The first industrial revolution introduced the steam engine. The second harnessed the power of coal, and the third was brought about by the internet.
Today, we live in the fourth Industrial Revolution, one powered by the gig economy, which is disrupting how we work, who we work with and where work from, forever.
If you've ever rented your apartment through Airbnb, freelanced as a web developer or driven in an Uber, you’re part of the "gig economy." The definition of a gig economy is an environment in which temporary positions are common, and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. Ninety-four percent of the job growth over the past five years is a result of alternatives careers made possible by the gig economy.
When coupled with artificial intelligence, the gig economy will quickly evolve into a corporate norm in every industry vertical and consumer experience. Whether it be virtual reality offices in the future or completely remote billion dollar companies, the way we work has one-way ticket to disruption.
The gig economy shows no sign of stopping, so companies that want to keep up need to start investing in it now, if they haven't already. Here are five reasons to get on board with this trend:
1. The Information Age has birthed an entirely mobile generation.
Now more work than ever can be done with the help of a singular device from around the world - whether it be financial bloggers writing from their laptops, or sales consultants traveling across the world or viral YouTubers earning money from sharing makeup tutorials and game footage clips.
2. Millennials and Gen Z are more interested in flexibility and balance.
Instead for striving for jobs that bring personal satisfaction and stability, the younger generation of millennials prioritize flexibility and a good work-life balance. Over 51 percent of millennials believing that working remotely could positively impact performance and productivity.
3. The Gig Economy makes more financial sense for companies for almost all short term projects.
Contract workers have allowed firms to save money in order to avoid the costly benefits that a traditional full-time employee must receive. On the off chance that there's no work necessary, they simply don't enlist any freelancers – sparing the cash they would have spent on a full-time employee.
4. The modern gig economy is built to enable equality and access on a global level.
For most of history, exchanging wealth for services from a country on one side of the world to a country on another side of the world was nearly impossible. Global internet access and gig economy platforms have turned the once impossible into a reality. Think about the following: developers, coders, and authors in countries like Indonesia or Philippines now have the ability to tap into western developer salaries, nearly five to 10 times their local salaries, through the gig economy.
Today, the gig economy through platforms like Upwork, Uber or even private gig economy services like DesignPickle afford startups and modern businesses the nimbleness to quickly execute on necessary tasks within a company, without an in-house team.
These same businesses can quickly upsize their company and downsize their company to effectively use capital without the baggage of broken feelings, disgruntled employees and equity allocation. These gig economy players are not just disrupting economies and communities; they are disrupting history.