What Impact is the Digital World Having on the Gig Economy?

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By Gabrielle Seunagal
Recent studies and projections have proven that the gig economy is rising on an international level. Unlike decades ago, people are now able to earn income on websites, apps, and other online platforms. 33% of the global workforce considers themselves as freelancers, according to the 2015 Global Free Agent Research. This number is rapidly increasing with the passing of time, leading many researchers to believe that commuting to work and back on a daily basis may quickly become a notion of the past.
The gig economy is quite diverse, but consists of two platforms: the labor platform and the capital platform. Labour consists of investing time and skills; fields like graphic designing and freelance writing would fall under this category. The capital field entails the rental of property, possessions, or space. A prime and popular example of the capital platform would be Airbnb. People have the option of going on the app and putting their rooms or even their whole house up for rent. Both of these fields grant individuals with freedoms they would lack at a typical day job.

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The modern digital world has opened up a realm of opportunities for those who seek employment, but may not be suited for the usual 9 to 5. Those who possess the entrepreneurial spirit are not truly content to serve as subordinates for the rest of their lives. People who aspire to achieve greatness and go into business for themselves are enabled to pursue these feats via the gig economy. Any individual who owns a working laptop has the ability to earn millions online so long as they have the skills sets. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram have allowed gig workers to market and advertise their areas of expertise, thus attracting additional clients.


The gig economy is not without its critics. Many skeptics have cast a spotlight on lack of health benefits, overtime pay, and minimum wage coverage associated with gig workers. These people fail to understand the competitive nature of the gig economy. In order to thrive, you must have the necessary prowess and work ethic. There are a plethora of success stories of persons who earned six figures on freelance platforms like Fiverr. The gig economy embodies capitalistic values: what you produce determines what you earn. Success depends on what each person brings to the table and whether or not they possess the means to work well with their customers. The gig economy grants freedom, unlike traditional employment; it is up to the workers to create their own security.

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Not everyone is cut out to be a freelancer or work in the gig economy. There are some people who would rather have the security of working as an employee where their hours, location, schedules, and lives are dictated by someone else. There are others who are compelled to take the plunge and use their skills to market themselves and earn income on their own terms. Each person has to make the decision for themselves. The rising amount of gig economy workers suggests that the typical 9 to 5 jobs are not as fitting as they once were. What say you, reader? Do you value security over freedom?

Leave your thoughts on the gig economy in the comments below…


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