Gig workers may be used at any level of an organisation. Alex Swarbrick is a senior consultant at Roffey Park, an institute which claims to ‘develop people who develop organisations’. He believes that gig workers fall into two distinct groups.
“You can characterise the workforce in this model like an hourglass,” Alex says. “So the people at the top comprise highly-skilled, sought-after talent that is relatively well paid and expects to work flexibly. Workers at the bottom end of the hourglass, however, are likely to be on temporary, fixed-term, zero-hour contracts and have a number of jobs that could be characterised as insecure, low-paid work.”
Entrepreneurs frequently use freelancers when they need help temporarily, so are probably more used to avoiding the pitfalls than many a large HR department. Sometimes though, they can still be managed more effectively whatever the size of business.
What will attract the right gig workers to be available for you if at all possible when you need them? Having relevant contract terms and conditions, rewards and benefits will go a long way to making yourself an attractive employer.
Office Assistants says, “Co-operation between permanent and temporary staff is essential so you must do all you can to ensure it. It’s worth remembering that even workers of longstanding can become bored and unproductive unless they have a bit of variety in their days, and operate in a culture of give as well as take.”
“While gig economy may sound like a future-proof employment model, ideally designed for a global economy where work can originate and be fulfilled anywhere and no longer respects the nine-to-five, office-bound models of the past. But not everyone believes the gig economy is an untrammelled good,” CIPD Asia notes.
Peter Outridge, managing director of the Asia-Pacific HR centre of excellence at KPMG, says younger workers are most likely to be drawn to the freedom that comes with working for yourself and organisations and governments will need to respond.
“The newest graduates want mobility and flexibility on their own terms. I’m not sure that governments are fully equipped to deal with it – you see governments in Asia, with Uber, trying to control something they don’t fully understand. There will be a lot of transformation in the next few years – for example, consortiums of people working collaboratively – and both organisations and governments have to think that through.”
Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net