The gig economy should be fantastic, we are independent knowledge workers, travelling with our laptop and having a flexible life combining travel and work as we sit in hipster coffee shops.
But that’s not the reality for most.
It’s more about zero-hour contracts and working on the edge.
Earning just enough, but not enough.
It’s never being sure if we will have enough money that week, not a regular income, even if we have the deposit to get a mortgage and being scared to speak up as we may loose the job we maybe would rather not have.
It’s all so very different to when I was young.
People had a full-time job even when there were quiet times. We had the security to know that we could go on holiday, and get it paid. We even had paid sick leave and didn’t have to reply on the statutory minimum which is never enough.
The gig economy: Uber, Deliveroo and more will grow and that could be the main way we work in the not too distant future. In parts of America such as San Francisco this gig economy seems to be the most common sort of work.
But people who have signed up to the gig economy dream to “set your own schedule” (Uber) or “Be your own boss” (Lyft) find they do not have the flexibility of the true self employed nor the employment rights of an employee.
I’ve read a fascinating article which discusses the inside story of the software engineers who write thegig ecoonomy code that drives this business. It’s an interesting read and here’s the link.
You have all the jobs that will disappear due to AI. Whilst some will find new exciting jobs, not all will so what will be left – the precarious life of the gig economy.
I am concerned of a gig economy future where we have gig workers earning what can be less than minimum wage – bike riders only paid for one way of the journey; no payment for when you wait for a ride and all the associated expenses you are responsible for.
Do read the article, and I’d love to know what you think. Feel free to comment on my blog.