More and more employees want to become a part of the gig economy. It has a lot of scope, gives employees the freedom of choice, and is a great way to earn extra. But gig economy has a lot more than freelance writing, consulting, or designing. People are gigging as social media managers, writers and editors, photographers etc. New technology makes it possible and easy to reach consumers. A recent study suggested that up to 30% of working-age people in the gig economy are doing independent work. The number is expected to increase to 43% in 2020 and other research says the number of gig workers will triple by 2021.
Gigging by choice, chance, or necessity
With the evolving corporate culture, the kinds of gig workers have also changed. Some of them are part-time workers, while others are full-time workers, and some are even the ones with a side of traditional jobs. Gig workers work for some extra income, which means they are free to work on their own will and don’t have the restrictions of a normal workplace.
The disadvantage of this work culture is the uncertainty that comes with it. They cannot find jobs, the pay is ambiguous, and gigging doesn’t have a lot of options. Also, in addition to this, freelancers don’t have a lot of laws and are more vulnerable to financial loss with clients and organizations.
Gig workers need to learn about paying taxes themselves, they aren’t covered by insurance and other employee benefits, and most importantly they need to have contracts with employers for greater security. If your organization decides to get gig workers, then the first and foremost thing is to realize whether it is being done by choice or is it a necessity. It is recommended that gig workers are taken on-board with the right coaching, welcome communication, a mentor or guide to help them sail through the organizational policies, and an organized workplace.
Coaching Remote Workers
• In certain organizations, gig workers don’t come to office every day and work remotely. If this is the scenario for your organization, you must understand that despite this gig workers need coaching and support. One of the most important aspects of coaching remote workers is communication.
• Face-to-face communication might not be possible with them every time, that’s why methods like email, texts, voice calls, and video calls are the best alternatives. These will help you keep in touch with the remote employees and explain them their work and deadlines.
• When you want to share some important information, phone calls are the best way to do so. Avoid writing long mails or messages, just call and discuss the situation to the point. Email and video call are best suited for information that needs to be retained by the employee. Make sure it contains all the required information and is not confusing at all.
• Another important aspect of coaching remote employees is making them feel welcome and a part of the culture. If your organization allows employees to work remotely or has invited gig workers, then it becomes essential that they integrate teamwork and work culture in the working as well.
• Technologies for co-working that can be seamlessly shared with remote workers and traditional workers will be helpful. Also having a process of coaching for remote workers is important to retain them.
Some of the main principles that play a pivotal role in gig employees’ professional life include – performance-led accountability, increased problem solving, high productivity, and increased employee engagement. The organization should aim at motivating and encouraging not just their traditional employees, but also independent employees to give them more freedom, opportunities, and flexibility. Aspects like department and team meetings, feedback sessions, and performance reviews are helpful for building the overall culture that encourages teamwork.
One should understand what all is needed to manage remote workers and create a productive and conducive work environment. Don’t forget that even remote workers need guidance and structure, but the approach and structure of their working style is totally different from that of traditional employees.
There are many reasons why employees want to become a part of the gig economy, but it is important that employers are aware of the status of contract workers. Independent workers mean that employers don’t have a direct control on the way they work and their performance. Treating gig workers, the same as your regular workers can trigger a host of employment liability issues. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that gig workers represent their companies to clients and try to make their work experience enjoyable as well as beneficial at the same time.