There’s no doubt about it. The gig economy is here to stay. More and more people are looking to the gig economy to generate an income, so the question is – how will this change affect you? As you move from being a university student to a newcomer in the workplace, you may find the changing world of work has an impact on your day-to-day tasks. First let’s go back to basics.
What is the gig economy?
With the rise of technology and online based businesses, work is no longer what it used to be. Earning an income doesn’t have to be confined to the walls of an office. It looks different. It could be someone on their phone in a coffee shop or someone using their laptop and the free wi-fi at an airport. We can now work almost anywhere at anytime.
With this change has come an increase in contract, temporary and freelance work. Companies like Uber, Airbnb and AirTasker have changed the way we do business. Not only that, but many larger companies are choosing to employ workers on a contract or freelance basis for shorter time spans to save on long-term staffing costs. It’s also said that many people are now looking for more experiences and excitement in their day-to-day work, rather than stability.
What industries are most affected?
At this stage, it appears that the most commonly hit industries include businesses that are largely project-based. These could be technical or creative roles, or hands-on skill-based roles such as construction and agricultural workers. Businesses that have fluctuating levels of work are depending more and more on contractors and freelancers to fill the gaps.
Tied in with the gig economy, is also the rise of the side hustle, which sees many full-time employees getting additional income and creative fulfilment from their own business adventures outside of their typical work hours. Bloggers, social media influencers and ecommerce store owners are just a few of the common side hustles.
How will the gig economy affect you?
There are two ways the gig economy may affect you as a university graduate. First, you may yourself in a contract role or temporary role even if this isn’t your preference. Keep in mind that you may be given the opportunity to move into a permanent role after some time has past. You can also take this as a chance to decide if the company and your role suits your needs long term.
Or you may be employed full-time but be tempted to join the so-called gig economy and create your own side hustle. There are so many ways you can earn a little extra cash but whatever you choose, make sure it doesn’t affect your full-time job.
On the other hand, if you’re employed as an accountant you may find more and more clients coming to you with gig economy tax returns. Namely, those who have had multiple jobs throughout the year or multiple jobs all at once. You’ll need to stay on top of the different tax requirements across various industries, particularly in the gig economy.