Over the last five years, gig and freelance working has been on this rise. In response to 2017’s Taylor Review, NatCen Social Research was commissioned by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to produce a report that examined the changing working conditions in the UK.
Prior to this study, the gig economy has not been formally defined, making any research into it extremely difficult. It found that 2.8 million (4.4%) of people in Britain had worked in the gig economy. At the time, gig economy workers largely viewed it as a secondary source of income, which has started to significantly shift as more workers embrace gig and freelance working on a full-time basis.
So, what does 2019 hold for the gig economy? Here are the top trends that the Mango Pay team predicts for this year.
Large organisations will increase their use of gig workers and freelancers
Before now, utilising independent contractors and freelancers has been an effective method for start-ups and growing businesses that can’t risk employing permanent members of staff. However, this is starting to change with midmarket and FTSE companies increasingly outsourcing non-core tasks, such as payroll, marketing and human resources, to gig workers. In the face of industry-wide skills gaps, gig workers also provide the opportunity to hire valuable experts for specific projects, therefore reducing onboarding time and training costs. We expect to see more larger corporations adjust their approach to personnel by engaging with more contractors in 2019.
The rise of the remote company
Businesses have been exploring the option of remote working for a while now, but a more recent development that we expect will gather pace is the concept of the fully remote company. Remote companies are categorised for a lack of headquarters, with staff typically working from home or shared office spaces. The lack of geographical constraints, reduction in overheads and the ability to utilise software such as Google Docs, Dropbox and Asana means the remote concept is more tangible than ever before.
Collaborative working spaces
Following on from the rise of the fully remote company, collaborative working spaces, such as WeWork, are on the increase, providing gig workers with the opportunity to mix with other workers on a social level, while also enabling them to market their skills in an area where they can engage with clients. Expect to see more independent versions of the WeWork model to emerge in towns and cities across the UK this year.
Legislative changes to support gig workers
For a number of years, there has been widespread concern at the lack of collective consultation for those who work in the gig economy, and the poor working conditions they can sometimes be subjected to. In our previous blog, we detailed the government’s announcement of its package of workplace reforms, which promised workers access to fair and decent work. We can expect more of these legislation changes throughout 2019 and beyond so that gig workers, and the businesses engaging with them, are protected at all times.
Follow the Mango Pay blog for all of the latest news and developments surrounding contracting and the gig economy in 2019.