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The gig economy, along with the future of work is a prevailing conversation. 
It involves working arrangements closer to “gigs” that sway from the traditional employee-employer relationship sort of jobs. Gig workers include freelancers across cities, age groups, and skill sets, who are employed on a contractual basis with their employers, project-based work and short-term work. 

Why did Gig Economy become popular? 

Gig economy is seeing a an all-time high because workers are seeking to find more flexible and adaptable ways to work; platforms are freeing themselves from previous employment regulations, and consumers increasingly expect on-demand services.  

The rise in gig-based digital labour could also be an effect of the crunch in the formal labour market. Reports show that over the past 2 years domestic consumption has reduced, industrial growth has flatlined, private investments are lower, and market volatility has hit drivers of employment. Many now look at the gig economy as a stop-gap solution until the market turns. 

Platforms have now become the new type of firm; they provide the infrastructure to intermediate between different user groups, by displaying monopoly tendencies driven by network effects, and having a core architecture that governs the interaction possibilities.  

What shapes the Gig Economy? 

As identified by Woodcock and Graham (2019), these nine preconditions that shape the gig economy, involving aspects of technology, society, politics and their combination: 

  • platform infrastructure 
  • digital legibility of work 
  • mass connectivity and cheap technology 
  • consumer attitudes and preferences 
  • gendered and racialized relationships of work 
  • desire for flexibility for/from workers 
  • state regulation and worker power 
  • globalization and outsourcing 

Post-COVID Gig Economy 

The ILO announced a ‘high’ global unemployment in March. Global unemployment increased by 22 million compared to the 2009 recession. It is expected, worldwide, there could be 35 million more in ‘working poverty’ than pre-COVID in 2020. 

While food & grocery, medicines delivery, cabs saw a steep rise in demand, they also risk their finance and health being impacted by the pandemic. On the freelancers’ end, like designers, photographers, creative content producers, and household enablers like cooks, nannies etc., see their opportunities decrease by the day. 

Gigs generally see an uptick in demand during a recession. Digital economy companies will benefit in the post-COVID era. Governments of many countries are now leveraging gig work to fast-track economic recovery. 

With many rendered jobless, they applied to gig jobs. Upwork has seen a 50% increase in sign-ups since the pandemic began. Talkdesk witnessed 10,000 new applications within 10 days. 

The dark side of the Gig Economy 

The lack of job security, amplified by complex contracts, the changing rates of incentives, the lack of control over impossible targets that demand more than 12 hours of work daily, often without holidays are making it increasingly difficult for gig-workers. 

A report pegs attrition between 40% to 300% for gig workers in some companies. The combination of being overworked and the mismatch between promise and reality, lack of employee benefits like health, and insurance, etc., could be a cause.   

Platforms such as “Gig Workers Rising” are aiming to restructure the labour market and ensure social security of every gig worker.  

As people across the world look for new options due to the economic recession, gig work could be the new normal where the workplace will not be an “actual workplace” but a remote one. 

Spotch is a fully loaded home office experience that could make your remote location, your actual “workplace” Visit us at to know more! 


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