The gig economy refers to the shift in the way firms treat employment meaning that they contract independent and short-term workers rather than the conventional full time employees (Ward 5). With the unprecedented changes and advancements in the digital world, this new business focus has greatly prospered over the past years and will continue to impact entrepreneurship with some of the possible future effects to entrepreneurship including:
Entrepreneurship will definitely be turned into a more flexible venture. Just like any other freelance employment, the gig economy is significantly more flexible as it gives its employees an opportunity of working at their preference (Ward 3). As a result, this new working arrangement will attract many individuals who desire and wish to work in a less conventional job environment, making gig work more popular in the years to come.
A 24 Hour Economy for Entrepreneurship
This new business trend will allow hiring people from different time zones around the world. This will certainly offer better business prospects for entrepreneurs as the benefits of a 24 hour working system are massive.
Low running and overhead costs
Evidently, employing full time employees can be quite expensive for an organization especially when the demand for their services is low; hence it will only be sensible for business enterprises to embrace the gig economy as it will save them the running and operating costs. A gig worker will only provide his services when they are absolutely necessary, saving an organization unnecessary expenses. Again, business firms will stand to incur low learning and development costs for their employees. This is because freelancers and gig workers incur their own development and learning costs, saving an entrepreneur the cost of training the employee.
New Issues and Problems
Entrepreneurial ventures will suffer from unreliability since in most cases no physical interaction is involved; a gig worker working for an organization can opt to leave the work unfinished anytime. This will create inconveniences and losses to the firms in question.
Again, with the gig economy, it becomes hard to monitor, manage and maintain accountability for an organization that has contracted such workers. Depending on the type of the position an organization is hiring, it is important to establish how the workers will be managed and their work monitored.
However, when some of the gig economy ventures such as Uber, Deliveroo and AirBnB were established, they were viewed as a huge revolution that would offer their customers low-priced alternatives and open up new opportunities through flexible working. With an estimated six million individuals now employed in the gig economy, this new business focus is rapidly growing as many people now choose to work in a more flexible and less conventional job environment. Ward explained and asserted that the gig economy is here to stay and it is the future of our job market because, human labor will continue to be offered on an on-demand basis because expert systems will continue to dis-empower and control workers (13).
Ward, Peter. “The Future of Work: The Gig Economy and its Limits.” The Asan Policy Studies Journal. 2017: 1-17.