How the rise of the gig economy is influencing the workforce
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Today, many professionals are leaving their 9 to 5 job security for the flexibility offered by the odd-job economy. You have witnessed the increase in the number of people who have joined the freelance or worked for concerts over the past decade. Working when and where you want is an attractive incentive for the concert economy.
Contrary to popular belief, the concert economy is nothing new. This concept of work has been around since companies started hiring temporary or seasonal workers. Today’s odd-job economy refers to the segment of the workforce involved in freelance, contract, or part-time jobs instead of traditional 9 to 5 jobs. freelance writers, online tutors, digital marketers, web developers, cybersecurity specialists and many more.
The rise of the concert economy
Gig jobs might not be a new concept, but it has become popular among the younger generation over the years. The pandemic has further amplified its popularity as the current health crisis has disrupted many businesses and changed the course of many businesses.
You can trace the rise of the odd-job economy to the global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008. It greatly affected many traditional businesses, resulting in either their decline or a complete change in the nature of their business. As a result, many people have turned to freelance or contract work to survive the financial crisis, which is recurring amid the pandemic.
However, even before the pandemic, many Americans are already turning to the concert economy. In 2017, about 55 million Americans were part of the odd-job economy, accounting for 36% of the workforce. A CNBC Report in February 2020, said the number of concert workers had increased by 15% since 2010. This is about six million more workers involved in the concert economy than in 2010.
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The growth of the concert economy
You might be wondering why so many workers are switching from traditional work to the odd-job economy. In my opinion, two factors significantly influence the growth of the odd-job economy.
One is the change in worker preference. A 9 to 5 job is no longer the dream job of many workers, especially the younger generation. Traditional employment has lost its luster. More and more people are looking for a job that offers flexibility, allowing them to choose their schedule. They no longer want to be stuck at a desk for at least eight hours a day. This is why more and more workers are being encouraged to join the odd-job economy.
The dream job for many people today is to work on their laptops while traveling the world. Digital nomads are individuals who use new technologies to do their jobs on the go. On 36% of them do self-employment for several companies. As they are telecommuters, they do their work not in offices, but rather in cafes, public libraries, in front of the beach or in recreational vehicles. They can usually spend several months in one location and then move to another.
The second is the Internet. One might assume that the boom in the odd-job economy is linked to the boom in the Internet. New digital technologies have not only changed the business landscape, but also reshaped the way people do their jobs. The internet has made it possible to do your job and make a living anywhere without requiring you to physically show up to work. About 50 years ago such a scenario was unimaginable, but the pandemic has made it clear that work is no longer tied to office spaces. People can do their work remotely.
A recent online survey of working professionals revealed that around 30% of them would choose to leave their jobs if they had to return to the office in the post-pandemic scenario. The survey also found that flexibility in the workplace would become an integral part of any employment arrangement. Companies reluctant to make such offers could make them unattractive to potential employees and find it difficult to retain employees.
Related: How Is The Gig Economy Transforming The Workforce?
The economy of odd jobs and the workforce
Many companies need to recognize that the future of work will revolve more around the odd-job economy. This is not only a trend in the United States, but it is also happening in other parts of the world.
The growth of the concert economy will greatly benefit many workers today by providing new work opportunities and multiple sources of income, as concert workers can work on multiple concerts simultaneously. Concert workers may invest more time in learning new skills than traditional workers, as they can take on low-intensity jobs while learning additional skills. On the other hand, the disadvantage would be a lower retirement benefit than that of traditional employees.
The odd-job economy also allows companies to recruit workers who specialize in niche skills such as IT and marketing. Hiring highly experienced workers with specialized skills would be costly for businesses. That is why it would be advantageous for many companies to acquire the services of freelancers with niche skills, as the companies can get the same skills with lower overhead costs.
The odd-job economy can help workers and businesses stay afloat even during recessions. Workers can take multiple gigs at any one time, while companies can save more with lower overhead costs.
Like jazz musicians who make a living from concerts, workers in the concert economy must continue to hone their craft. They need to know that they need to keep practicing and honing their craft to achieve lasting success. They must remain relevant in their field because the future of work will revolve around the economy of odd jobs.
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