With more Americans joining the gig economy, a desire to understand the motivations of gig workers is on the rise. In fact, a recent Pew study entitled Gig Work, Online Selling and Home Sharing, looked into gig worker motivations and delivered some intriguing results.
Money was not the most commonly-cited reason for joining the gig economy (though it was still a top motivator). Instead, the study found that more gig workers are motivated by the chance to fill up their spare time with fun activities than by any other factor.
Let's dig a little deeper into the Pew survey and what it tells us about gig worker motivation.
Working for Fun!
According to the study, 42 percent of workers joined the gig economy just to have fun. We’d likely be hard-pressed to find members of the traditional workforce with the same answer! But for many gig workers, particularly those who already have a job or are retired, gig work is a way to be social. For instance, a retiree who works in the gig economy a few hours a day has a chance to meet new people, stay active, and get out of the house.
Filling Gaps in Income
Of course, money still played a major role in motivating the gig workforce. According to Pew, the second most common motivation for gig work is earning more money to fill gaps in an existing income. However, Only 37 percent of gig workers stated this as their primary motivation.
Independence and Flexibility
Since many gig workers already work a full-time job, stay home with children, or have other obligations that make it difficult to take a traditional working arrangement, they are naturally motivated by the independence and work schedule flexibility offered by gig work. According to the Pew report, 30% of gig workers cited the need to control their own schedules as the primary reason for joining the gig economy. Being able to work whenever you want, on whatever jobs you want, is an important motivation for WeGoLook Lookers and gig workers more generally.
Job Opportunities and Upward Mobility
About 20 percent of workers joined the gig economy for better employment opportunities. The gig economy allows more opportunities for workers with diverse backgrounds and experiences. While some workers may have limited experience and/or educational background, they may be perfectly suited for gig work. And, while they are working and earning in the gig economy, they are also building valuable experience that can translate into better job opportunities in the future.
Here at WeGoLook, we provide gig workers with relevant professional field work that builds skill and enhances future employment opportunities. For instance, we have a number of Lookers who joined WeGoLook to gain claims adjustment experience before entering the insurance profession. This growing professionalization of the gig economy, led by WeGoLook and others, is something many observers are noticing. For more information, take a look at this recent article from Entrepreneur.com.