Around the world, working in the modern gig economy is becoming a viable alternative to full-time, office-based employment. Whether it’s the ease of entry into the established realm of car rental for Uber and GrabCar or seeking to launch new business ventures, we can all cite the advantages of this model of work. But are those things working for you? Here’s a closer look:
You’re the boss
Just about any employee has entertained the dream of becoming their own boss. Not having to take orders from a micro-managing supervisor can provide stress relief and let you handle tasks that are more suited to your personal preferences. However, as any self-made entrepreneur can tell you, being the boss isn’t an escape from work, at least not if you aspire to succeed. If this reason drives your search for a gig, you need to ensure that good habits are in place.
If you’re organized and self-aware, for instance, you won’t need anybody’s input on productivity, knowledge gaps, and performance improvement. Work on improving your time management and develop an appetite for continued learning. This way, you’ll be able to transition to full-time self-employment and still be an effective boss of your own time and effort.
The modern standard of working 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week has its roots in practices first implemented by Henry Ford, and he trimmed the previously accepted standard workweek by a full day. Nearly a century later, today’s employees are frequently complaining about the lack of work-life balance afforded by the typical 9 to 5. Contending with traffic, overtime, take-home work, and daily errands is a problem that many seek to address through the gig economy.
You might find that freelance work allows you to reduce the costs and hassle associated with a daily commute. Still, to achieve work-life balance, you also need to uphold your end when it comes to efficiency. Working from home with minimal supervision can render many individuals more prone to distractions and procrastination. Don’t expect to accomplish a lot by working in bed with devices nearby. Create a working space that’s free from diversions so that you can still focus and get things done quickly, with plenty of spare time to enjoy.
An open environment
The walls of an office or cubicle can contribute to a sense of working in a stifling environment. Still, beyond the physical factors, many modern offices do little to encourage individual creativity or collaboration. Companies that move towards hiring more freelancers and independent contractors find that such work can bring out their best creative efforts. But that’s not always the case, and you have to take advantage of the more open environment.
No one is going to build a network and communicate with you if you don’t initiate it. Beyond promoting yourself on blogs or social media, promote others, join networking events, and talk to more people. Volunteer, seek mentorship, and be willing to mentor in turn. This way, you can build a collaboration structure that enhances your work.
These are just some of the perks of working in the gig economy. Whatever reasons drive your decision, be sure to align your skills, habits, and motivations.