In the next part of our video series published in partnership with Localz that looks at gig economy in field service, we take a look at some of the core misconceptions of the gig workers and employers...
The Misconceptions of the Gig Economy in Field Service
Having outlined the growing case for the field service sector embracing the gig economy in earlier features within this series,, let us now take a moment to bust some of the myths surrounding the conversation…
Misconception #1 : The gig economy is just young kids on bikes
If you look at the various gig work platforms that are available, it quickly becomes clear that many are targeted at workers with a specific level of expertise. When we think of the gig economy we often automatically think of platforms such as Uber or Task Rabbit. But the truth is the gig economy is a broad and wide spectrum. For example at the other end of the spectrum high level, management consultants have essentially always been part of the gig economy, long before the term was ever coined. In fact over two-thirds (66%) of the gig economy are over thirty.
When we look at field service engineers, successful platforms have emerged such as FieldNation or WorkMarket that have allowed field service organisations to effortlessly tap into a contingent labour market full of qualified and experienced service engineers.
Misconception #2: The gig economy is only utilised by certain types of company
Actually, 40% of companies expect that gig workers will become an increasing part of their workforce.
Many businesses are clearly seeing the value in using freelance workers to meet their staffing needs. Companies like Swiss telco giant SwissCom for example are rapidly expanding their teams and building new service revenue streams by utilising an abundance of gig workers.
This is a trend that we have seen increasing in field service and as it offers a win-win for gig workers and field service companies alike we anticipate it will only continue.
More field service companies hiring gig workers will only serve to drive the acceptance of the gig economy further bringing more experienced engineers to the gig economy market.
Misconception #3: Gig workers are just waiting for a ‘proper job’
There is the common misconception that gig economy work is a means to an end whilst workers seek out a more traditional form of full time employment.
In fact research by Forbes shows that only 20% of freelancers would prefer full time employment Despite scare stories that position gig workers as vulnerable from exploitation and low wages, the reality is very different and that most gig workers wouldn’t choose full-time employment even if it was available to them. Nearly a half of respondents (45%) would opt to work independently and state that they would seek to acquire new clients in order to meet their financial goals.
All of this is noteworthy because as a group, freelancers do tend to work longer hours at less pay than their employed counterparts.
At the same time, they tend to state that they work on more interesting projects and enjoy the flexibility that gig work provides to them, including being able to work from home, and spending more quality time with their family.
Overall, this could reflect a shift in priorities among workers and has been aligned with the societal change of the workforce as boomers retire and millennials replace them.
However, further study of the available data would indicate that this is in fact a universal preference that transcends generational outlooks.
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