The gig economy is the economy in which freelancers work for themselves, taking jobs in a gig fashion, one after the next. The gig economy is already large, thanks to freelance platforms such as AirBnB, Uber, and Upwork. However, it is still growing. In fact, it is estimated that by 2020, 43 % of the workforce in America will participate in the gig economy in some capacity. With so many people participating in the gig economy, it is good to know the pros and cons of this work environment.
Here are some of the top pros and cons of the gig economy.
Working in the gig economy as a freelancer allows people to work on their own schedules, and without a boss breathing down their neck. Instead, they have the freedom to work when they want, where they want, and how they want. This can be very appealing for many people, especially those with authority issues, or who are not morning people.
Diversity of income
People who work for traditional employers typically only get income from one source – the company they work for. However, people who work in the gig economy can get income from many different clients and customers. This diversity can provide a different type of job security.
Not all gig economy jobs will enable you to do this. For example, driving for Uber or Lyft will not enable you to work from home. However, many gig economy jobs do allow you to work from home. This can be a major benefit for people who do not like stressful commutes, who want to spend more time with their families, or who do not like wearing uniforms.
Many traditional employers offer benefits such as health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, etc. If you work for yourself, you can most likely kiss those benefits goodbye. However, there are new solutions being created in terms of benefits for freelancers. The freelancer’s union is one such organization that is trying to provide benefits for freelancers.
Uncertainty of specific income
Although it is possible to make a lot of money in the gig economy in some cases, it can still be hard to predict exactly how much you will make each week or month. This can create stress for people.
Lack of paid vacation/sick leave
Many people value paid vacation tremendously. However, if you are a freelancer, you will most likely never experience paid vacation or sick leave time. This can be a major negative aspect for many freelancers. But, if you work for yourself, you may have less need for a vacation because you will not be dealing with having a boss order you around, a stressful commute, or having to adhere to a dress code. Also, you can purchase private disability insurance.
There are both pros and cons to the gig economy. This economy provides many benefits, but it is not 100 percent perfect. There are some serious drawbacks to the gig economy, and those who wish to transition to it full-time need to consider these drawbacks.