Are Gig Economy Platforms Changing the World’s Job Structures?

There have been dynamic changes in the modern workforce. The traditional 9-to-5 job where you work for the same company all your life (with very little change in your work day) is dying. The business world is evolving faster every year, and the ants are flourishing while the dinosaurs are becoming extinct. Not only do workers need to adjust in this freelance gig economy, but companies also need to adjust there corporate structures.

The gig economy is similar to the employment style prior to the Industrial Revolution. It is the “one-person, one-career model” that we are accustomed to, and that the gig economy is disrupting, which is the relatively recent phenomenon. Before the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, it was common for one person to take on multiple temporary jobs to piece together livable earnings.

We’re seeing an explosion of the gig economy, with shared open office spaces such as WeWork, and the global competition keeps growing rapidly– especially in the electronic world. Platforms that match gig workers to companies in need are helping to lift the whole online community as everyone involved hopes to achieve the desired network effects.

For genuine entrepreneurs it becomes harder every day to start a stand alone business; it’s increasing difficult to penetrate the internet economy without the help of tech specialists. As this need for internet expertise grows, so do the economic super malls that match workers with employers– the gig platforms. Eventually, this new internet revolution will mature and it will become too crowded and harder to penetrate, but for now it is very easy to get premium product placement.

Today, many new companies are designed from Day One to be virtual companies, with no basic headquarters or company office space, where almost all employees contribute from their own chosen location, providing all their work product remotely.

In this newer phenomenon, know as the gig economy, platforms allow you to complete specific, small tasks (especially electronically) for hundreds if not thousands of clients all over the world– all from your virtual location for example Cloud Services or Blockchain. Every gig employee can create an electronic storefront that offers their specialized services. The companies that adapt to this business model will be far more flexible, and in general will be able to work at a far lower cost structure. Individual entrepreneurs can launch new businesses significantly faster as the platforms do the vast majority of the infrastructure work. Eventually, gig jobs (think Uber or Lyft) will encompass most of the electronic world.

A gig economy is a free market system in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. The term “gig” is a slang word meaning “a job for a specified period of time” and is typically used in referring to musicians.

On our last visit to San Francisco many of the Uber drivers we met also drove for Lyft. They did not like the downtime and used both platforms. So in this instance, the driver during his downtime had both platforms working for him to seek his next gig, hopefully cutting the downtime in half.

The traditional 9-to-5 job is being replaced in the gig world where companies and workers are focused on multiple gigs on multiple platforms throughout the day. For the workers, marketing themselves globally across multiple platforms ensures they receive enough work (and income) to fill out a work day.

The gig economy is also changing how people work from the company’s standpoint. Traditional businesses with a very high cost structure must adapt as much as possible by bringing down fixed costs and increasing their flexibility. Companies also benefit from multiple gig platforms as they seek to acquire specialized and hard to find talent.

The underlying fact is that the traditional jobs from your parents’ era are dying. The future for individuals and businesses alike is to figure out how to get ahead of and ride the gig economy wave. Those who succeed will do well. Those beached by the wave, or swimming against this trend, might be in significant trouble before they know it.

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