A trend spurred by the gig economy is changing modern-day work as we know it.
So, what happened to the traditional 9-5 job?
In an age of hyper-connectivity, employment, is just one click away and always on-demand in the digital marketplace of the gig economy. So, Circa Campus decided to follow Andre Barber, a New Yorker born and raised in Harlem, N.Y., around town during his work day. He is currently a full-time barista and a Postmates courier. On the side he practices karate...LOL!
Rise of gig economics
It is a rather simple idea. An individual works with no boss and no in-office dynamics. At the heart of it, is a somewhat randomized full-time or part-time job. Think Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, Airbnb, Seamless and more. Such a new sector is revitalizing the job market. For those neophytes to the gig economy, unlike the quarter of Americans already employed under it, one thing is clear: it’s here to stay. All the abounding digital employment platforms readily available at a swipe form a future that is going to get bigger by 2021 and beyond.
And of course, the theory of choice for the gig economy is it will be fun, as indicated by 42 percent of the currently gig-working Americans in a survey by the Pew Research Center.
All work, and all play... RIGHT?
Andre likes that there are greater options and more flexibility, but he also thinks there is a downside.
A report by Intuit and Emergent Research estimates that in four years, gig workers will make up nearly 43 percent of all American workers and surpass the numbers of those in major industries. This is a game changer for the workforce. The gig economy will no longer be just a thing of start-ups. Its prospective future includes integration into some of the world’s largest companies, too, as various platforms, from labor to capital platforms and to others, continue to emerge as viable professional outlets in the digital marketplace. It also provides the highly coveted ongoing access to new, fresh talent, a source of knowledge transfer that experts say “facilitates knowledge creation.”
But there are drawbacks, likely to heighten over time as corporate values shift.
And, millennials like Andre love not having restraints, but it comes with some negatives.
"You're not allowed to take vacations and be paid for it. You're not allowed to have 401(k), and this is very important and it's one of the bigger drawbacks to the gig economy at this point in time."
The added-on advantages of the gig-working life also pose a preponderance of challenges to the 21st century worker who will be without W-2 status, without a 401(k) and bonuses, without health care and medical leave, among other benefits. Yet for all the portentous loss of formal employment perks, widespread predilection for the gig economy is not diminishing. The gig economy is still too great a source of cultural value for both the 21st century worker and (perhaps more so) the employer.
Can working in the gig economy, work?
There is a prevailing cultural norm favoring the "gig economy" that has snowballed over time, that has also been politically and legally consequential. A gig worker’s income is still too irregular, too contingent upon a great many factors, such as the frequency of assignments or a truncated employment period, or too low of a wage. Without a shadow of doubt, these imperfections will not stand up to public scrutiny.
Mitigating the shortcomings of "gig employment" will be the only way to ensure it as a stable career option. Andre is hoping that with enough work it will give him the financial resources to be self-sufficient at an earlier age and that spells freedom.