Article (November-2021)


To have leverage of Gig economy, treat and train them in same way

Dr. D. Prasanth Nair

Designation : -   Co-founder

Organization : -  Asynithis (Indus Partners), Mumbai


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The rapid and evolutionary changes driven by technology, social changes and accelerated by the Covid pandemic have resulted in changes in the "Work, Workplace and Workforce". One of the themes in this regard is the emergence of the 'Gig Workforce' - not as a transient feature but as something that will grow in future. Underlying this trend is the need for organisations to be flexible and able to pivot their business model in line with the contextual changes taking place.

The rapid change in business model needs

a) Skills and Competencies which are very specialized and/or rare : To navigate a particular phase or to drive the industry, organisation would need to have skills which are unique and specialized. Many a time, the individual may not want to be associated with the organisation full time or possible that the organisation may not able to afford the cost of employment of the expertise.


b) Flexibility in deployment of Manpower : Because the business model will change, organisations will not have certainty of workforce needs. Employment would mean contractual commitments under the labour laws, which would make it difficult to manage manpower. Gig arrangement provides the flexibility to adapt the manpower deployment to the emerging needs.

Gig Economy helps organisations in both these factors; hence it will stay and continue to grow.

Another reason which is helping this phenomenon is the desire in workforce to have flexibility in career which will help them experiment with multiplicity and give them greater freedom.

What motivates the workers in embracing gig economy? Is it just for the attraction of flexibility or as a second choice because of compulsion arising out of worsening unemployment situation?

DP  The Gig workplace can be broadly classified as below.

For different categories, the motivation and drive is different. While for categories B and C, the immediate income is the primary motivator, and this is helped by the fact that there are opportunities in Gig economy. Also, the process of getting hired is faster and smoother in case of Gig worker as compared to a full time worker.

For category D, the primary motivator will the need to augment income from whatever they are doing - it could be a job somewhere else or it could a student or it could even be a small business/farm the person is managing. Gig provides the flexibility and choice for the person to be a part of the same and enhance the income. The individual gets options in terms of whom to work for, the timing of work -which in turn can help individuals devote time to their hobbies or studies as the case may be.

For category A, it is purely driven by the desire to learn and is excited by the variety it offers. There are lots of CXO's in the SME segment who are actually on Gig. These would be those individuals who would have been CXO in a large organisation - SME wants that capability to grow but will find it difficult to afford the same. Gig CXO is the right win-win solution in such a case. They get the satisfaction of adding value in different contexts thereby also having an opportunity to learn about different contexts.

For category A, individuals may not get the job security associated with traditional employment, but they are choosing the Gig employment for greater flexibility it offers.

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