, and the 21st century. When will your company test the gig waters?