In the next five years, the gig economy will be mainstream in the office and life for employees would “fundamentally change,” claimed a CEO who works with 30% of the Fortune 100.
The way that firms employ office workers in this day and age is ancient and “insane” in light of emerging technologies, and skilled professionals in the future would function in a more gig based method, said Patrick Petitti, co-CEO of Catalant Technologies.
Catalant operates a matchmaking service that links firms with professionals on-demand for particular endeavours. Users link up through the website or access the service through a number of consulting firms that Catalant collaborates with. Their profile is then placed in front of company managers that are hiring for projects and at the end of the work, the employee is designated a rating.
Matches are completed by a machine learning algorithm based on a worker’s skills, interests, experience, suitability for a project, and the rating level they have attained from previous gigs. The platform lets professionals take jobs when they like, picking their hours, the duration of the projects they take, the firm they work for and the number of jobs or projects they do per year.
Catalant is one of a few companies contending in this realm, which marks a development of the gig economy to the office. Petitti thinks the technology would increasingly move people away from conventional jobs that are tied to one company.
Petitti and his co-CEO, Rob Biederman claim people are starting to see their careers in a different light, more as series of life experiences as opposed to a service to an organisation. They say this way of working is more appealing.
“The way that people have worked traditionally is honestly kind of depressing… The fact that you had to have a company tell you what to do, when do it, where to it, just isn’t right. We live in a world of technology where people should be able to work on the things they care about and they should have more control over how they live,” said Petitti.
“When you give somebody a mission in a project that has a distinct beginning, middle and end with a goal – that’s a lot more exciting then just being a marketing manager. A lot of jobs have this inertial aspect to them which is not as satisfying for the worker,” said Biederman.
Despite the obvious benefits, gig working also has its own fair share of concerns around job security, consistent pay and workers’ rights. Freelance work can have benefits but may not be for everyone as it can be more risky with no holiday pay and no guarantees of more work after a project concludes.
Frank Field, a British lawmaker had this to say: “With the law as it stands, workers in any sector of the gig economy are vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous employers, finding themselves in the ‘worst of all worlds’ situation of bogus self-employment.” He called for amendments in the law to sufficiently protect workers as the gig economy grows.
But the shift would most likely happen in spite of these concerns. The American Freelance Union released a report last year that said that freelancers comprise 36% of the US workforce and are due to be more than traditional workers by the year 2027, indicating the shift to the gig economy is much larger then Catalant Technologies.
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