Flexibility seems to be the main driver of today’s increasing prevalence of gig economy, recent survey reveals. With 60 percent respondents value flexible working, the option of managing their own work arrangement within flexible work environment seems to be pushing individuals towards the gig economy.
According to the ‘Gig Economy: How Free Agents Are Redefining Work’ report by Kelly Services, age proves to be the main differentiator of attitude and behaviour towards the trend. Generation Z seems to be more inclined to take up contract-based roles than other age groups. The report notes that a majority of Gen Z (61 percent) across APAC region agree that contract-based jobs are more popular amongst jobseekers permanent full-time roles.
Meanwhile, the acceptance levels for contract-based positions are relatively in lower proportion among other generations, Generation Y (40 percent), Generation X (42 percent) and Baby Bloomers (41 percent). The popularity of flexible roles among Gen Zers could be attributed to the fact that this generation is more likely to look for instant recognition, instant feedback and an instant work-life balance, which explains why prefer contract-based roles as it offers better flexibility.
Nearly half respondents (43 percent) agree that now jobseekers are more likely to seek flexible contract-based roles than permanent full-time roles. The employment market in Hong Kong is found to be embracing the free agent trend the most, with over half of respondents (55 percent) agreeing that there is a shift in the workforce towards flexible employment. The country is reported to see a 40 percent increase of the size of their flexible workforce from 1999-2015 according to a report from the Legislative Council Secretariat, and the latest responses suggest that trend will be here to stay.
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Following Hong Kong in top three list is Vietnam and Thailand, with respectively 50 percent and 48 percent respondents agree that more jobseekers are pursuing flexible contract-based roles than permanent full-time jobs. On the bottom of the list are Australia and Malaysia, with only 37 percent and 36 percent respondents see a shift in workforce preferences.
Hiring managers in APAC also reflect the gig economy trend, as 47 percent agree that workforce preferences are shifting away from traditional permanent full-time roles, compared to 41 percent of candidates agree with the statement. The report reveals that hiring managers have a greater awareness of the links between flexible work, positive employee outcomes and improved business performance than candidates. Similarly, they are more likely to recognise the organisational benefits of an agile and adaptive workforce.
The survey, commissioned across Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, obtained 9,295 responses.
When asked about why they prefer flexible contract-based roles rather than traditional permanent full-time roles, respondents in APAC region say that they value list flexible working (60 percent), look for more varied/interesting work (43 percent), look for a role that is more suited to their specific skills (41 percent), look for more control over their careers (37 percent), have the opportunity to earn more money (36 percent), as well as look to grow their network across multiple organisations/roles (28 percent).
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