Why Future generations want freedom, flexibility, and personal fulfillment in the Gig Economy after COVID-19
What is the future of the gig economy after COVID-19? Growth! This means growth by the numbers, and innovation will democratize access to labor and services. This includes geographic flexibility, and a continuous feedback loop based on self-governance.
Similarly, gone will be the days where aggregators told you where to go or who to hire for services. This is a combination of empowered consumers, Artificial Intelligence, automation, access to labor, and mobility. Consequently, this will result in an interconnected ecosystem based on your social credit. This means your ratings as a service provider or consumer is important.
It’s not just a meritocracy
Though the gig economy is purely based on a meritocracy, traces of capitalism still abound. Users rate providers, and users are rated by buyers. Finding services within the community is easy, and people are more inclined to trust someone with established service and good reviews. This mutual feedback mechanism ensures quality, while the market stabilizes pricing and value.
For this reason, those with the highest reviews will command most of the good gigs, and vice versa. This results in the best equipped service providers taking the lion’s share of the gains. Arguably, some of these platforms socialize the costs while privatizing the gains.
Disaggregation coupled with broadband connections, cloud computing, and mobile technology, means jobs can be conducted from anywhere.
Over one-fifth of U.S. workers labor outside of traditional employment-that is, outside of full-time positions in traditional organizations. The fraction is higher in other countries ( Cappelli and Keller, 2013; McKinsey & Co., 2016). Recent surveys suggest that ‘’all of the net employment growth in the U.S. economy from 2005 to 2015 appears to have occurred in alternative work arrangements’’ ( Katz and Krueger, 2016: 7).
Today I can order food, have my laundry picked up, request a ride to the airport, book a dog walker, schedule item pick-up and delivery all on the same day and paid for by the guest I’ve rented my spare bedroom to before leaving for the office. In that 30-minute transaction, I have helped put 5 gig workers to work and fulfilled multiple needs while earning an income myself. That was a true story!