The gig economy is growing thanks to the technology available to support it.

The ‘gig economy’. It sounds way cooler than ‘contracting’ or ‘the sharing economy’ and reflects the ‘payment per gig’ you complete.

Gig economy

It’s a dream many of us have – to be our own boss, to pursue our dream venture – but on our own terms. Thanks to high-speed internet, forging your own path has never been more realistic. There is little doubt that the gig economy is growing but putting an exact figure on the market is notoriously difficult, and statistics often conflict. The Gig Economy Data Hub estimates that 25% of US workers have a gig or two. [Source]

What is the gig economy?

The gig economy encompasses four main elements:

  1. Independent workers who are paid for a task/project rather than by hourly wage
  2. Consumers who pay for a specific service, such as an Uber or Lyft ride
  3. Technology platforms that directly connect those consumers to service providers
  4. Apps or platforms that enable service-sector work to be done remotely
Example of the gig economy

One of the results of the gig economy is the concept of the ‘human cloud’ – that people can be located anywhere and complete a service job, for example, building a website or writing a whitepaper.

And one of the reasons that the gig economy is growing so exponentially is that some people are gigging as their ‘side hustle’ – they still have a job, but they’re earning extra revenue online, on the side. Think of it like the Friday night barkeeping job of the future.

The BCG Henderson Institute undertook a large global survey of workers and found that 3% to 10% of workers in mature economies such as the UK, the US and Germany, and more than 30% of workers in some developing countries, reported using gig platforms as a secondary source of income. (Remember our point about statistics not necessarily agreeing?)

What gig workers need

Like any type of work, gig workers need to equip themselves appropriately to ensure their greatest level of success. For example, a remote worker might miss those ‘water cooler’ moments in an office – honest conversations between small groups of workers – so they need to replace that with a tool for greater connectivity, or they’ll risk missing some valuable communications.

Fast Company published four traits that gig workers need to succeed:

  1. Connection to people – Apparently, it’s not good for your mental health to not speak to another human for the whole day – who would have thought?
  2. Connection to place – Successful gig workers locate themselves in a place that works for them, whether that’s lounging on the sofa or working from a garden shed
  3. Connection to routines – Establishing a daily routine that signals to your brain ‘now is the time to start being productive’
  4. Connection to purpose – The ability to remind yourself why you’re doing this

Oroson in the gig economy

It’s our hope that Oroson workspaces have a place in building the gig economy. The boards offer a connection to place, giving workers a virtual space in which they log in everyday and see the progress on projects – a connection to people, by offering built-in IM chat functions to communicate with their team members – and perhaps even a connection to routines, as logging into the boards everyday can kick off the start of work, and logging off can signal the start of personal/free time.

Oroson conversation instant messaging tool

Even though the statistics are all varied, there’s no doubt that more and more people are working remotely and working on a project-basis. Many of these workers are in the creative markets where Oroson boards really come into their own, because the boards are visual workspaces.

In fact, that is perhaps the best thing about the gig economy: that it enhances creativity. Just look at the story of how Billy Ray Cyrus recorded Old Town Road.

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