Have you noticed more and more companies offering contract positions instead of full-time gigs? This “gigification” of the job market, as Intuit CEO Brad Smith recently called it, is a major trend. But what exactly is the gig economy, and is it right for you?

Many people are choosing a nomadic style of work, participating in the gig economy through freelance and contract work.The convenience of working from anywhere with just a laptop and a skillset is a huge perk. “The future of work is remote-first,” says Alexis Grant, COO of Deel, a company that helps businesses manage remote workers. Today’s workforce is more mobile than ever before. This bold approach paid off. These young hires brought fresh ideas and perspectives to the table, challenging the status quo and fueling our early innovations.

Gone are the days of following your parents’ path: starting a job straight out of school and staying put until retirement. A recent study by MBO Partners found that young workers today are less engaged with traditional jobs, making them more open to exploring the gig economy. This cultural shift has led to a new way of thinking about careers. Short-term contracts are no longer seen as a negative, but as a way to build valuable skills and experiences.

The gig economy itself thrives on project-based work. Workers take on contracts with specific parameters and timelines,deliver the service, and then move on. For example, a freelance writer might find a contract with a government agency to write website copy. The writer would complete the project according to the contract’s specifications and wouldn’t become a permanent employee with benefits.

So, what’s the big draw of gig work? Many freelancers enjoy the freedom of setting their own hours. As Marissa Meyer,former CEO of Yahoo, once said, “Flexibility is the new luxury”. Gig workers can choose the projects they take on and control their workload. This allows them to work full-time with multiple contracts, or take breaks whenever they want by simply not accepting new work.

Contracts also eliminate the need to give two weeks’ notice. Projects have built-in end dates, so there’s no need to formally quit a job. Plus, some people find the lack of office culture appealing. Freelance work often means no mandatory meetings or company events. You can structure your day around your own needs and appointments, without needing permission from a boss.

Businesses love gig workers too. They offer a convenient and efficient way to get things done without the overhead costs of full-time employees. Employers pay only for the work that gets done, with no need to factor in benefits, paid time off,or breaks.
The work-life balance of gig work can be a double-edged sword. While freelancers enjoy flexibility, they also have to be completely self-sufficient. Unlike salaried employees, gig workers don’t get paid sick leave or vacation days. They have to manage their own schedules and make up for any lost time if they can’t work. This can lead to burnout if not managed carefully.

Another challenge is income security. Gig workers are responsible for finding their own projects and negotiating their rates. There’s no guarantee of a steady paycheck, and unlike salaried employees, they typically don’t get raises or bonuses.

The Gig Economy: Here to Stay
The gig economy is a permanent fixture in the modern workforce. Whether you choose to dabble in it for a few extra bucks or make it your full-time career, understanding the pros and cons is key. By weighing the flexibility against the lack of security, you can decide if the gig life is the right fit for you.

Sabah Shakeel
Staff Writer, Digital Marketing Specialist
SRA Staffing