Robin Chase, the founder of ZIPcar, said: “My father had one job in his life, I’ve had six in mine, my kids will have six at the same time”, which gives the most pertinent description of the gig economy. The gig economy is a term used to describe a flexible employment model with short-time and flexible working arrangements. It aims to replace traditional employment models with long-term labour relationships and fixed working arrangements. The gig economy has gained global attention in recent years. In fact, our global survey of business leaders found that 81% of leaders is exploring more flexible working arrangements to attract and retain talent. The World Development Report 2019 issued by World Bank suggests the future labour market will be increasingly dominated by odd jobs rather than full-time jobs, heralding new trends in the global labour market. Across the globe, a steep increase in flexible contracts and working arrangements is witnessed. There is a wide range of people and jobs within the gig economy as well, ranging from specialised professionals to lower-skilled job such as self-employed delivery drivers. For example, the UN publication Digital Economy 2.0 forecasts that in China, permanent contracts with the traditional 8-hour work day is expected to be abandoned and an 400 million people large labour force in China – accounting for 50% of total labour force in China – will seek self-employment online in the next 20 years. Expansion of the gig economy is a trend we expect to see across the globe.
So, what is driving this trend to transform workforce models? The speed of technological innovation is one of them. New innovations have drastically transformed all aspects of human life in the past two decades, including the way we work and our attitude towards work. Technology has somewhat blurred the lines between our professional and private lives, it has made the world smaller and enabled a greater deal flexibility. The widely adopted use of Cloud technology is a good example of this, and business leaders recognise cloud-enabled, mobile business models to be the characteristic of successful business models of the future. A trend echoed in the real estate sector, where the concept of ‘space as a service’ is increasing in popularity.Click here to learn more.